This is how an OK journey design ends up as a trains wreck. Getting from Penn Station to JFK:
- At Penn Station:
- Passenger “Can I get to JFK from here?”
- Ticket Office: “Yes trains take 20 minutes and leaves every 15. It costs$4.19.”
- On the platform:
- Passenger: “Does this train go to JFK?”
- Fellow passenger: ” Yes but you have to change at Jamaica. This is definitely the right route.”
- On train:
- Passenger: “Won’t I need to keep my ticket for the leg from Jamaica to JFK?”
- Guard: “No you need to pay another $5 for that leg”
- At Jamaica Station:
- Announcement: “Sorry the trains to JFK are cancelled you need to go 1 stop then switch to a shuttle. Sorry for the inconvenience”.
- Passenger: “How long will it take to take to JFK?”.
- Guard: “I can’t say but if you are in a hurry you should take a Taxi which will take 20 minutes.
- At JFK:
- Driver: “Alight here for terminal 4”
Ultimately the end to end journey from Penn station to JFK takes 3 times longer than promised and costs twice as much. It could have cost me the flight and it felt like they didn’t give a damn.
A few more words by the front line staff at Penn Station and JFK was all it would have taken to transform the experience.
A reminder, if any is needed, of the importance of beginnings and endings of journeys be they virtual or physical.