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Take me home...St Emilion  kay@diddakoi.com

Updated: 09/16/05

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"Smoke and Mirrors"
by Neil Gaiman

by Neal Stephenson


useless air

Friday, 16 September, 2005

Airports. I have had lots of quality time in airports for the past two days. My outbound flight to Columbus on Wednesday afternoon was cancelled. The next flight they could put me on meant that I would miss my dinner there. And unfortunately, the whole reason for going on Wednesday was because the first morning flight would not get me there in time for my Thursday meeting. So I sat in the Philly airport for four hours.

Observations of the PHL airport facilities:

- Only one security scanner working at F Terminal, so the wait was rather long, compounded by the dozen or so airport employees/flight crews that headed to the front of the line. But then again, I had four hours to kill.
- Fairly good shopping area - I bought the Neil Gaiman book there.
- Restaurant selection is OK, but even the "upscale" places are kind of cheesy. That said, their target market is generally NOT looking to have a lengthy dining experience, so it is probably appropriate.
- No free Wi-Fi. It costs $9.95 for a 24 hour "pass." Rip-off.

Eventually got to Columbus, and even got an upgrade to First Class for the short flight out. Meetings the next day, then back to the airport. As soon as I got to the terminal I checked the departure board. Oh, my 4:25 flight to Philly was cancelled - quel surprise! And the next flight is at 7:40? The fun just never ends.

Observations of the CMH airport facilities:

- Security seems to be more efficient here, although I was going to the A terminal which only has about six gates so there were no teeming throngs trying to get in.
- Shopping and dining facilities are more limited, but it is a MUCH smaller airport. Grabbed a seat at a place, watched TV, read my book, had some dinner and checked the internet using the . . .
- . . . Free Wi-Fi! You just click on the agreement page and surf's up. A nice touch.

No upgrade on this trip, but had a bulkhead seat. Full flight and they ran out of storage space early on, so the boarding process was a delight. No problems once they closed the doors and we had a smooth flight home, landing a little early. Gary came to pick me up and while I was waiting, I saw on the Arrivals board that about 98% of the flights were delayed at least an hour. The only other one that seemed to be on time was, curiously, from North Carolina. You know, where Hurricane Ophelia had been playing off the coast for the past two days?

[Go figure.]

Cousin Jim plans to arrive sometime tomorrow to spend some time in the City of Brotherly Love. He is currently in a business park in Northern New Jersey, doing training for his new job, and said he now understands why everyone makes fun of New Jersey. It is, after all, essentially a suburb of either NYC or Philly, without much else to distinguish it.

[Except for Haddonfield and Moorestown, of course.]

Quote du jour:

"A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it."

Russell Baker (1925 - ____) US journalist, author, humorist

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