Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Travel Planning

Yesterday evening's request to travel to Boston early next week meant that much of Tuesday morning was spent battling with Dante's unwieldy on-line reservation tool to locate flights that allowed sufficient time to transfer from one airliner to another and a hotel that was in the same city let alone State.

I may be exaggerating slightly but the tool is appalling. I asked for hotels in the vicinity of Cambridge MA. In fact I asked for hotels withing 3 miles of Cambridge MA. Why then was the bloody tool giving me a list of 50 hotels, the majority of which were more than 10 miles away? It even gave me half a dozen hotels which didn't have an "approved room rate". In other words; book at your peril because there will be all sorts of scrutiny when you try to claim the room cost.

And as for flights, don't get me started. American Airlines and Continental are merging and the damn tool gives flights by each of these carriers to Boston. The only difference is the logo and the flight number but the tool will only let me buy a flight from one of them. No clues as to which one I just have to select one and hope. No surprises then, when I had to abort, go back and select the other one!

I don't mind choice but take exception when the damn things are presenting invalid information and have filter tools that don't work.

Then there is the general grumble that I cannot fly direct to Boston and have to travel an hour further in to New York, spend a couple of hours in the Terminal and then fly back on myself in to Boston. That results in an additional 4 hours of travelling time and an additional 400 miles of air travel.

Did I mention the entirely separate travel authorisation tool where I need to estimate all of my expenses and then get 4 levels of approval before I book my trip?

Rant over.

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