Charla Huber: Travel woes still better than lockdown


The summers of 2020 and 2021 have been rough and lonely.

There was a lot of travel frustration among people in our region and beyond. Gasoline prices are high, flights are being canceled and delayed in record numbers, and our ferries are facing scheduling and staffing issues.

I wrote about this a few weeks ago my own experience of flying for a business trip. The message I wanted to convey was to be kind and patient with frontline airline staff. I wrote this column in the middle of my journey. I had more delays and canceled flights after I submitted it, and I figured that despite my frustration, I needed to practice what I was preaching.

This week I had to travel across the province for a couple of events I was organizing inland and this time I decided to drive. During the week I covered many kilometers and spent several hours in the car.

It wasn’t as fast as flying but seemed like a better option to me knowing I could be moving toward a goal in my time rather than spending a lot of time sitting and waiting.

I took various routes around the province, from traveling through southern BC along the border and then back through the mountains. A beautiful landscape, a dip in a river and a spontaneous stop in a ghost town enriched the trip.

There is no perfect solution and traveling in a heatwave is not ideal, but when I think about the last few summers we’ve had, despite the challenges, it’s better than sitting at home.

The summers of 2020 and 2021 have been rough and lonely. Today we can travel, hold face-to-face gatherings, and visit people outside of our “bubbles.”

Back when I felt like I was cooped up in my house, I wouldn’t have had issues with delays because I was dying to get something done.

COVID is not over yet and now we are working to navigate our way through this time

There has been news of airline workers being threatened and verbally abused by frustrated travelers and this is not okay.

Frontline staff are not to blame for the delays and some have told me first hand that some of the problems are due to staff shortages.

Being disrespectful and shaming of frontline workers is more likely to lead to more staffing issues and ultimately more cancellations and delays.

I am grateful that like many of us, we can travel for both work and pleasure. If you’ve traveled before and tried to make a ferry reservation or book a rental car, I’m sure you’re aware of the difficulties.

When I waited too long to make a ferry reservation, I ended up having to leave a day early and choose the only available option for a reservation.

I had to extend a business trip by a day while waiting for a rental car to become available. In both cases I could have planned better and considered the timing. I notice that.

There are things we can control and other things we cannot. There is a high demand for travel and we all need to take ownership of the things that we can control.

However, for the things we can’t control, we have to do our best to find our way.

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