Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stuck at an airport...

I am sitting on Chicago's O'Hare airport, and my flight back to NJ is delayed because we have no pilot. No pilot! But another pilot will arrive, but that will take some time, so the flight is 2 hours delayed, at least. And right now I got another call, from my ticket service, that at Newark airport there are strong winds so they say another 45 min delay because planes have to be more spaced apart than usual. They warned on the news that this summer is terrible for air travel in the US, and I agree! More people than ever are traveling, on fewer planes, with fewer airline employees, and less food on the planes. This airport is apparently the busiest in the nation too, and I have to go back here in September. Ick. No fun stores either to look in, I guess they are in the international part. The only interesting thing is a large model of a Brachiosaurus dinosaur in the middle of the terminal (on loan from Field Museum).

So, my conclusion of this is: Trains are better! People complain if trains are 5 min delayed, but for flights we endure hours and hours of delays. And the chairs are terrible and there aren't enough of them for all people waiting at airports, but at train station you usually don't wait for 4 hours so it doesn't matter. I also wish they had free wireless - but that doesn't seem possible, instead they make all people pay hideous amounts of dollars. There is even a website about how to sleep in airports.

So, there is my rant. I just want to go home.


AREA said...

Wow! That sucks! I hope you get home safe and sound! What happened to the other pilot?

O.K. said...

I feel for you. Douglas Adams apparently knows the pain too.

"It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "as pretty as an airport".

Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only known exception to this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.

They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve jangling colours, to make effortless the business of separating the traveller for ever from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current position of Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not."

- Douglas Adams, "The long dark tea-time of the soul"

LS said...

Update: I got home the same day.

I don't know what happened to the first pilot, but this can of course lead to a variety of interesting hypotheses. He might have been eaten by a cheetah, he might have had a bad sandwich for lunch, he might have had to stay home to take care of a baby that was sick, he might have been so sick at the airport architecture that he decided to quit... I am afraid we will never know the real story.

Also, I completely agree with Douglas Adams. It has gotten even worse with the new security rules, because now you need to squeeze through security check points in narrow paths, and you feel like you can never go back. And there are no lounge chairs! What do they think, that people will stay there forever if they put some in?

PP said...

try the airport in Kansas City where once you pass thru security there is no, food, water, magazine stands, nothing. Of course you can choose to go back out and then wait int he 1 hour line for another pass thru security. LS, how long did it take you from the time you left the hotel to when you got to Princeton Jct in total number of hours?

LS said...

it took me 10 hours exactly. Sigh. The flight was 2.5 hours so it is ridiculous. But a train would have taken 15 hours, right? Chicago - NY?