This Post Is Dedicated To All The Airline Nerds

This Post Is Dedicated To All The Airline Nerds

First, I am not one of you, I’m not part of your “Airline Nerd” group. I don’t speak airport or airplane lingo, I’m not one of you!

There are two airplanes that I can identify by sight. They are a 747 and the Concorde, both of which no longer fly passengers. I know that everybody hates MD-88 but I certainly couldn’t pick one out at the gate.

Ask me about airplane tail numbers and I sound like Napoleon Dynamite….. Ugh.

I know very few airport codes, MCO, ATL, FLL & MSY is about it. A while back we hired someone, and he was a TRUE airline nerd. At the time I lived in Ft. Lauderdale and he lived in Daytona. We had a Tuesday meeting in Ft. Lauderdale and here’s a recap of our conversation.

Me: Let’s meet for lunch on Monday and plan our strategy for Tuesday. Here’s a tip, anytime you can insert the word “strategy” into a business conversation do it, you’ll not only appear smart but engaged.

AN (Airline Nerd): I don’t get in until late Monday night.

Me: It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive.

AN (Airline Nerd): No I’m flying, MCO to ATL to FLL.

Me: (Again, but in a questioning, voice) It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive.

AN (Airline Nerd): Yeah then Thursday I have to be in Tampa.

Me: Same here, it’s about 4-hour drive, you can ride with me if you want. Just leave your rental here, I’ll bring you back.

AN (Airline Nerd): No thanks, I’ll pass. I’m flying FLL to ATL to TPA. Then it’s TPA to ATL to MCO on Friday #FlyHomeFriday.

First, this asshat spoke in airport codes, it’s similar to speaking in the third person. Second, he was going to find himself suffering “Road Warrior Burnout”, and quickly. No need to Google that term because I made it up.

Driving Daytona to Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa and back to Daytona should take no longer than 13 hours. AN (Airline Nerd) was going to take 9 flights in 5 days….. 9 flights….. Son of a nutcracker. From a time-management standpoint, AN (Airline Nerd) was looking at spending 15 hours in the air, and that’s before factoring in the airport wait times, not the most productive way to spend one’s time.

Now I know what AN (Airline Nerd) was doing. He was taking all those connections in order to plus up his airline status and miles,  and I get it, I’ve spent a lot of time with baby road warriors and they all spend the first few months counting connections and hotel nights, looking to hit that next status level. I tell them that after 12 months all you’ll count is the points and how to get the most value from them.

Now the one nerdy airport/airplane thing that I do take advantage of is the FlightAware app. The FlightAware web site is complete “Nerd Overload” with news, pictures and discussions of all things aviation.

The FlightAware app is indispensable for knowing whether your flight is going to be on time or not. For example two weeks ago I was flying CLT to MCO, see what I did there, and my wife was picking me up at the airport. Mid-flight we were delayed and my wife was aware of the delay since she was tracking my flight with the FlightAware app. ….. yes, that’s 1:15 AM on Saturday morning.

Now if you consider yourself going full AN (Airline Nerd) there are several places that “Your Group” hangs out. Start with FlyerTalk and if you have time left head over to Airport Codes in order to learn the lingo.

Nothing wrong with being full AN (Airline Nerd), it’s just not what I’m into.

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