There is an effort underway in Kansas City to replace our airport. It started with a study. These things always start with a study to make a "want" look legit, and then lays the groundwork for the massive bill that taxpayers are going to be eating sooner or later.
I, along with many others, love our airport. It's kind of run down. The lighting sucks and there's not many places to eat. There used to be three terminals but now we're down to two. I'm sure I read why they closed Terminal A at some point but now I don't remember. It's probably because The New Airport People want to put the squeeze on us fliers and make us scared that the whole place is going to go out of business. At our airport, though, you can drop off at the curb and nobody cares. I sat there for 45 minutes one night waiting for The Big Daddy's late arrival and there wasn't a cop in sight. And should you decide to park in the lot you can be in the terminal in five minutes. It used to be that the first thirty minutes of parking were free and we always thought we were beating the system when we got to the cashier and owed zero dollars. We'd high-five like we just beat the bankers with their fees.
When we flew in and out of Boston a couple of weeks ago, however, that airport was a beast of another color. We were dropped off on Sunday morning for our return flight and the place was already busy. With no bags to check in we went right to the American Airlines computers to get our boarding passes and there was a line. Quite the line.
It was 5:30 a.m.
While we were waiting our turn I noticed a distressed man at the counter being yelled at by a ticket agent. His flight was on its final boarding call and he wasn't going to make it. Because missing your flight and being yelled at by one person wasn't enough, another agent joined in the belligerence. I watched all this and thought about going up to the counter and saying, "You know, people really don't start off their day saying I'm going to miss my flight today. I'm going to totally screw myself, cost myself more money and make the ticket agents mad and be late." But I refrained because I hadn't had enough coffee yet to outass the people who were being asses. He walked away dejectedly and we got our boarding passes and headed to security.
Did you know that there are people in Logan Airport that work the security lines and their only job is to look at the size of passengers bags? Un-huh. I got stopped. "Can't take that on the plane. Too big. Go check it."
"What? No. I brought it here and nobody said a thing. It's fine. It fits in the overhead bin. Really."
"Okay, stand it on its side," she said.
And so I did and Bag Size Checker got out a tape measure. A frigging tape measure. "It's two inches too tall. You have to check it."
The Big Daddy was seething. "It fits and we are not checking it." With that he tried to cram it into one of those little boxes that says "Is your bag the right size?" It wasn't. He tried every which way and that sausage wouldn't fit in the casing.
We went back to American Airlines to use the computer to check my bag. The line was even longer now because, after all it was 6:00 a.m. We waited to use the computer and when that was finished waited for somebody at the ticket counter to call my name and take my bag. This was the most hare-brained of systems. Dozens of passengers hanging around waiting for their name like a teacher calling attendance and nobody was being called. There was some kind of stress going on there and I thought that maybe they were doing it on purpose so we would miss our flights and they could team up and yell at us like the sorry soul from earlier.
Somebody behind us with a bigger mouth than The Big Daddy and I said, "Why aren't you calling anybody from this side when we've all been waiting? Why are you only calling people from that line even though we've been here longer?"
And I was like, "Yeah, American Airlines, why you gotta be like that?"
A few minutes later my name got called, we unloaded my slightly too big bag and went back to security where there was NO ONE MEASURING BAG SIZES.
What appeared to be a thirteen year old boy checked my boarding pass and license and looked up at me. "You've been pre-screened, do you hear me? Don't take a thing out of your purse until you go through security. By the way, cool hair."
Pre-screened? What is he even talking about? Cool hair? Not in the mood right now Doogie Howser.
My pre-screened self and The Big Daddy shuffled through security with all the other cows in the herd and boarded our flight. I sat between two women, one who took her shoes off immediately and the other who took forever to eat a bagel smeared with peanut butter that made me want to gag. Peanut Butter Bagel Lady kept saying "good girl, good girl" and I didn't make eye contact to my left or right because I thought I was stuck between Smelly and Crazy. Halfway through the flight I noticed a dog in a carrier under the seat and I was like, "What the heck? First peanut butter and now a dog? Am I on a plane or a Greyhound bus?"
When the flight landed Peanut Butter Lady got her little foufou dog out of his carrier while we taxied and she picked at his eye goobers over and over. Each time she'd get one she'd hold it in front of his mouth and he would lick it.
There really should be a Code of Conduct for Flying for those who are confused about things like smelly bagels, smelly feet and snacking on eye goobers when confined with a crowd of people in a turbo-charged area.
A few hours later we were back in our home sweet home airport. We got my bag and headed to the parking lot. The automatic door to leave wouldn't open until the fifth try.
Our crummy little airport is just like our crummy little house.......a little sad and peeling - a lot welcoming.
I love you just the way you are.