I left my home at 10 am (after getting help replacing the battery connector on the van because it rusted through that morning). I arrived at my co-worker’s home to drop off my car at 11 and we got to the Dayton airport by noon. We had a leisurely lunch and all seemed to be going well. Our plane left at 1:30pm. We flew to Detroit and waited. While waiting I realized I hadn’t scheduled the shuttle. I called and scheduled only ti find out that the first available shuttle would be 5:45. We arrived in Arkansas at 4:50pm. When I booked the flight it seemed like plenty of time. But now I realized that I was going to be late for my 6:00pm meeting. I missed the meeting and went to get a room. It had been given away and found myself on a cot with my co-worker on a hide-a-bed couch. I went to register for the conference only to find out there was another meeting at 6pm I didn’t know about because of something I volunteered for. I missed that and someone else had to be found to replace me. The 7pm session was now starting and all I could do was sit down and watch. It ended at 9pm (10pm according to my body) and I still hadn’t had a chance to stop and eat.
All told, I had spent 9 hours getting from my door to the hotel. I hadn’t eaten anything for 10 hours since lunch and my room had been given away causing me to sleep on a cot. What was the alternative?
Other co-workers booked direct flights from Cincinnati to Arkansas arriving in the early afternoon without having to leave too early in the day. Their rooms were ready, they enjoyed the area and were on time for all the events without being stressed and ate on time. So, the lesson I learned is that planning some flexibility and efficiency even at a higher cost can certainly be worthwhile. I will still try to find the cheapest flight, but there will be other parameters involved in the decision outside of price. It won’t be the cheapest flight, but it will be the cheapest "good" flight.
An ounce of prevention certainly would have been worth the pound of cure in this case.