Last week I travelled to Racine, Wisconsin to do a much-anticipated job for SC Johnson. As Dan Fogelberg sang, “The audiences were heavenly but the travelling was hell.” I’ll spare you the long drawn out story of my travel travails but suffice to say I wound up spending a lot more time in airports than I expected. My Delta flight from Miami was so late I missed my 4:20 PM connection in Atlanta. I was quickly put on the next flight and scheduled to leave for Milwaukee at 6:45. Unfortunately that flight was postponed time after time until Delta canceled it altogether at 9:30.
Luckily I was able get a one-way ticket on an AirTran flight scheduled to leave at 10:20. Up until now I have avoided AirTran, remembering that they strategically changed their name from ValueJet right after they stuffed a plane so deep into the Everglades muck that there was nothing left to pull out. But I did need to get to Wisconsin and they had a flight available. Thanks to more delays, that 10:20 flight didn’t leave until 2:30 in the morning but I was still able to make my meetings with SC Johnson (albeit on two hours sleep).
When my work was over, my hosts where nice enough to arrange a tour of their Frank Lloyd Wright designed campus – an afternoon of joy for an architecture groupie like me. Then a quick flight to Detroit where I eagerly checked the connections board only to find five dreaded red letters next to my flight to Miami – “CNCLD.”
Two Delta flights cancelled in two days! And this one meant an overnight stay at the scenic Detroit Airport Clarion Hotel, albeit with two six-dollar meal vouchers from Delta. Who said flying’s not glamorous anymore?
When I posted my plight on Twitter, @Randy_Gage responded that Delta stands for “Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport” which pretty much fit my experience.
Randy’s tweet, coupled with last week’s blog post “What’s In A Name?” got me wondering what’s in an acronym? FIAT used to stand for “Fix It Again, Tony” and Saab meant “Swedish Automobiles Always Break” and neither brand is sold in the US anymore. Bud is short for “Beer’s UnDrinkable” and I agree with that. TCBY used to stand for “This Can’t Be Yogurt” until they were sued for copyright infringement by the “This Can’t Be Butter” people and changed their acronym to “The Country’s Best Yogurt.” I can’t tell you if that was true but I doubt it.
Some brands have managed to avoid the fate of their acronyms. Ford used to stand for “Fix Or Repair Daily” but seems to have figured out how to build quality cars. And BMW stood for “Break My Window” in the eighties but changed their electronics and cut down on radio theft.
Getting back to my feelings about Delta, I can’t think of a better acronym using their name but I do like IBACDIHBIFWTA which is short for “It’ll Be A Cold Day In Hell Before I Fly With Them Again.”