I have concluded, after long and careful study, that airports suck. I hate flying to begin with, but since 9/11, it’s been a pain in the ass for no particularly good reason – but that’s not the point of this post.
Yesterday, I arrived with at Providence’s Greene airport with a bunch of stuff at 7:30 in the AM for a 9:30 flight. So far, so good. The only problem is that my flight was cancelled, so I was switched to another carrier, and my entire itinerary was changed around completely. First, it meant that I was going to be stuck in Providence until 11am. Then, it meant that I would be flying through Atlanta – which added almost 2 hours to my flight time. In addition, to get this working required running back and forth several times hauling my luggage between the two counters.
When I finally check my luggage in at Delta, the hassled my about my mike stand. (Note for the uninitiated – a mike stand is a virtually indestructable device made of tubular aluminium. It’s used to support microphones for recording music and voices. It has approximately the offensive capacity of a wet bagel.) They finally allowed my to check it as luggage after I signed a waiver which stated that it was delicate and improperly packed, and they were not responsible if it was damaged. Okay… I’ll live….
So I stooge around in the airport drinking overpriced, bad coffee and listening to the same security announcements over and over again… Not a good start to my day. Then I go through security – and get pulled out for extra security. I guess Delta didn’t like my aftershave or something. This is a large bore pain in the ass complete with having my bags disassembled, a pat down, and wand search. Nevermind the questionable legality (how do you spell color of law boys and girls?)
Okay, so I’m through security and am really infuriated, feeling both degraded and violated. I go to get myself a drink. (I normally don’t drink… but do know when to make an exception) I go to the bar and order a screwdriver. Guess what? – no orange juice… So I ask for a Captain and Coke… No Captain Morgan (can you tell it’s not my day…) I finally settle for a Bicardi and Coke – not my usual but borderline acceptable.
I get on the plane, with the usual jostling, hauling luggage around, listening to screaming kids, and whatnot. With all the fuss, we don’t notice until we reach the gate that we’re not seated together. This raises the annoyance factor, as my carryon has books for both of us. We divvy up the books appropriately, and get ourselves settled in.
After this comes the only good thing that happened all day – I met a fine lady named Corinna Raznikov. She runs her own business as a wedding photographer, and we had a nice talk about many things. We spoke of art, technology, business, and how they came together and balanced each other. (Her site is at http://www.raznikovphotography.com). I finally thought my day was turning around.
BZZZT… WRONG thank you for playing.
I get to Atlanta, and get myself off the plane, and have a bite to eat. We get to the gate and start boarding, and it takes forever and a day. The plane is a widebody, and that spells fun, don’t you know. We get settled in, and since this is a rather long flight (pretty much coast to coast) they’re going to play an in-flight movie. The movie is theoretically free. Unfortunately, the jacks attached to the armrests are non-standard. This means that if you want to actually listen to the movie, you need a matching cable. Of course, the only way to get this was to pay for a headset (which included the cable). We ended up buying two, one for each of us, even though we really only needed one (for Gianna – I carry my own headphones).
Finally (after a movie and much more sitting in place while the plane moves and my neck and shoulders get tighter) we arrive in Las Vegas. Now begins the baggage fiasco. We end up sitting around for over an hour after arriving, because something broke down and the bags didn’t get unpacked. After they finally get all the luggage unpacked – my stand still wasn’t out. I ended up going down to Delta’s baggage kiosk and staring at them until they found it for me.
Finally, baggage in hand, I made my way out to the car. This was a truly crappy day and I was seriously glad it was over. We went home and piled into bed – the new year would have to turn over without us this year.