Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tube of Toothpaste, Please

So it was a regular old business trip. I arrived at the airport and rolled into the ticketing area to see a series of large signs hanging from the ceiling, telling everyone where to go. What a difference from the confusion and chaos in Las Vegas a few weeks ago! I was so impressed that I had to take a picture. It makes an IE's heart beat with extra fondness to see neatly labeled lines for each group of passengers.

I followed the signs and selected a kiosk from my choice of four available stations to print my boarding pass, headed to the security booth, and waited for the one person ahead of me to remove his cowboy boots.

Hang on, you might ask. Did you say the one person in line at the airport? The airport security line where your shoes, jacket, and laptop must be placed in plastic bins while you walk through the metal detector in your socks?

My wonder at the smooth travel process evaporated when I remembered. Oh yeah, it's September 11.

It's a day when no one wants to fly. In fact, I'd planned on going out of my way to avoid TV coverage and didn't blog about the memorials, because it seemed like unwise mental preparation for boarding a plane later in the afternoon. As it turned out, work was so hectic that I didn't get a chance to see the news all day, so I forgot about the date until the ghost-town atmosphere at the airport brought it back into focus.

The gate agents boarded the whole plane so quickly that I was still wrapping up my PC power cord while jogging up to the desk. I tossed my almost full bottle of water (grrr) before walking aboard and finding my assigned seat. I put my jacket on the empty place beside me and looked around. Yep, a half-full plane. Superstition is a powerful thing.

When I arrived at my hotel, a few hours later, I asked for a tube of toothpaste. The registration agent reached to the side of her desk and handed me a little tube of Colgate. 10 points to the Hilton! They were well prepared. When I got to the room and found bottles of water, I was even happier. (By now, everyone knows that you can't bring liquids or gels onto the plane, right? If not, the TSA has plenty to say about it here.)

At lunch, I developed a business plan with the two other women among the three dozen people in our meeting. You can always get toothpaste, shampoo, and water at the hotel where you're traveling, but it's a pain to check in your baggage just for makeup.

We think we should arrange an on-line service, like Sephora, that provides sample size makeup delivery to business hotels. I bet you could make some good money. I'd certainly pay for it. You could enter "MAC foundation NC35" and "Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Thirsty Skin Relief Lotion" in a web form, and it'd be waiting for you at the hotel. No more thrown-away lip gloss at the security booth. No more waiting for checked bags!


Kristen said...

That is an awesome idea. I would pay for it, too, and also bill it to my company - business trip, business expense.

You guys should honestly try to market that!

Mayberry said...

I agree--it's an excellent idea. Busy business travelers have become so good at carrying everything on to avoid baggage claim--I know they are all so frustrated by the new rules.

Glad you traveled safely.

Jenny said...

I would TOTALLY pay for that service.

Bob said...

What a great idea.

Binkytown said...

That is a brilliant idea! (Glad you made it there safely too!)I'll bet it felt just a little creepy.

Lady M said...

You can be the test market group! :)