Margin of errors

Matt Jones reminds me how often I get tripped up by the small-print “+1 day” in flight itineraries – this is something that happens to me at least twice a year, and generally costs me either a night in a hotel paid for but unslept in, or a headlong rush to my presentation venue. I’ve also been known to misread flight duration (“14.30”) as flight time (“14.30”); in one instance last fall, this caused me to show up at JFK a full eight hours early for my flight. (I got a massage, took a whole lot of pictures, and wrote a profoundly realigning blog post: time well-spent, now that I think about it.)

Compare, though, Jan’s post on predictability, margins of error and quality of life. (See especially the photos where he contrasts the relaxed, profoundly oriented passengers of Seoul Station to the nervous condition of Waterloo.) His point is well taken: worrying about penny-ante shit like this burns cycles like crazy, it’s sovereign in that it absolutely must be attended to carefully…and it does nothing but make people crazy.

With all the modes and channels of being informed we now have at our disposal, is there no better way of validating trip planning than the wretched e-mail itinerary? I’m tempted to design something that would (a) give travellers a clear visual indication of date-line displacement and (b) load this indication, as painlessly as possible, into shared calendars and all the other ways we have of keeping track of scheduling. Maybe, at that, it’s a feature for Dopplr?

One response to “Margin of errors”

  1. ryan says :

    Not sure if it’s entirely what you’re looking for, but when I book with Orbitz, they confirm with an email plus .ics files that account for my entire travel time. The visualization of my time in transit is there in my calendar for the rest of AP to see. It’s pretty handy, and I wish other services (and airlines) would start doing it.

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