Communication Tips From the Unlucky Traveler

by Betty Lochner on October 9, 2014

delayed planeMy name is Betty and I am an unlucky traveler.

I can’t explain why, but I do know of several colleagues who will no longer travel with me because, well,  things just happen to me.  If a storm is coming, plane maintenance is needed,  or the luggage guy gets confused, you can count on me to be on that flight.  Today was no exception.

I was in Richmond, Virginia to speak about Generations at Work at the NCSL conference, and then visited with CSPN colleagues.

The day started with an over “snooze,”  $10 short for a cab fare,  and then a flight delay (mechanical), a missed flight (bad signage), and now, I sit in a hotel near the airport waiting to try it all again tomorrow.  Since, this is not unusual for me, I have developed skills to deal with it.  Today I was labeled  one of many “distressed passengers.”  But, I think I was the only one that was looking forward to unexpected time alone in a hotel room.  With good food.  And wine.  And a big TV on a good TV night.

I’ve trained my husband to expect the worse and be grateful when I get home safely. Tonight he said he was in a meeting when the texts started coming. He shared and laughed and simply said to his colleagues “things happen to Betty when she travels.”

Yet, through experience, I’ve learned to go with the flow and I have a strategy for dealing with my traveler’s curse.  That strategy includes 3 simple key components:

1)      Be nice.

2)      Chill out.

3)      Have fun.

This strategy can be applied to the non-cursed as well.  Try it in the long line at the grocery store,  the traffic jam, or the cancelled meeting.

People respond really well to nice people in bad situations. I guarantee you will make someone’s day better by not making it worse.

Through these simple strategies, I have gotten free coupons, free bags, free wine, free food, and lots of free thank you’s for not being the cranky ungrateful customer complaining about things that are out of their control.

Tomorrow, I will get back into the craziness I call my life and wait for my next travel drama.

But for now, I indulge in a free hotel room on a good TV night, writing the blog post I never have time for,  and enjoying the fact that I’m not on a plane that had a faulty something that could have gone really wrong.


Betty LochnerBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transform your life at work and at home.  To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website:



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