I’ve had some time today to reflect about flight delays, nervous markets, and the certainty of insanity.
Here’s what’s been going on.
It’s been about 36 hours since I left my apartment and headed for the airport.
My flight out of Tampa was delayed by a couple of hours.
But flight delays are normal. I still had ample time to make my connecting flight in Baltimore.
Except for one problem.
When I arrived at Baltimore Washington International Airport yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t confronted with more flight delays.
Instead, I learned that my connecting flight had been completely canceled.
More Than Just Flight Delays
Massive weather disturbances were creating pandemonium in the airport, with plenty of long flight delays and hundreds of angry passengers in evidence. Some of the airlines’ customers were so upset, in fact, that their outbursts ended with the offending parties being escorted away by the airport police.
It was quite a scene – not unlike the wild action that was going on with Wall Street traders.
Actually, though, at the time I was basically oblivious to the massive selling that was underway in the stock market.
After standing in a line of irate and weary people for two-and-a-half hours, I finally got to speak with an airline agent, who politely informed me that I was being re-booked on the next available flight – which was two days later.
By that time, of course, all the hotels near the airport were booked solid. A quick investigation revealed that the potential travel alternatives by bus or rail didn’t offer an options much better than my unscheduled two-day layover.
So right now I’m still in the Baltimore airport. There are more gory details to my travel saga, of course, but I’m confident that hearing them would be too much like listening to an account of a co-worker’s colonoscopy or having to look at hundreds of poorly-shot photos from a distant cousin’s family vacation.
So I’ll spare you.
Sanity and Certainty
Suffice it to say, I’m doing my best to put this unexpected break in my schedule to good use.
I’m catching up on some reading and writing, and I’ve been polishing up my people-watching skills.
I’ve also been thinking about sanity and certainty.
To say that air travel today borders on sheer madness is an understatement. Yet that’s precisely why I don’t feel like a victim, in spite of being in the midst of screaming hordes of stressed-out displaced travelers.
Like it or not, this kind of airport chaos has become the norm, with or without an extra dose of flight delays.
And from the looks of things, more turmoil and market volatility are likely to become the norm on Wall Street as well.
That means more uncertainty for astro-traders.
But it also means more opportunity.
As long as we don’t take market fluctuations personally, and get carried away with a victim mentality, we can actually profit from the chaos.
That means we have to get serious about maintaining our sanity while everybody else is freaking out. That’s a skill that only comes with practice.
And from that perspective, at least, maybe being stuck in airport like this is actually a good thing!