Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Airport report

In reviewing recent photos, it's obvious we've spent a lot of time in the airport. In fact, I estimate that at least 15% of our photos were taken in or near one (an astounding statistic given our presence at a wedding, an anniversary party, and a baptism (with babies) during our visit). In the past three weeks, we've visited the following ports:

-London Heathrow (3 times)
-JFK New York (2 times)
-Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
-Will Roger's World Airport, OK City (2 times)
-Chicago O'Hare (2 times)
-Zurich Airport (2 times)
-Lugano Airport (2 times)
-Brussels Airport
-Milan Malpensa
-Milan Linate

Every airport has its own special character, so I would find it difficult to pick a favorite. OKC definitely had style, but its physical charm was rather neutralized by the blatant racial profiling occurring at security. Zurich felt the most high tech and secure; airport officials debuted the intimidating reverse-questioning technique: Who asked you to take something in your bag today? (Don't answer too quickly.) Bonus points also for the mooing and the cow bells playing on the tram.

Our luggage got left behind at the infamous Terminal 5 at Heathrow but it really wasn't the airport's fault, as we ourselves had to run to make our connection. But they do need some help with signage. At one point we got off the tram and, along with about 300 other people, stood dumbly for many minutes with no clue where to go from there. Apparently we were all supposed to pile in the elevator ("lift"). Are elevators seriously the best technology for people-lifting they could think of? Heathrow also wins the prize for the most workers. I think (I hope) at least 75% of them were undercover bobbies just pretending to polish the same handrail all day.

STL, Malpensa, Brussels, and Linate were pretty unremarkable, though STL gets points for having phone books, pay phones, and cinnamon pretzels just when we needed them. Most unpleasant of all was our stop at JFK, which had the unbearable stench of feet throughout. The people at security ineffectually sprayed disinfectant in the air after each person passed through.

I have more to say about these airports but I feel myself becoming less interesting by the paragraph. Being a good blogger means knowing when to say when.


Jess said...

I loved the mooing and cowbells at the Zurich airport. Did you also see a hot teenage Heidi flash by on the wall? She looked like a Miss Teen pageant version.

Julie & Captain said...

I agree about JFK. It is one of the worst airports I have been to - on several different levels. But I did see John Kerry there, with his whole entourage, last summer.

Swiss Ms. said...

How appropriate to see JFK at JFK!

And I had forgotten about sexy Heidi of the Alps. That was so weird. My sister said everyone on the tram was commenting about how cute she was yesterday. Come on, we were all sold on Heidi already before the sex appeal. Right?