A week ago Sunday I was traveling to Baton Rouge, LA. I was flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) connecting in Houston (George Bush Intercontinental Airport - IAH) with my final destination as Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR). Under normal circumstances I would probably have flown directly to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) from either Newark or Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and driven to Baton Rouge, however all flights for either airport were completely sold out, most likely due to the beginning of Spring Break.

The Newark – Houston flight left on time and I arrived about 30 minutes early in Houston. So far, so good.  However, the flight to Baton Rouge was unfortunately delayed about an hour. OK, this has happened before, no worries, instead of a potato chip with M&M’s dinner, time for an actual sit down dinner. When I got to the gate for the Houston – Baton Rouge flight, the delay was a bit extended… 4 hours… with an expected departure time of 1:17AM. If you travel frequently you know at that point the question is no longer “how long is the delay really going to be?” The question now is: “will this flight really go?” Experience just tells you, this flight will be cancelled.

The airline started to handout hotel vouchers for people who didn’t want to wait until after midnight, rebooking on the next day’s flights, while at the same time, waiting was also still an option. I needed to be in Baton Rouge at 9:00 AM for a presentation. The earliest flight the next day was at 2 PM.  Waiting was the only option to get to Baton Rouge on time… or was it? The airline service desk attendant asked if I lived in Baton Rouge, and if not if I would like to fly to Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT). From there it would only be a 1 hour drive. That sounded like a good plan. Yes please book me on that flight. Only problem, you have 10 minutes to get from Terminal B to Terminal A. No problem I can run.

If you are familiar with the Houston airport you know that there is a monorail service between the terminals. While waiting for the monorail (only 60 seconds), I downloaded the rental car agency’s app. While riding the monorail between terminal B and A, I looked up my reservation, and changed my rental pickup location from Baton Rouge to Lafayette. I got to the gate on time and got to Lafayette without any further issues.

Once in Lafayette I went to the rental agency desk to get my rental car. “Sir I see that you just updated your reservation. Unfortunately we don’t have a car in the class you selected. The only car available is a 12-passenger van.”  So here I ended up driving a 12 passenger van from Lafayette to Baton Rouge, with my only luggage being a laptop bag.

If you would have asked me on Sunday afternoon: “what is the probability that you will drive a 12-passenger van from Lafayette to Baton Rouge tonight,” I would probably have said that it was simply not going to happen. However this is exactly what happened!

So keep in mind whenever you hear someone make a statement that a scenario is impossible as it has never happened before, the fact that something has not happened before is no guarantee that it is absolutely impossible.

Tagged as:     Iwan van Beurden  

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