Feels like old times. I’m ensconced at an airport bar in Houston, between flights. Have almost two hours to kill. Not much has changed, other than masks. Bad wine selection, high prices, patrons all studiously staring at their phones. Or at their computer, like me.

Some poor woman on the flight to Houston had three big seizures, so we did a hot landing and run to the gate. The firemen/medics came on board and took her away – I hope she’s OK. Everywhere I turn these days there’s someone with a bad health problem or someone whose family member just died. It feels like a message.

Aside from the medical emergency, flying on UA was pretty good. I’ve flown soooo much SW that I’ve forgotten what the experience on other airlines is like. I’m pleased to say that the UA flight was just fine. That’s good to know, because we have a long flight on them later this year, to and from southern South America.

I’m really happy about heading for Louisville this trip, as it fulfills a dream I’ve had for a long time – a place of our own there, something to share with the kids and grandkids. And someplace to have houseguests and share the Louisville experience. This trip I’ll only have electricity, water, a bed, Internet service and a coffee pot – the bare necessities of civilized life. Other furniture and possessions will happen over time.


My hard-won expert traveler cred got challenged this morning. Southwest cancelled and rebooked me on a flight on a different day, so I’ve had to scramble to find another flight on another airline at the last second. Plus change parking and rental car reservations. With some quick thinking, I managed to get that done without much change to overall plans or budgets. Thanks United.

I’ve seen this before. An airline’s computer systems have a problem and flight changes cascade through their system for days. Southwest is very susceptible to this – they run a system without much flexibility. Any disruption impacts flights downstream, and big disruptions just shut them down. So I made a good decision just opting out of their flights until next week, when things should have settled down.

I’d hate to be their CIO right about now. You have one job – keep the computer systems running – but you didn’t, so the entire flight schedule gets wrecked for days. And people spend their money with your competitors. That’ll be an ugly meeting with the CEO.