Friday, October 01, 2004

AM, PM, What's the Difference?

So I am relaxing Friday evening at home before my Saturday departure BACK to Korea for yet another customer meeting (I just got back from Korea a week ago). I had set my travel itinerary on my wife's desk and she was just taking a look at it.

"You're leaving in four hours?"


"It says here that you're leaving at 12:30am."

"No. I am leaving at 12:30pm tomorrow afternoon, just like I did for my last trip."

"That's not what it says here"

"That must be a typo. Let me see that." My stomach starting dropping. I knew that Korean Air did have a midnight departure flight, and the itinerary did say 12:30am. "How can this be?"

I called KAL and confirmed that I was leaving in four hours. I also found out that there was not a single seat left on any of the four LAX-Seoul flights on Saturday day. Not one. If I were going to make it to Korea for my Monday morning meeting, I had to start packing.

"You're right," I said to my wife. "I told my admin to put me on the same itinerary as last time, and when I saw 12:30, I just assumed it was the same 12:30 AFTERNOON flight as I was on just two weeks ago. I guess I should have checked more closely."

My wife gave me the "how can someone so smart be so stupid" look. "I saved your ass."

She's right. Missing the meeting would not have been that big a deal, but I would have looked pretty stupid if I had to tell my management that I missed my flight due to an am/pm mix-up. To my defense, if the travel agency had used 24-hour time like every other ticket I ever had it would have said 0:30, which would have got my attention.

At any rate, that is why I am sitting here at 11:00pm in the LAX KAL lounge.

Funny thing about midnight flights at LAX - car traffic is incredibly light getting here, but the international terminal is just jammed packed. Every single country must have a red-eye leaving around midnight from this place.

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