9 Modest Proposals From a Weary Road Warrior

Last Updated Jun 14, 2011 2:36 PM EDT


I have been on the road quite a bit lately and this has provided enough data that I feel qualified to offer a few ideas to the travel universe for its collective consideration. I know that this is not an exhaustive list, but I think these nine suggestions would be a good start toward making business travel far more bearable for everyone.

1. Eliminate the 5 bar cell phone coverage indicator -- It is clearly a randomly generated graphic on the phone having nothing to do with either coverage or call clarity.

2. It is a right that we have 100% Wi-fi access everywhere -- Whether in a submarine, a supersonic jet, on a backroad in the Appalachians, or on the Great Salt Lake, no one should have to suffer the indignities of being without internet access. FAST access... don't try and pass off that DSL speed as a premium. And, by the way, it should be free. Hotel surcharges should be a felony.

3. Have baggage charges for carry-on and make checked baggage free -- If we want to speed up the boarding and exiting process for plane travel, an easy way would be to charge people to carry on bags. This eliminates the annoying tourist travelers, infrequent flyers, family disaster-packers and others from schlepping on twice the bags they should and trying to fit their commemorative yard-long margarita glasses in the overhead bins.

4. There should be a surcharge for families traveling with children under 10 -- The purpose? To offset the expense of noise-cancelling headphones for all other passengers. Don't misunderstand me, I think that family vacations are important. Few things are as permanently scarring as the mid-summer, Epcot Center family death march. I don't want to deny that to anyone. Let's just make some comfort tradeoffs with our fellow travelers.

5. Do away with the safety demonstration on planes -- If we have people flying who still don't know how to fasten their seat belts and for whom this little instruction is truly helpful, I am deeply concerned with their other safety issues, besides the belt.

6. Allow electronic device use at all times -- Does anyone really still believe that we are interfering with communication and navigation equipment because of a smartphone? Raise your hand if you have accidentally left a phone on during a flight because it was in your pocket or briefcase? Of course you have - and are there 747s raining down from the sky every day because of this little mistake? No -- so stop the charade. I want my electronic freedom back.

7. Kill off the hotel "free breakfast" buffet -- There is a false belief by some companies that if a professional sales person is on the road and stays at a hotel that has a "free breakfast" buffet, then the company does not need to reimburse for breakfast. I am certain that in some parts of the world, a heated loaf of egg and a couple of tubes of sugared cereal with the obligatory bunch of bananas (for garnish) makes up a balanced breakfast -- possibly this would even be considered extravagant. However, I think here in the free-world we should cough up the $8.99 Denny's Super Grand Slam reimbursement for our road-warriors, don't you?

8. No more updates to the "Security Agreement" for iTunes -- Let's just agree once: You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. OK? Now, can I please just download the next episode of "Archer" without this senseless 62-page agreement interruption? Thank you.

9. Sales reps above quota get automatic upgrades to first class -- If innovation is the engine of commerce, sales is the engine of revenue. The U.S. Government must create an incentive approach at getting to the engine of revenue, jobs, and taxes by taking care of the brave men and women foot soldiers of our economy, the road warrior sales professional.

I am only one voice in this crusade. I would love to hear all other proposals that we should add to this list. Thank you.

Flickr Photo Courtesy Zaheerm/CC2.0

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