Last week I was on business travel to our nation's capital. Now, as you all know, I hate travel, especially when it's business travel and not vacation travel. This was going to be a pretty long trip: leave home on Monday, return Friday night, and I was not feeling too happy about it. To make the trip more palatable, I arranged to have dinner on Wednesday night with one of my cousins who lives in the area.
As it turned out, a gigantic snowstorm was making its way towards the area. The meeting was shortened and we were to finish up on Thursday rather than Friday. Because of that, the organizers moved some sessions from later in the week to Wednesday night. To preserve my sanity, I skipped those sessions and had dinner with my cousin as originally planned.
The last question was, how to get out of there before the blizzard struck. On Wednesday, my airline was not letting people change flight plans without paying $800 for the privilege. So I called my work's travel agency and they reserved me a rental car (1/4 the cost of changing flights). I had two other friends in the same boat with the same airline, so driving home seemed both economical and doable. But just before we picked up the car, we thought we'd try one last time person-to-person at the airline counter. The folks at the counter had more of an incentive to let us change -- they were the ones who'd have to deal with us on Friday after our flights were canceled. So they agreed to change our reservations for free. We got home Thursday afternoon safe and sound, more than a day earlier than originally planned, and several hours earlier than I had anticipated based on driving.