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Stuck in US Airspace

December 7th, 2010

‘We are # 28 in line to take off’. Those are the words one loves to hear from the captain. La Guardia had only 1 runway working (perhaps the other was on tea-break). And then, when around #4 in line, a further delay is announced, due to excessive cross-winds.

I’ll miss my connection. Another day lost.

This flight is 3.49 hours….the delay is almost 2 hours. That’s a flight of almost 6 hours. And I see they’re charging for every scrap and snack of food and drink. You have got to be kidding…..minutes pass,,,

Don’t you just love flying.

I was in New York to attend the Great New York Dental show. Hadn’t been there for 3-4 years. Such a pleasure to be back in the Big Apple. I have lived in the city – actually rented an apartment not far from the World Trade Centre when it was being erected. One can’t NOT admire the place. You get everything there, whether you want it or not.

The expo was –in my humble opinion – mish-mash. That calls for bullets (now, where’s that button on the keyboard…)

• Some wonderful stands, with panache, flair, attractive colours, welcoming images, keen sales people. Others were, to put it mildly, totally resistant to attraction. ‘We need your visit like a hole in the head’ , they seemed to be screaming.

• There were some very large stands. Colgate is always up there, Ultradent, Dentsply, NSK, Schein to name a few (this is hopefully a clever way to gain kick-backs). And then there a multitude of mini-stands, many of whom really had nothing to show or say.

• I was impressed with some of the stands (booths for you speakers of US-English) that ran workshops or showed actual procedures. They appeared to be well-attended. In addition to the many lectures being given in the programme. It is a reminder that most exhibitions in the USA are combined quite successfully with educational programmes, whereas, at least in Europe, the two are often clearly separated. There, conferences have limited displays of trade exhibits, and some exhibitions are purely trade.

• Another eye-opener for me was the

……………ok, the trolley almost reached me. 2 rows ahead of me, the (poor) stewardess announces that ‘this is the last of the food – 1 box of Pringles’. And she’s still charging for it! (This is United, for those of you who want to join my disgust at this treatment).
I close my eyes and imagine a riot. In my most gentle English accent, I ask why, for a flight of almost 6 hours, we’re being charged. The robot answers ‘Sorry – the scheduled flight….it’s not our fault…bad weather…company policy’.
Gimme strength.

Then Miss Proops in front of me gets herself involved . She’s very tall, very slim, keeps getting up and either stretching, or getting something from the luggage compartment, showing her violent tattoo on my face. Can you believe it…she starts protecting the stewardess and the captain. Well, I quietly put her in her place. Doesn’t she realise that, up here at 30,000 feet, the captain’s in charge, and he had the chance to gain a lot of kudos by at least not charging for the food and at least ensuring the food is shared. Would have been fun getting the passengers’ support and involvement.
I reluctantly place my credit card back in its wallet, and sip on my free can of Coke (having rejected the $6 mini-bottle of rum).

So, where was I? Oh, forget about the stands. More important that the DTI lounge was a great place to escape the milling crowds and get some decent attention. Great cheese, Torsten.

Smile – Promote your dentist.

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