A Tale of Two Airports

At Sea-Tac, I arrived to find all luggage windows closed save for two, despite a crush of incoming passengers. A huge line snaked through the terminal to those two.

I got into it, and within minutes was told that there was a problem with one of the conveyor belts, so the pair of agents was being shifted to another set of windows. Everyone was told to move to the new set about 100 feet away.

No measures were taken to ensure anyone’s spot in line was preserved. A number of people who had just arrived managed to get in front of those of us who had been already waiting for a while.

The whole process took fifteen minutes. At Sea-Tac, this hardly rates a mention. Once I almost missed a flight because I had only arrived at the terminal a mere hour before the scheduled departure time, and the wait to check a bag was nearly fifty minutes.

Then I have to get through security. Without much explanation or clear signage, two of the security checkpoints have been converted to pre-check only. Those two were in a row. There were no signs pointing to a non-pre-check security checkpoint. Naturally this caused me to get into the wrong line and have to wait twice to go through security.

At Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, there were three agents staffing the baggage check windows despite it being a far smaller airport with far less passenger influx. There was no wait whatsoever. The security checkpoints were clearly labeled and again there was no wait.

I was about to get annoyed because there were no seats anywhere with outlets near them, then I notice a row of carrels with desks, each with a pair of outlets, for those with laptop computers to use. Instead of having to hunch over my computer while it’s on my lap, I am sitting at a desk much as I do at home.

Maybe I wouldn’t hate flying quite so much as I do if my home airport didn’t so abjectly suck.

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