We’ve Got a Volcano to Beat

This isn’t a story about printing, but it is one about business and taking care of customers. And those are issues every bit as important as delivering great print quality.

Going over to Ipex in May was a bit of an adventure, thanks to that volcano in Iceland that just kept on keeping on. I was enjoying a cappuccino in the U.S. Airways Envoy lounge in Philadelphia when the announcement was made that flights to several cities in the U.K. and Europe were cancelled. I immediately called the Gold Preferred line at the airline, picturing the milling hordes in the concourse queuing up at the customer service counters. About a dozen plane loads of people just learned that their vacation or business trip was not going to start quite as planned. I didn’t want to be down there.

On the phone I talked with a fellow named Jason and learned that nearly every airport in western Europe was closed, or would be 7 hours hence when my plane was scheduled to arrive in Manchester, U.K. Jason was solicitous, caring, trying options for flights on U.S. and other carriers. However, with so many flights cancelled and others packed to the luggage bins, getting across the pond did not look good.

But when you have to cross an ocean, any plane headed in the right direction is a good one. So we went through the list of airports. Nothing in the U.K. worked. Neither did Paris, Brussels, A-dam, Frankfurt, Berlin or Zurich. So I’m working my way east across central Europe. How about Munich? Vienna? Yes, there were still a few seats to Munich. I’d have to sit there for 7 hours, then get a Luthansa flight to London, which was likely to be open the next afternoon. Then a train to Birmingham. Not great, but what’s travel without a little adventure?

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Noel Ward is Managing Director of Brimstone Hill Associates, which specializes in marketing communications in the printing industry, including video production. He can be reached at 603-672-3635 or via email at noel@brimstonehill.com. His website is brimstonehill.com, and he has a YouTube channel.
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