My understanding, from discussions those who know road warriors, is that travel has become even more undignified and stressful. My recent experience confirms that and suggests a lot is due to Covid. Moreover, many people make clear they understand that, yet they won’t wear masks!
My short version:
Note that on all my flights I wore a 3M Aura N95 in the terminal and put on my Darth Vader P100 on the plane. Only at most one other masked person on my flights, and not always an N/KN95. I also had my Aranet4 C02 monitor. It showed, despite airline claims about their filtered air, that C02 levels quickly rose to over 1300 (bad) and often to over 2000 (very bad) during boarding, would fall to at best barely below 1000 mid flight on moderately long flights, and then would rise again as the plane descended.
I booked a flight from Delta from Birmingham to Portland, Maine on a Saturday back in March.
Over the summer, Delta changes its schedule so that the only options that day are a 40 minute layover in Atlanta (impossibly tight for a wheelchair passenger) or getting in at 11:45 PM when car rental closes at midnight. I am prepared to cancel the trip and eat the 50% deposit on the house rental. My guest is flying into Boston on Friday and renting a car Sat and suggests I rebook to fly to Boston on Friday.
My flight to Boston is 7 hours late due to needing a new wheel and having a gas gauge fail. Tire has to be flown in from Atlanta and they have to get contract maintenance crew in to deal with that and gas gauge. Some people on the flight were clearly going to miss international connections.
Return flight to LGA is 6 hours late due to Ian. Wheelchair pusher who takes me to gate says Delta is the worst. Three days ago, he had to wait three hours because a Delta flight from Atlanta had landed but sat on the runway because Delta was short on ground crew. He also said the Burger King in the airport was closed due to Covid. It had been run by two people but one got sick and the other found it overwhelming to try to operate the place solo.
Get to hotel in NYC around 10:00 PM. I have been here about 6 times before in the last year. The room is 58 degrees. I turn up temperature. Nothing happens. I call front desk to say I need a new room. Front desk guy says engineer has not turned on heat despite his and customer complaints. I sputter that if this were earlier in the day, I’d go to a different hotel but I am stuck (and exhausted) at this late hour.
I then go full New Yorker on him. This is a clear violation of NYC regulations (see here: https://propertyclub.nyc/article/a-guide-to-nyc-heating-season-and-heat-laws). Front desk guy says he will try to find a space heater. I am skeptical.
I turn on shower to full hot. I manage to get the room to 61 degrees. The problem is, unrecognized by me immediately, I am also on course to create a flood. The bathtub was stoppered and filling up!
I reconfirm my recollection of NYC heat regs and try calling 311 on the hotel phone to complain to the city. However, the call keeps going to 911. I go to get my cell to call 311 since it is a 917 number and thus can call 311 as a local call.
The front desk calls about my calling 911. I say I am trying to call 311 about the illegal cold room and keep being routed to 911, and will call 311 on my cell. Front desk guy insists no, really, he is trying to find me a space heater. I say I’ll wait a few minutes.
Shortly he and a maintenance guy come up to move me to a similar-class room down the hall with a heater in it. Why they could not move the heater to me is a mystery.
In moving out, I discovered the bathroom floor has a lot of water on it. The tub had not yet flooded over but the artfully placed bath mat, over the edge of the tub, was soaked and wicking water onto the floor.
The trip back was uneventful. But I now have to get to Laguardia super early due to the horrible new terminals and roadways in. The new facility was clearly designed to max out on concrete use and square footage. The tired old Laguardia would have been fine with a facelift. Its virtue that (ex time in security) the walk to the gate was five to seven minutes. Now the place is cavernous, trying to look like an international airport. Even passenger check in and security are now a hike from the curb. The typical walk to the gate is 15 minutes. The only reason I can see is for higher construction costs, as in real estate grifting.
Please tell me your horror stories.