That was a Great Flying Experience


Now there’s a statement you don’t hear very often. I recently took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for a transportation conference. I must say that when our nation’s transportation system works, it works well. Every leg of my trip went off without a hitch. I left my house in Texas around 6:00am to get to my wonderfully small, local airport for a 7:00 flight. We are really blessed here in College Station to have commercial air service, even if it is only two airlines.

My short-hop flight left right on time and landed in Houston a short time later. I had a quick breakfast and proceeded to the gate for my flight to Atlanta. Again, the flight left within minutes of the scheduled departure time and landed in Atlanta on time.

I’m a pretty efficient traveler, so I pack one carry-on bag if at all possible. For several years I’ve used a packing method described on the web site It is amazing how much more you can fit in the same amount of space using this method. I also own the Red Oxx carry-on bag that this site recommends. If you’re a frequent flyer, I cannot recommend this system enough. Please note that I have no affiliation with either the web site or the luggage company.

Because I’m a one carry-on bag traveler, that means I avoid the agony of the luggage carousel. When’s the belt going to start going around? Is that my bag? Nope. Is that it? Nope. Oh…here it is…oops…wrong again. Isn’t that the fifth time I’ve seen that bag go around?

So upon arrival in Atlanta, I headed straight for ground transportation. The hotel I was staying at was right in the heart of downtown Atlanta – easily accessible by the MARTA rail transit system. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport is located at the end of two of the MARTA lines. And both lines go through downtown before splitting off in different directions. A train was waiting as I exited the airport and within minutes I was on my way. Twenty minutes later I came out of the downtown MARTA station and walked less than two blocks to my hotel.

It was approximately 2:00pm (1:00pm Texas time). Seven hours from the time I backed out of my driveway until I was unpacking my bag in my hotel room. If you stop to think about it, that is nothing short of amazing.

As I said…when the system works, it works well.

I figured the other shoe would drop on my return trip. But to my surprise, it was equally uneventful and on time.

What’s my point? In all things in life, we tend not to notice or appreciate the things that go right. Instead we focus on the times when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Probably only one in ten trips results in some type of “you won’t believe what happened to me” story. But that’s the story we tell everyone. Just like when we focus our energies on the one bad grade instead of praising the six good grades.

What about you? Do you find yourself overemphasizing the few bad experiences and ignoring the multitude of outstanding experiences?