5 Best Online Tools for Searching Flights

As a frequent business traveler, I’m partial to Google Flights (our internal system is pretty poor for finding/optimizing flight times/costs)….but Your mileage may vary…



Source: 5 Best Online Tools for Searching Flights

The radical plan to destroy time zones – The Washington Post

I would love this. “What time is it on Earth?” #UTC https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/02/12/the-radical-plan-to-destroy-time-zones-2/?tid=sm_fb

Continental to Cancel Flights to Avoid Fines

As a business traveler, this is troubling news:


Due to the government’s knee-jerk reaction, the cost of travel will be rising sharply. Now, I hate getting trapped on the plane too, but the cost of these fine (and the costs associated with avoiding them) *will* be passed on to consumers….as will difficulty in getting where we’re going. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?


Inadequate testing?

And this dear readers, is why we test our software….

Crash-alert system for Metro trains continues to fail
Examiner Staff Writer
July 15, 2009

From left: D.C. Councilman Jim Graham, Metro General Manager John Catoe, NTSB board member Deborah Hersman, Tri-State Oversight Committee Chairman Eric Madison and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff are sworn in before a House panel. (Examiner)
Metro’s alert system continues to fail periodically in the area of track where one Metro train crashed into another last month, killing nine and injuring more than 70 people.
A component of the automatic train alerting system that may have failed to prevent one train from knowing another was stopped ahead on the track continues to flicker intermittently in that same spot even when new equipment is used, National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman testified Tuesday. The device removed just five days before the crash as part of routine maintenance doesn’t fix the problem, either.
The revelations were part of a three-and-half hour congressional oversight hearing in which officials testified about the deadly June 22 crash and the transit system’s overall funding shortages and lack of regulation.
The continuing problem at the crash site is why Red Line riders are still experiencing delays along the line more than three weeks after the crash.

Inexplicable failures of software happen.


Super Busy

My time has been largely booked with work. Travel has been quite extensive. In-house projects have been non-stop. As a result, there hasn’t been much time left for discretionary writing (i.e., this site). There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however.

Our HR group has posted a new position for our group (and another has tentative approval for 3rd/4th quarter). If you have any interest in Celgene, stop by the website and look in the Careers section…or drop me a line (my email address is in the comments below).

Bringing on more resources will definitely help out and hopefully clear some time for some writing. I’ve been thinking about a good number of topics that would make good discussion points. With any luck, I’ll have them up here soon.


And finally Continental takes a hit….

As a frequent business traveler, I’ve been anxiously watching the difficulties in which many airlines are finding themselves. I had been hoping not to see the following story:

Continental Airlines cuts jobs, retires planes

21 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Continental Airlines Inc said on Thursday it would cut 3,000 jobs, or about 6.5 percent of its work force, and retire 67 older planes as it scales down in the face of soaring fuel prices.

The No. 4 carrier is the latest of the major U.S. airlines to announce large cutbacks as they grapple with unprecedented oil prices. On Tuesday, UAL Corp’s United Airlines announced plans to slash jobs and flights, following a similar move by AMR Corp’s American Airlines last month.

Continental said it would cut 3,000 of its 45,000 staff, and retire 67 single-aisle Boeing 737 planes by the end of 2009, on top of the six planes it has already pulled out of service this year.

The airline said it would replace some of those older jets with deliveries of new, more fuel-efficient 737s. Its mainline fleet of about 375 planes would shrink to about 344 by the end of next year, an overall cut of about 8 percent.

It said it would cut flights after the summer season, reducing domestic capacity — or the number of seats for sale on U.S. flights — by about 11 percent in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Seeing as the Pharma belt uses EWR (Newark, NJ) as a primary airport, this is a huge hit. EWR is a hub for Continental so any hit on continental will have an impact on Pharma travel. To be fair, there have been some busier lines and fuller flights on Continental due to the problems that other carriers have been having already, but this is more direct (and doesn’t help the situation).


The Lot of the QA Road Warrior

Over the last few years, I’ve been a lot of really neat places for work: Singapore, London, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and countless domestic (US) locales….and the travel destinations of my auditor colleagues would likely make up the difference for the rest of the world. This all sounds very exciting, very jet set, very sexy.

But the truth of the matter is that a little travel goes a long way. When we go, we sit in a conference room…..a conference room that looks like most other conference rooms….and read documents, interview people, make quick notes on legal pads as the auditees look on nervously. Usually, there’s no need for them to worry…we auditors are just making notes so that we can somehow distinguish their conference room (and the work presented there) from so many others we’ve sat in during the course of our careers.

There are many downsides to my chosen profession: justifying expenses to “Corporate Expense Processors” who may or may not know what we do (usually not), waiting to get our money back, sitting in airports, sitting on planes…sitting on planes on the tarmac….waiting. Actually, there’s a lot of waiting and a lot of time away from our families….this last part is hardest.

Don’t get me wrong, there are upsides as well. We do exercise a fair amount of autonomy and have the opportunity to really make a difference with our specific expertise and skill sets. That makes for a very satisfying career, but tonight, I’m in a mood to lament the woes of life on the road. I’m not one to drone on about the hardness of my lot, especially since I’m very pleased with my recent job change, but I think that it is important to mention the downsides to even the best of situations…..I’m an auditor; they pay me to look for the ugly underbelly. And its hard to turn that off.

Well, I’m on the West Coast, but I’m still on East Coast time….so I’ll be going to bed soon. I wish a good night to all.