Friday, May 27, 2005

In Dallas again

The flight from Phoenix to El Paso was somewhat rough. I have to admit that I'm a nervous flier. If the flight is even slightly bumpy I start to imagine all sorts of disasters. It doesn't matter that statistically air travel is the safest travel in the world; it doesn't matter that aircraft are designed to take those kinds of stresses; it doesn't matter that pilots are trained to within inches of their lives to cope with almost any disaster imaginable and it doesn't matter that I've flown hundreds of times in 23 years without anything going wrong. I just don't like turbulent travel and that's all there is to it. Heck, I don't like rollercoasters either...

Being in a car stuck on the ground feels right. Being stuck in a cylinder 11 Kilometres above the earth, whilst proven to be safe, just doesn't feel right.

I still travel of course; no way do I want to find myself unable to travel back to Australia. Nor, for that matter, would I have let a little thing like turbulence get between me and the chance to visit Japan or Europe. There are nerves and then there's being a fraidy cat. Fortunately the long haul flights I do most of the time use larger aircraft and those tend to flatten the bumps!

From El Paso to Dallas was a lot smoother. On the other hand; this was the first time I'd had a window seat on the left hand side of the plane. I flew Southwest which means we landed at Love Field. The route to that airport goes very very close to downtown Dallas - close enough that it looks like we've been taken over by a suicide pilot and are targetting the tallest building if you're sitting on the left side. Sitting on the right you wouldn't know. I can easily imagine that office workers in Dallas high rise buildings have had frequent nightmares since 11/9/2001.

Let's just accept that I fly whilst not taking a successful landing as a given.

So I arrived at Dallas Love Field and approached the car rental desk. I did the link last night so you can scroll back a day to see prior history with car rentals in Dallas. Suffice it to say that this time the car rental firm my company prefers me to use didn't have any car to rent me at all - neither the one I'd reserved or any kind of substitute.

I guess that's one way to run a business but it wouldn't be my choice. Yeah, there's capitalisation and a hundred other things to running a car rental business that just aren't within my spheres of comprehension, but it seems to me that not having any kind of car to rent when the customer fronts up is just going to make that customer look for another company.

They were helpful though; they advised me to speak to Jim at Avis and see if he could match their price. He could and did! No, I didn't get a Kia; I got a Hyundai Elantra for the same price. Nice car. I still like my Kia but maybe I'm being stubbornly illogical!

Of course, since the company has no choice but to approve my Avis rental this time, I'm going to go with them or a similar company next time. Advantage Rental car have blown it for me forever.

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