It was 2:00 AM on a brand new and sparkling year, 2011 to be exact. I was aware that I had to wake up at 3:30 am to get ready and head out to the airport by 4:00 AM, this would give me plenty of time at the airport to check-in and to make it to my flight since my flight was not taking off until 5:40 AM. This was a business trip that had been planned months ahead and that it was necessary for me to fulfill without any error. If I remember correctly I was on a conference call 6 months earlier talking about how I already had to reserve January 1st for this business trip. That is how far in advance my schedule for this trip was set up.
As an iPhone owner that has grown to rely on the integrated alarm clock I set up my alarm but something was telling me that I was going to miss the flight and I was going to wake up late, I guess its the same feeling everyone has when traveling and all of the sudden feels the fear of missing a flight. So my wife set up her alarm clock on her iPhone as well, this would help us have double assurance that everything was going to work out as planned. Now, lets remember that this is January 1st at 2:00 AM and we received the new year with two kids in bed, watching a TV show and chatting about the new events of the new 2011 so it is not like my fear was grounded due to excess of partying but rather it was probably only due to all the planning that was involved ahead of time was keeping me on my toes for this day.
When I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep at some point I considered going to the living room and doing some preliminary work which would keep me awake until 3:30 AM to get ready for the flight but I figured an hour and a half of sleeping was well worth it since I was going to be working and traveling at least until 10:00 PM the same day. Besides we had two alarm clocks, What could go wrong?
Fast forward to 6:09 AM. An email from my bank came in to report the current balance of my personal account as it does every day but this time was different, it came in with a “Bing”! which woke my wife and I. At this time I was not aware of what time it was but I knew it was later (or earlier depending on how you see it) since a glimpse of light was coming through the bedroom curtains. I knew I was in trouble. I quickly picked up my iPhone and saw it was after 6:00 AM and that there was no way I was making it to the airport to my flight, rapidly I started running ideas through my head trying to figure out what to do and how to “fix” this issue. While I was trying to figure out what to do I kept repeating to myself – I knew I was going to oversleep – I fired up the Delta iPhone app and checked for the next flights available from my city to my destination. The next flight was at 6:45 AM, I knew it would take me at least 30 minutes to get to the airport plus the flight change at the front desk and going through security there was no way I was going to make it. So I browsed through the app and the next direct flight was not until 11:45 AM. Too late.
I realized it was time to do damage control, I fired off some emails and waited for everyone else to wake up in my destination area so I could let them know that I definitely missed my flight and that I was not going to fulfill this business trip.
While I was in my home office browsing through the world news, waiting for email responses I ran across a post that stated that there is in fact a software glitch on the iPhone for January 1, 2011. After reading the post it all made sense,
1. There was not a “Snooze” screen on my phone indicating that I had slept through the alarm clock and that it tried to wake me up.
2. How was it possible that the one sound of an incoming email woke us up but not the continuous sound of an alarm?
We had been victims of the software glitch.
I fired up twitter and there multiple reports of people missing work or similar due to the alarm issue so I knew I was not alone. If you do a search in google you can find multiple sites describing the issue.
Interestingly enough some people are replying to the posts with “Give it a rest” or “It’s just an alarm clock, no a big deal”.
I will agree with some people who say it is not a big deal since it is just an alarm, but when you have grown to rely on the alarm for important occasions, it becomes a big deal. I did learn my lesson and for the important dates I will go back to a good old battery-powered alarm clock, or maybe two.
What a great way to start the sparkling new year!
* Missed first flight of the year [check]
* Missed first meeting of the year [check]
If you were in my shoes would you attribute these issues to a wonderful software glitch by Mr. Jobs or would you assume it is all your own fault?