After the convention ended last night — which for many in the media meant 1 a.m. — media wrap parties started around New York.
FOX had their wrap party at the Muse Hotel (search). I arrived about 1:30 a.m. - yes, 1:30 a.m. - since "On The Record" had the final two convention hours and we did not turn the camera lights off until 1 a.m.
Frankly, it has been a long time (college?) since I went to a party at 1:30 in the morning. Everyone at the FOX party was having fun but I wonder this morning how everyone feels. I don't mean people were drinking excessively (many were not drinking at all) but rather because everyone I spoke to had an early flight or train out of New York or had simply been working 18 hour days since the convention began and felt exhausted.
Jim Angle, our senior White House correspondent, told me that he had an early flight for Milwaukee to catch up with the Bush campaign (the president left right after his speech last night).
I left the party before 2 a.m. and went to my hotel. I discovered that our hotel bar was likewise supporting a party but an impromptu one. There were journalists from the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Nation Magazine and MSNBC.
Despite the fact that news organizations compete with each other, we are good friends behind the scenes. Many of us have worked together at various news organizations or have just covered so many news events over the years that we just know each other well.
In any event, we don't miss a beat — yes, the convention is over but everyone I spoke to last night was already talking about hurricane coverage and the upcoming debate. It felt a bit like, “what convention?” Journalists move on very fast.
Now I want to do something purely selfish - gripe!
As I made my NYC exit (on no sleep), US Air had a surprise for me. I got up at 7 a.m. for an early flight. I had planned a four-day weekend with my husband (which was reduced to three days yesterday when I was asked to work Monday).
My husband left yesterday for our little excursion. I got to the airport and was told the US Air flight was cancelled.
I said, “when?” The answer: “3:30 yesterday afternoon.”
I asked, “Why didn't you bother to call?” Answer, “we did.” I asked, “when?”
The agent said “it says here in the computer at 5:25 a.m. this morning.”
I said, “why would you call at 5:25 a.m. for a flight that was cancelled at 3:30 p.m. yesterday?”
The agent agreed that it is really lousy service and was embarrassed. The airline had more than fifteen hours to notify me and chose to do it stealthily in the middle of the night.
The agent also said that the call was placed to my husband's office. (Incidentally I am sure my many records with US Air have my cell phone number.) My husband, also annoyed since he was already at our three day vacation spot waiting, was not happy to get my call saying the next flight is not for hours.
He then, called his office and there was no message on his answering machine. He wonders whether a call was even made although I think that is irrelevant — they could have called after 3:30 yesterday (the plane is very small so the passenger list has to be under fifty!)
By the way, call me stupid. I am a US Air Chairman's Preferred member which means that I fly more than 100,000 miles a year on US Air and/or more than 100 flights a year on the airline which qualifies me for special good service.
The airline rewards consumer loyalty like mine. Each month US Air also sends me tons of mail telling me about all the great special services they provide those of us - Chairman Preferred members -who are so loyal to their airline ... hmmmm ...
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