Orbitz fail fail fail with fail sauce: without asking markgritter whether he wanted it, they automatically placed an auto-dialer call to remind him of the flight he'd booked through them. Their auto-dialer apparently automatically calls three hours before the flight is scheduled to take off, which does give most people enough time to pack and get to the airport if they'd forgotten. Unfortunately, in this case that made it 4:30 a.m. It turns out that while having the alarm go off at 5:30 is no fun, that last hour of uninterrupted sleep is really rather crucial. Particularly as I knew markgritter had set his cell phone as a backup alarm, and I am not at my mental best at 4:30 a.m. for some reason, so I was not at all sure why markgritter was not getting up. The phone rang, it was time to get up. That was what I knew. And yet I also knew that there was some reason beyond the usual selfishly wanting to keep him that I was not poking him to get out of bed. I just couldn't put my finger on what that reason might be.
I have some things I'd like to get done today. I just don't know how that's going to go with the crazy-tired-brain. If only I could nap well. Blarg.
Argh. Yeah, I think Orbitz changed it recently so that instead of asking you on a booking-by-booking basis whether you want phone alerts, they have it set to "yes" by default. For bonus fun, mine are sent by text message - I can turn the phone call ringer on my phone off, but there is no way to turn off the "You have a text message" sound. Nothing quite like being awakened at 3:00 in the morning by a text telling you your flight has been delayed by 4 minutes.
Well, and I can see where "it's noon, and your 5:00 flight has been pushed back to 6:30," would be useful information for which one would want the update. So I can see where they got to the idea that sending out updates on flight time would be a useful thing. It's just that the execution leaves a bit to be desired.
Back when I was more actively involved in implementing software, I worked with a wise not-very-old sysadmin who always followed an iron rule: the only person whose cellphone or pager should ever be set off by software is the person who wrote that software. (This was obviously never intended to include the sort of software that such devices require to work at all.)
I guess standards have grown lax in these latter days.