In an airport, it isn’t easy but it can be done
Emergency trips out of town are never fun. But that’s where we find our hero this week, walking amongst the 50 million people traveling through Hartsfield International on Sunday night. I’m not one who has to live as a hermit to maintain my sanity, but some crowds generate too much stress. Sunday in the Atlanta airport is one of situations.
Fortunately, there is one place you can always find a bit of solace when the crowds become too thick. And so your hero sits in his 3’ x 8’ stall, quietly regaining his wits. If they only didn’t make the toilet paper so darn thin…
Time to venture out. First of all, it’s almost time for the flight. Secondly, my stomach is signaling that it needs attention. Typically, I eat light when flying, usually a small TCBY will keep everything on an even keel for the two-hour flight. Checking the concourse directory, it looks like a Ben & Jerry is the best we could do. Oh wait, it’s three concourses away. Time for plan B. So what’s close?
As an aside, have you ever noticed the number of kiosks in the airport? It seems that you can get anything via a drive-by purchase. Most of the kiosks are staffed, but a growing number are fully automated. For example the Best Buy kiosk contains any gadget accessory that you would typically leave at home. This trip, I saw a couple of new kiosks that probably won’t make it. While I admire the ingenuity, I cannot envision the set of circumstances that would lead me to purchase unattended kiosk sushi.
BTW – I’ve decided that moms like to travel. With kids. Sometimes, with a lot of kids. God bless the mom who has to move her 9-, 5- and 3-year-old from Atlanta to who knows where. My wife and I used to transport our twin girls when they were younger, and every kid under 5 needs at least two adults to travel: one to supervise the kids and one to keep the first adult calm. Frankly, I don’t know how these moms navigate a Sunday night at Hartsfield. Maybe Jenny can explain it to me sometime.
Running out of options, your hero swings by a Starbucks, grabbing a sweet roll and Sprite for dinner. Off to the gate! Last minute, sporadic travelers don’t often enjoy the seat selection of the road warriors. Not surprisingly, I find myself in the last row sitting next to… you guessed it… a proud mom, her 1-year-old and three duffel bags of baby support gear. (I assume she was traveling light.) No worries. After all, I have twins. Tuning out a singleton for a couple of hours should be a piece of cake.
So I open up my laptop and connect to the onboard Wi-Fi, Delta’s Go-Go Air network. At first, the connection was looking pretty good. The speed test was consistently providing 256 kbps up and down, plenty enough to support a single remote desktop or published application. The connectivity must be splotty, though. (Yes, I meant to say splotty.) RDP sessions kept hanging, and downloads of any length simply stopped after a while. Ultimately, I had to resort to downloading documents and edit local. But it sure was nice to stay up on email and browse the web while in the air.
Go-Go Air Tip No. 1 — Check the different price plans and flight availability. When you buy the ticket, Delta pushes the all-day internet pass for $12. As it turns out, you can purchase single-leg passes for $5 each. Go-Go is not available on every flight, so you might do considerably better buying individual instead of all-day passes.
So I know you’re wondering, what happened with the baby? Well, your hero had the pleasure to sit next to one of the cutest, most well-behaved little girls ever encountered. The only incident occurred while I was deep in thought. Out of nowhere a sippy cup flew across the aisle, landing on my MacBook Air and splattering baby goo all over the keyboard. While this may have upset some, your hero possesses the secret knowledge that baby goo comes from the same stuff that forms fairy dust, cupcake sparkles and Pegasus ponies. Namely, love.
Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker.You Might Also Like:
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