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Frontier Airlines took 2 Hours From Me

Ok, I'm having trouble letting go of my recent flight delay. My new job requires me to travel most weeks. For the bulk of the summer I will be back and forth between Denver and Portland. I am enjoying Denver, sneaking up to the Rockies, starting to explore the downtown, etc. But when it is time to head for Portland, all I can think about is getting home, spending time with my wife, sleeping in my own bed, using the BBQ, walking in my park, heading to the coast. So......... When I show up at the airport and I find my flight home has been delayed, I get a bit irritated. 10 or 15 minutes I can handle, but yesterday it was over 2 hours. 2 hours of wasted, non productive time. Sure I could have pulled out my lap top and sent a few more emails, but my focus was on getting home, enjoying every precious minute I get at home before jumping another plane back to Denver.

To make matters even worse, instead of eating dinner at home I had to shell out a few bucks for dinner in the airport. Getting home at 6:30 pm is dinner with my wife, Arriving at 8:30 pm means me eating in the airport. Say good bye to $10 for a $5 meal. Pulling out of the long term parking I was hit with an additional $10. Seems I stayed just long enough to be considered a 6 day stay instead of 5. With all the added fees for bags, to the new Frontier fee of $1.99 for a can of coke, I am beginning to think there is a better way.

Many industries have a "Fee for Performance" payment system. Why not airlines? My thinking is simple, I pay a fee for an expected service, to be performed as advertised. The airlines advertise via their schedules an expected take off and arrival time. That is what I am paying for. I make my plans on either side of the schedule, based on their published schedule. I am paying for them to meet my expectation. The problem is there is no penalty for the airlines if they fail to meet my expectation. Sure I can take my business elsewhere, but does that cause the airline to think about doing things differently in the future to meet my expectations? The current system does not force them to think about quality in this area. In fact, everything about the airline industry has moved away from customer service to herding people from one airport to the next. They are no longer trying to win customers because they know that for many of us we have no choice but to fly in order to meet deadlines and expectations of our own.

So I make a simple suggestion. For every minute late to the gate, the customer, whose expectation was not met, is returned $1. Hotels comp rooms, restaurants will discount meals, products get returned to stores for refunds, when expectations aren't met. I can not return an airline ticket if it did not meet my expectation, no one offered to comp me my ticket due to my disappointment, even though I will fly each week, at least 10 more round trips, over the rest of the summer. A simple $1 per minute would get them to think about their performance, to really think about how to meet expectations. Not once was I told why there was a 2 hour delay. We all just sat nicely in the airport and waited and waited and waited. At some point a back up plane could have been rolled up to the gate, or some plan B put in place. Plan B seems to be "make the customer wait."

Looking up Frontier's flight 793 from Denver to Portland, shows on average they are 20.83 minutes delayed. Out of 106 flights from January 1 through July 5, they have a 56% on time rate. That is a little bette than 1/2 the time the do it as they planned. If I hit my financial or quality targets only 56% of the time, if I meet customer expectations only 56% of the time, I am out of a job or out of business. I get that there are things outside of their control, but isn't it their job to manage my expectations? As you can tell I am just a little frustrated because I lost 2 hours of my life yesterday, and 6 hours in 4 weeks, flying Frontier (that is both directions - to and from Denver). To bad they are the only airlines flying direct flights in the time frames I need. I obviously need them enough to keep flying despite all my lost hours.

Hoping for a change in the future.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A Change in Weight Loss Approach

Over the last 10 years I have tried a number of different weight loss approaches. The Mediterranean Diet, South Beach Diet, P90X, Turbo Fire, and variations of all of them combined. Each time I have varying levels of success in losing weight, but after a few months I am right back to where I started. While reading South Beach, I learned the importance of eating the right types of food together to hold of diabetes. In P90X, I learned about muscle confusion and how to really get your muscles to burn calories all day long. It all makes sense, but I have a hard time working out 50-120 minutes a day. Eating mostly the same food over and over again gets old. As I took inventory of my life I had to be honest that I am a 50 year old, overweight male, who thinks he is younger than he is, works out on occasion, but can't sustain it long term, and who loves the taste of food.

In April I ran in to a friend that I didn't recognize. He had lost a great deal of weight over a three to for month period. His face had changed, his waist had changed, and he talked of feeling better (I have since heard that he has passed the 30 lbs. mark). When I asked him what he was doing he told me basically the same story I told you. Diets, exercise, temporary success. He told me he knew what he should do, he just wasn't doing it. He told me that he had down loaded a free phone app called My Fitness Pal. He uses it to keep track of his calories. If he walks into a restaurant he can type in the name and he can see what the different meals will add up to. It asked him about his activity level, his target goal, and basically told him how many calories to eat a day. He said it was working.

For the last 49 days I have been using My Fitness Pal to track my calories. I also hooked it up with Endomondo (a program that tracks my exercise), and it automatically adjusts the calories I can eat for the day based on my exercise. I kind of like gadgets and things I can use on the IPhone, and since using this app, I have dropped 21 lbs. I learned a lot while reading about the other diets I have tried. My food choices are based on the knowledge I have gained over the years, but tracking calories has been the ticket for me. I am not working out more than I used to, although I am working out some, because I travel for work I am eating out everyday and yet still losing weight.
If you have struggled like I have over the years this is worth trying, and the application is free. This is definitely helping in my battle and I think it can help you in yours

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A Quote to Get You Going

Some times it is tough for me to get out of bed to start my day. I would rather just lay back and dream about what life could be, where I could go, what I could do? I sometimes spend hours doing just that. But a quote like the one above by Zig Ziglar brings it all back into perspective. I can day dream, plan, and talk all day long, but if I don't "Start," it is all a waste of time. I aspire to be Great, that is the destination, not the requirement to step to the starting line.

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End of Life

Today I find myself pondering life and death. It has a way of sneaking into your thoughts when you are sitting bed side, listening to the slowing breaths, of a man you have known for 37 years.

This man gave me my first job, took my back packing, helped me move, painted my homes, and trusted me with his daughter. His life was full of living, being generous, and loving others. It was also full of painful knees, battling Alzheimer's and in the last year, his own frailty. As I sit next to him I wonder if he feels he lived well, if he has any unfinished business? Are there things he would like to do over or do again? Would he have taken a different career path, stayed home more, or maybe less? Did he answer all the questions he had about life, is he ready for what is next? I would ask him but he is no longer talking, not recognizing, only fighting for each breath. We are no longer counting years, months or days, we are counting hours of a man who has impacted those most important to me, each of my children, my wife, and my self. Thank you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone