Sunday, September 06, 2009

Bonkers

An email about travel to the AGU meeting in San Francisco was sent round at work recently. I've rewritten for clarity, but the meaning was the same in the original:
Flights from San Francisco to Narita on Dec. 19 [the day after the meeting ends] are going to be busy. We have already booked some seats, so please ask soon if you need one. Please do not delay your departure date to the 20th even if you can not find a seat on the 19th. JAMSTEC rules prohibit this.
I wonder if they will refund the cost of water wings?

(The "official" solution to the conundrum is to return on the 18th, irrespective of whether you are scheduled to give a presentation that day, which of course people don't even know at this time...note that all flights leave in the morning, so there is no question of dashing to the airport straight from the session.)

10 comments:

crandles said...

And the unofficial solution is ..... to book a flight on 19th to LA for a jolly and fly back on the 20th from LA so you can say you started your return on the 19th ?

Hank Roberts said...

Hmmm. Book out of SFO via Oakland with a day two layover (return to SF via bus and BART for the layover, return to Oakland for your eventual flight across the Date Line into Tomorrow).

Or just interpret their instructions as requiring action according to their clock/calendar, not the local date/time?

Steve Bloom said...

Or just leave on the 21st or after. :)

James Annan said...

You're mostly right. Going via LAX doesn't really help unless you actually want to return on the 19th, as I'm sure there are connecting flights and thus no chance for much of a jolly.

The standard trick is to get some accomplice in the locality to invite you to some "scientific discussions" on the 19th or even later. Then you have the perfect excuse to amend your business trip and stay a few more days. To remain strictly above board, the scientific discussions have to actually take place, but may do so in a pub :-)

But it's a bit depressing that the bureaucrats prefer a system of petty duplicity rather than just fixing broken bits of the system.

EliRabett said...

You could send your computer. No one would notice.

EliRabett said...

A bit more seriously, why was this rule put in place. Usually nuttiness like this is the result of abuse by bigwig who can;t be fired, so they screw everyone.

James Annan said...

Rumour has it that it's something to do with preventing people from taking trips where the real intention is to have a holiday, although there is an official exemption to this ban in the case of visits to the researcher's (overseas) home country, which we have taken advantage of a few times. But in general the sledgehammer ends up throwing the baby out with the crushed nut.

Chuck said...

If the direct flights are all booked, then can you fly via an intermediate destination? e.g. SFO->HNL->Narita. Or SFO->SYD (evening flight) -> Narita.

Hank Roberts said...

> accomplice in the neighborhood

Maybe one of these guys? (Berkeley)
http://gdrights.org/authors/

James Annan said...

I'm not going, but if I was, I'd be sorely tempted to fly "via" London in which case I could legally have as long a holiday as I want in the UK. Mind you a couple of hours in Honolulu might be preferable to a week of winter in Britain!