Posted by: Peter Scott | May 20, 2006

Flying

Although Birmingham is not the closest airport to my home it is very convenient. There is a train from almost outside my front door to the terminal with a journey time of 45 minutes and even by road it is just over an hour if traffic is light; and light it is at 4:30 am! The other plus point about Birmingham is that is far enough from London to avoid some airspace congestion.

One of my assignments before moving full time into BI was to manage the support of the European call centre system for a frequent flyer scheme for a major Dutch airline (OK, it was KLM). The custom software was quite sophisticated at the time: dialled number channelled incoming calls to agents who spoke the correct language, number recognition attempted to match the caller’s records to the number of the phone they were using, there were links to the reservations database to check flight details, and links to e-fulfilment systems to allocate rewards and to send out requested mailings. Well the point is that apart from the times I actually lived in Amsterdam (implementations and upgrades) I tended to fly out weekly for review meetings and knew what it was like to commute from London to Amsterdam, possible but not pleasant. Somehow the journey from Birmingham is not so bad; Wednesday’s flight pushed back on time and arrived in Amsterdam early, in fact I caught a train from the airport station at the same time my flight was scheduled to arrive (despite having walked from the furthest pier possible). Total time from take-off to office door 100 minutes, now that can’t be bad.

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