Business Travel Makes Me Long for Zoom Meetings

Manny Otiko
4 min readSep 5, 2023
Photo from Rawpixles

Here’s a piece of advice for people who plan to fly in the near future, — don’t. I had to take a supposedly short flight from Ontario, Calif. to Sacramento, Calif. for a one-day convention and it was a nightmare. Put it this way, it had me believing in purgatory and I’m an atheist.

Purgatory is a good description for the modern American airport. In your average airport experience, you’re going to encounter delayed flights, overcrowded waiting areas, invasive body searches and prices that seem like Jabba the Hutt set them.

Gouged Worse Than Samson

For example, I paid $17 for a very average chicken sandwich and $4.40 for a bottle of water. (You can buy a whole pack for that back home.)

My first mistake was flying American Airlines. Nothing about this airline seems professional. My first experience with American was so bad, that if I ever see their name again, I will run in the opposite direction faster than former President Donald Trump runs from indictments.

Firstly, American Airlines doesn’t fly directly to Sacramento. That was one of many mistakes I made. The one-hour flight to Sacramento was routed through Phoenix, Ariz. And after delays, I finally got to my hotel room where the convention was being hosted at 7 p.m. on Friday. (I left California at 12 p.m.) This left just enough time to run to my room, change into my business suit and then go to the convention, which closed at 8 p.m. I got there at 7:30!

Apart from being unprofessional, I get the impression American Airlines’ fleet seems to be falling apart. It should be called Air Hoopty. When do you ever hear about a plane not being able to land because of hydraulics, but going back to the departing airport?

A Day at the Phoenix Airport

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Manny Otiko

Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.