When I make a trip to say Kolkatta to do a one-day lecture, I take an early morning flight..and reach Kol for a 11 am lecture. Now what are the risks for me and the client in this whole situation?

– risk of me not reaching there at all.

How could this happen?

Well let us say I need to catch a 6.30am flight. I need to reach the airport by 5am (well that is the rule book, and depending on the airline and the importance of the passenger it can change, but not by much.

I have to take a taxi at 4am (it takes about 40 minutes from my house to the airport). Or I could take a train at 4am which drops me at Kurla railway station at 4.30 am from where I can get an auto to the airport. The auto ride is about 15 minutes – and I can reach the airport at about 5am.

Now how all can things go wrong? Well the list is almost endless:

– the taxi could come in 5-7 minutes late (this is nothing by taxi driver standards), and then there could be traffic!

– there is a bridge where some tax is collected. Three of my friends have missed their flights sitting in a taxi in the traffic jam and unable to do anything. Sheer corruption, but you can miss your flight sitting there!

– the train could come 10 minutes late

– you could be late and miss the train. the next train is after 20 minutes ….so you can kiss the flight goodbye.

-the auto that you take from Kurla station could break down, and kiss the flight goodbye!

– some airlines are so sticky that if you reach a little late, they could shut the counter. Of course with so much competition, it may not happen, but then, it may just happen!

– you could reach the airport, and find that there are 50 people at the entrance wanting to get in. There are only 2 guys at the entrance checking your pan card to let you in…so you could fret, fume, scream, ..but miss your flight!

How much is the loss due to a missed flight?

Well if your employer is paying for your ticket, and you were the ONLY PERSON from your office attending a very important meeting, well your boss will tell you how he feels!

If it is a person like me who is planning to speak to a group of 30 people – and these people have come from Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur, …etc. man this is death! The client has lost time, effort, money,….and I have lost my reputation!

Should an employer recover the costs from the  salary of the employee? Well I think that is fair, but not sure what the employees think?

At least one employee who missed the flight, rushed by the next flight and did the work. However if you are going to give a lecture or attend a meeting…hmmm that option is also not possible.

However this has happened to me – I was on the Kingfisher flight to New Delhi to take a connecting flight to Chandigarh. Was traveling on behalf of a bank. I reach the airport at about 6 am..and I am told very politely by the girl at the KF counter “Sir you have been shifted to the  8.30 flight, did our representative not call you up yesterday?

LOL…nobody had called. However that was a time when the Mum-Delhi timetable was already drilled in my head – thanks to trips to Meerut, Delhi, Chandigarh, Panipat, …etc. etc.

The advantage of reaching early meant I had time to catch the SPICE JET flight. My only baggage was a pen-drive! So ran from the K F terminal to the S J terminal, and reached Delhi in time to catch the Chandigarh flight…and deliver the lecture. Whew! The joys of reaching a little early…..

I just heard about a friend missing a flight…

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  1. Why don’t you travel the previous night ?? If the risk is so high.. its better to mitigate and travel atleast a day in advance 😀

  2. Subra,

    If the lecture is so very important (I am sure it is as you are in the business of training!) why don’t you travel to your destination the night before, stay in a Hotel overnight and deliver the lecture the next morning without any tension??!! The only downside would be the cost of the hotel accommodation which will have to be picked up by your Client or yourself. Not a big price to pay (for either of you – I assume) in order to ensure hassle free business.

  3. I always believe if some thing is important as like business, interviews, job joining, applications (college, IPOs, investments, insurance), do it a day before the deadline.

    I have seen people who lost the overseas jobs just because they chose to travel on the last day of visa date. Due to flight cancellations, problem in documentation they were denied boarding pass and missed their turn.

  4. overnite stay? Delhi, Bengaluru, Kol and Chennai are all in 5 figures total training cost goes up by that much amount :). Hyderabad is rushing to join them.

    Chandigarh, Indore, Trivandrum are currently not bad..but surely total cost changes..

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