I am currently on an out-of-town trip that required me to take a flight. The way my company (my full-time job company) works is we shop for the best flight and schedule for any destination that would take more than 6 hours of driving, submit the bid to our supervisors, they would in turn pass it up to the CEO level for approval. The tickets would be placed on hold for up to 48 hours only. Once approved, we can then book the flight and rental car and hotels, etc.
My first choice was to leave St. Louis (STL) on Monday afternoon and connect through Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and arrive at the final destination at 6pm. The cost was quoted as $381. I submitted the quote and waited. My supervisor questioned the price, I re-shopped it and could not find anything better, and we re-submitted. It was approved, but after the hold status had expired. I had the approval so I went back to re-book the flight, only to find that those tickets were now sold out.
So I shopped for other options. The only reasonable choice was to fly out of Springfield, IL (SPI), a 2 hour drive from home. Same price, but 2 hours away. Was it worth it? Here is how I justified this flight:
* First – The destination is a 9 hour drive from home, so a flight REALLY sounds great. And I can get some work done on a plane (or write this for the blog).
* Second – My flight times were about the same, but one from an airport 2 hours away. Compare the check-in and security at STL on a Monday afternoon versus SPI. I could leave my house for a STL flight out at 12noon, or leave at 11am for the little airport in Springfield. So I am only losing 1 hour each way, and the stress of security is much less.
* Third – Parking at STL would have cost around $25.00 total. The cost of parking at SPI? Free. So the gas it takes to get me to SPI and back will actually save about $9.00.
* Bonus – There were only a dozen people on a 30-seat plane to ORD, so I had a whole row to myself to lay out my work folders and get stuff done.
Summary: I will lose an hour each way for the farther airport but save the company $9.00 in gas. I can get some work done on the plane and have less stress at the smaller airport. I don’t lose much.