I’m noticing a whole lot of crankiness and grumbling surrounding the subject of airports lately. Once elegant, stylish and civilized, today most passengers regard them as necessary evils to air travel. Is the honeymoon finally over for the airport?
My flight attendant friend Susan says that since the grip of post-911 hysteria took hold, the airline industry has “declared war on its passengers.” And adding to the fun and games is Homeland Security’s adoption of a kick-the-dog screening policy for terrorism.
It’s true. Airports have become complicated and chaotic places that can bring out the beast in the most easy-going traveler. Personally, I happen to like the vibe of an airport but concede that the experience can be quite stressful and overwhelming. Gone are the days of concierge service by well appointed gate agents – replaced instead with overregulated, hyper-vigilant, Starbucks–loaded TSA employees.
While navigating and maneuvering from one end of these elaborate micro-cities to the other requires an almost Herculean effort, you must try to keep your wits about you. If you can manage to remain calm and hang in there just a little longer, you might actually come out the other side with your sanity, dignity and baggage intact. Airports are for the pragmatist in you, so stop fighting it. Your estimated time of arrival…eventually.