First of all, all engineers should travel for work for site reconnaissances, site investigations, construction, and so on. I’ve traveled a fair bit throughout my career. Early in my career, my travels were swayed more heavily toward site investigation work. Now my travels are more for site visits related to third-party and independent review work.
I vastly prefer to travel on the airline with which I have some status. Why? Well, there are several reasons. First, they let you board earlier so you can be more certain of having room in the overhead storage. It’s nice to have at least some leg room, right? Another reason I like to fly on an airline where I have status is that I would rarely ever get kicked off of an over-booked flight. Once I was at an airport in Texas, on my way to Mexico. I was not able to fly on my favorite airline. I was informed by the gate agent that 15 people would have to get off of this flight in order for me to fly on it. The flight was so overbooked, and I had so little status that I was a very low priority to them. It stinks to be left behind.
On the other hand, when I was flying on my favorite airline, I had a very positive experience. It was (another) trip, but this time it was a return trip from Mexico. It was Thanksgiving eve. One of the very busiest travel days of the year. My office admin person told me something I don’t remember about the return trip, but she told me not to worry about it, because she would take care of it. When I was in the Texas airport for my connection, I realized that I didn’t have a boarding pass for my connecting flight. I went to the ticket counter. Okay, it was Delta. I love Delta. The agent took a long time, making several phone calls. She told me that the travel agent and my admin person were blaming each other, but the ticket for my connecting flight home had been cancelled while I was in the air between Mexico and Texas. Gulp. I was almost certain that I’d be having Thanksgiving dinner at some hotel restaurant near the airport. But, as luck (and my medallion status) would have it, after an hour of phone calls, I was booked on a flight that I nearly had to run to catch. If it was not for my status…
These are the reasons I always gave for purchasing a ticket that cost a little more. It was worth it just to be able to get where you are going on schedule.
The only other meaningful advice I have for flying is to always pack your essentials for the next day in your carry on. It’s amazing how often my luggage has been lost. Even with status. I seldom pack light, and I always check a bag. Just a personal preference, not really advice.
Anyway, until next time, safe travels, as I sit in another hotel without my luggage.
P.S. its not a Delta flight.