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January 4th, 2014:

Strange flight arrangements

The State Department mandates that for official travel, employees must make their travel arrangements through a travel agency that the department contracts with. As soon as I received my travel orders, I called the travel agency to make my airplane reservations for my travel to Washington DC. The agent that I talked with said that the only airline that I could take out of Lansing was Sun Country. It’s a regional airline that only flies to select cities. The good thing about flying Sun Country is that it flies directly from Lansing to DC. I don’t need to connect in Detroit. The bad thing is that the airline has only one daily flight from Lansing to DC, and it leaves at…7:50 pm.

When I heard that I had to take a regional airline, I was worried that the airline would have a fleet of turboprop airplanes. However, my reservation shows that my flight will be on a Boeing 737.

I had wanted to arrive in DC on the afternoon of the day before training starts, so that I could get settled in and meet a few of my classmates. With these arrangements, though, I will land in DC at 9:20 pm. By the time I get my luggage, and take a taxi to the hotel, it will be quite late.

It would have been better if I could have flown on Delta, with more flight options. I guess that the government made a deal with Sun Country to give the department a better price on flights. It’s cheaper for the government, but less convenient for the traveller. I’m not complaining, though. Travel is expensive, and I’m not buying the ticket this time.