Is the government shutdown affecting your travel plans?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by dhammer53, Oct 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Is the government shutdown affecting your travel plans? It's affecting mine.

    My wife has an essential job, so she hasn't been furloughed. That means that she has to report to work to get paid. If she misses a day, or a week, no salary. She's not in the habit of taking an unpaid vacation. Well, we have travel plans that I may have to cancel if the government doesn't re-open for business anytime soon.

    Good thing these award tickets were booked on Southwest. ;)

    Since this is the Travel forum and not Omni, my question to you: Has the government shutdown affected your travel plans?
     
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  2. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Much like your wife I am "essential", I have to go to work and not get paid until the politicians figure out what their job is.
     
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  3. StevenGerrard

    StevenGerrard Silver Member

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    Even gov Shut down the whole county then in compare to this its not a big deal :p
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I consult for NIH as a research grant application reviewer three times a year and was scheduled to fly out on Oct 2 to ORD for one of these NIH review meetings. However, on Oct 1, I received an email from the NIH review administrator asking that I cancel the trip to ORD because he and the meeting were canned as a result of the shutdown. The meeting, which must happen because of its implications for America's competitiveness in biomedical research, has been postponed indefinitely...

    There are hundreds of such grant application review meetings scheduled for which NIH pays the transportation and lodging costs. I hope they have a special deal with airlines and hotels where they do not incur any charges for cancellations because it would be pretty ironic: The Tea baggers' purported reason for shutting the government down is that there is too much wasteful spending, and yet wasteful spending is precisely what the shutdown has exacerbated!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    When I go to research grant review panel meetings (not NIH), the agency books our plane tickets at government fares. These can be cancelled or changed without fees, even when they're HCA fares rather than YCA, although usually the government travel agency (SATO) makes the reservation early but doesn't issue the ticket until just before travel.

    However, we make our own hotel reservations and get per diem, so it would be up to individuals to deal with hotel cancellation penalties. I don't--and we're not encouraged--but some participants typically use nonrefundable rates or priceline.

    These meetings are scheduled far in advance to enable participation of the desired individuals. Rescheduling would be a big mess and cause them to make compromises about the expertise represented in the group. On the individual side, people rearrange their schedules around these meetings. Very inconvenient and suboptimal for everyone, including its impact on the quality of the decisions about which projects to fund and the feedback that researchers receive from the process.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    For NIH review panel meetings, unless a consultant has a very good reason for handling their own transportation and lodging arrangements, both must be handled by NIH designated services: "For non-federal reviewers to avoid out-of-pocket cost or additional fees, travel reservations to attend an NIH Peer Review meeting or requests for alternate routings must be made through WorldTravelService (WTS). Please note that if you cannot use WTS for any reason, this must be pre-approved by Mrs. xxx: xxx@nih.hhs.gov."

    The tickets can be requested and are issued as soon as WTS is provided with a meeting code and the names of the participants, who are allowed ONE change because, often, it is not clear when a meeting would end. However, I have always wondered whether the change fee is waived because it is a government ticket.

    For NIH, there are two types of review panels: (a) chartered review panels or "study sections", on which members are appointed for 3-4 years at a time; and (b) special emphasis panels (SEPs), on which membership is ad hoc; these convene only on as needed basis. There are SEPs that are semi chartered in that the same members are often re-assembled. In my opinion, the chartered panels, on which I serve, are the best for the applicants because there is continuity and the members tend to be more collegial and less egotistical. But all the panels have the drawbacks that you mentioned with respect to scheduling conflicts as well as the disproportionate amount of work relative to the meager compensation, etc...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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  7. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Had a trip scheduled to Arches NP this Thursday but we'll probably cancel it.
     
  8. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    No impact in the slightest here or my household members or friends or family so far.
     
  9. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I heard a report on the radio where someone waited 18 years to get a permit to kayak/raft down the Colorado River. He was seriously complaining about all the money he lost on permits and airlines fees.
    Anyone else lose money?
     
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  10. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    I'm seriously thinking about moving to a country with a WORKING government.
     
  11. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    About the only thing open near there would be Dead Horse State Park and you can see it in about an hour.

    DTWBOB
     
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  12. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Yup. Luckily we live about 4 hours from it so it's not the end of the world for us... we're usually there a few times a year anyway. Dead Horse is amazing but you're right, it doesn't take much time there.

    Utah Gov Herbert is trying to arrange agreements with the park Service to open the parks since the nearby towns are suffering so much, we'll see if it gets any traction. I feel really badly for States that haven't weathered the economic storm as well as Utah and don't have financial resources to take similar action.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way...utdown-prompts-emergency-declarations-in-utah
     
  13. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    US Antarctic Programme summer research is expected to be completely cancelled for 2013/14 season in a few days time.
     
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  14. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Only indrect impact - coworkers on furlough, various gov't decisions delayed, etc. Long term, it could be ugly.
     
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  15. DCAview
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    DCAview Silver Member

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    Just cancelled a Columbus Day weekend trip to DC to show the kids the Smithsonian and zoo. We're planning on trying again over Veterans' Day weekend (if the impasse is resolved by then).
     

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