Thursday, April 9, 2009

Airport Review

I really dislike all aspects of air travel. I decided to boycott it last May, but ended up taking a plane home today anyway.

Getting to the airport:
I debated for a long time about the best combination of public transportation to take to Laguardia and almost broke down and took a taxi because my flight was pretty early. I ended up taking the combination of B61 to 7 train at Court Square in Queens to the Q72 bus. It actually was pretty easy considering I left at 5:30 am, even though I felt a little worried about being out and about so early when streets and subway platforms are not so crowded, and me with all my most expensive possessions in one bag. One thing is that the transfer to the Q72 is not free, so the trip costs 4$ and takes about an hour.

The Delta Terminal
I usually don’t take Delta so here I am discovering a whole new wing of the Laguardia airport. It is much worse than the other, main terminal I’ve been to (whatever American is?). There are no food options outside of security, and you probably wouldn’t even have time because the lines were so long, even at 6:30am. A checked bag costs 15$ extra, and they don’t even warn you about this until they want your credit card (I guess that's what I get for my boycott over the past 11 months -- not knowing the new rules. That stupid liquid thing is still in place though.) Security was nuts, with everyone frantically undressing and lining up their little buckets.

Luckily they did not make me throw away my empty $15 water bottle. I thought they would.

Inside security, the food options were bad. Sbarros, Chilis, Burger King, and Starbucks, and a little Dunkin Donuts stand. And some gift shops and a Brooks Brothers. Not even one place to buy a bagel. At the gates, that relentless booming audio from the CNN channel broadcast everywhere. It is deafening. I do not want to hear minute by minute updates about the Somali pirate hostage. I do not want to hear the early morning hosts talk about possible connections to the worldwide terrorist network. At least it is less offensive than the Lou Dobbs immigration tirade I had to hear last time I flew, as they meanwhile canceled my flight.

I still do sort of enjoy the cultureless vacuum of timelessness that is the airport. Other than that, I still hate it and resent it as an industry and will have to resume my boycott. (When you add up all the extra time getting here the waiting and the trip, the train is not that much longer.)

Update: Now that I have arrived, I would like to point out that the Raleigh-Durham airport is downright chic. When did they renovate?

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