Observations at the airport

Yesterday afternoon I had a flight from Frankfurt to Budapest at 04:30pm. I am going to visit my customer in Vac, Hungary, to present to business unit leaders a business case and a project charter for a new, small 3-month-project and hopefully later on this week get the GO from the executive here to actually start the project.

While most of the other members of the department I belong to have been there last week to give support for the hectic quarter end business I am the one to show up in more peaceful times when people have time and calmness to listen to new ideas and plan ahead for new projects.

At the airport I noticed …

  • … that “Self Check-In” machines are not that “Self” as they should be, considering the fact that they are around for certainly more than one or two years meanwhile. There is still a support person hanging around at these machines to help people getting through the sequence of steps they have to follow in order to complete their “self check-in”. You would think that this is adopted technology meanwhile but there are still lots of people showing up who have not tried it before or always run into problems when dealing with such type of automatic machines. And actually it is insightful of the company who run those machines to provide on-site support in form of a human being being there and may be lowering the barrier for newbies to come closer and give it a try. They could have attached a phone over there to pick up in case of problems which would connect you to some person somewhere on the other side of this planet trying to give you remote support if needed ;-).
  • … that people today carry a lot of mobile gadgets with them to make better use of the waiting time arising when travellling by train or plane. In former time one took a book or newspaper with him trying to get through all the waiting time by reading. Today we have laptops, cell phones, organizer, MP3 player or any smart combination of those devices. The man left to me while waiting in the boarding area did actually have a book with him but only made it through one page only before picking up his cell phone and making a call. And he really made one call per page he was reading. Another man was walking around with his laptop opened, the cell phone attached between head and shoulder, carrying two bags. Not bad ! And another one was seriously searching for a power outlet which are usually not available in such an area when you need them. He obviously had something urgent to do with his laptop and the rechargeable batteries of those laptops are really not sufficient for a trip lasting several hours. He was peeking behind each pillar and into every corner and even started to pull at some cables visible behind a dividing wall. As far as I can tell he has not been successful.

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