Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Airport Redemption

Sometimes traveling for work is the pits. Strike that. MOST times traveling for work is the pits. But the personal benefits often times make up for it. With all the loyalty rewards I receive from my business travel, Chris and I are almost always guaranteed space in the overhead compartment for our carry on suitcase, a free rental car once or twice a year and at least one trip to Michigan paid for with miles. And let's not forget a night or two at a Hilton property. All are very nice perks.

The down side is a trip like my Sunday-Monday adventure. The last two days have been absolutely brutal! Saturday night we changed the clocks and I am pretty sure everyone has read a post, made a post or thought about reading or making a post about how the time change really messes up their little ones. Well, it messed up this not-so-little one something FIERCE!

My flight left on Sunday morning at 6:00 am. We live 40 minutes away from the airport, but with parking, shuttles and security, we budget for an hour to get through security, and boarding was to begin at 5:30 am. That means I needed to get up at 3:00 am in order to shower and get to the airport on time. Funny thing, the actual time change was to occur at 2:00 am. So, if we spring forward at 2:00 am to 3:00 am, then it could have been possible to miss the time of 3:00 and move straight to 3:01 depending on how many seconds ahead my clock may be. And with the whole new year thing and iPhone alarms not working, I was a little worried. I set two alarms for 3:05 just be be safe. And because I was so worried, I looked at the clock every 30-45 minutes or so. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep on Saturday night.

Sunday, the flight was non eventful but I had to connect through Chicago O'Hare, which I typically avoid like the plague. For me, my on-time departure and arrival stats in and out of ORD is about 50%. Not very promising. But Sunday was uneventful. And for as tired as I was, I got to go through the tunnel that was surely designed by Jerry Garcia, or maybe Pink Floyd or some other drugged-up rocker. Nevertheless, even the crankiest of travelers can appreciate the effort ORD makes to garner a smile out of travelers, experts and rookies alike.

I remember spending hours in the tunnel of moving colors as a kid when we were stuck in Chicago on our way to Florida. The walls are lined with gigantic paint chips in order of color and the ceiling with squiggly lines of color that move opposite the moving walkway. They change color and dance through the "sky" causing anyone who's not immune to smiling to look up. If you are really into it, you won't hear the constant repetition of "moving walkway is ending, please look down." 9 out of 10 times through that tunnel, I have seen someone stumble at the end.

So, my goal for the rest of my business travel this year is to find the redeeming quality of the airports I go through. O'Hare, thanks for the tunnel! It always makes me smile!

I will start trying to think of something nice to say about the North Terminal in Detroit. So far I am coming up empty. OH, EMPTY! That's it! It's empty! Which means there's always a place to sit! Thanks DTW for allowing me to sit by an outlet and charge my phone before my flight!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, the time change thing....I HATE both of them. I walk around for 2 days asking "if this were yesterday, what time would it be?"

    I love the Chicago airport, and I too have about a 50% in-and-out history there, but you are correct, at least it is pretty.

    Thanks for sharing your optimistic outlook on airports.