One of my first long haul flights was to India through London. I had been to London before and had experienced Heathrow airport shopping. I said to my traveling p
artner, Ida, “We have a couple of hours between flights, let’s go airport shopping. Ida, being well organized and professional, was not keen to risk it but went along with the adventure.
We had a good time and holding our new packages went to board our flight. I didn’t realize that since we were switching airlines we needed get new boarding passes. It wouldn’t have been a problem if we hadn’t spent so much time shopping.
When we got to the front of the line the agent said that there was only 45 minutes before our flight and that she couldn’t issue our passes. I was desperate (and embarrassed). I talked my way into having the agent call the control tower to get special authorization. Those early years in sales paid off. The head official said no. I asked to speak with him and after begging he still said no. Those early years in sales didn’t pay off.
The best available option was to wait for seven hours until a flight could take us to an Indian regional airport where we could board another flight to Mumbai. This added ten hours to our travel time and we finally arrived at our meeting dead tired with 30 minutes to spare before taking on our facilitator roles.
The moral I took from this experience is that enthusiasm without facts can get you into trouble that enthusiasm alone can not get you out of. Always have facts.