10/19 update: The deepening investigation is going on two weeks as accident examiners work toward a preliminary cause report.
The blog is about what probably happens in cities around the country with corporate passengers. As I arrived in the baggage claim area of Dulles International Airport recently, I began searching for a chauffeur holding a sign with my name on it. In my new position as the marketing manager of an industry vendor, I travel quite a bit and see the world from the passenger point of view. There was no one holding a sign with my name. I decided to venture out to the curb believing my chauffeur might be sitting at the curb. Nope, not there!
The temperature was 82 degrees so I retreated back inside to wait near baggage claim. I went through my emails to find the assigned company name and number. I called them and got the automated greeting with the familiar prompts of, Press #1 for this and #2 for that. Once I pressed a button, someone answered and said, “Let me transfer you to dispatch.” These few minutes only made the situation worse as I had a 5:30 p.m. meeting and it was about 4 p.m. I was told to “stay put” and someone would come get me.
I was soon escorted to a nasty, beat up Town Car with scratches in the paint and two packs of cigarettes on the passenger seat next to the driver’s seat. The driver opened my door for me to slide into the backseat while he loaded my luggage. The car was blistering hot and smelled of cigarettes. I couldn’t wait for him to turn the car on and kick the A/C on.
The ride to the hotel was filled with comments from my driver about religion having nothing to do with terrorism. He pointed out that he was Middle Eastern so he knows about these things. What a great ride! I really couldn’t wait to get out of the car. While I could have asked him to wait for a few minutes while I checked in and dropped off my bags, I released him and took a taxi to the meeting instead. I felt safer.
Needless to say, I booked a different service to take me to the airport.
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