En route

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's been a hell of a long time since I last flew. 1999, I think. That's ridiculous, yes, but I didn't have anywhere to go.

It was, anyway, a different era. I'm sitting here at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, waiting for my flight to New York, where I catch a connecting flight to Austin.

This is funny: a girl during nearby just asked me if I fly often. I had to tell her: no, this is the first time I've flown since '99. She tells me it's the first time she's flown; I tell her it might as well be mine. She's visibly nervous, she asks me if I know if it's a big plane or a small one. I don't know, but I reassure her that JetBlue is one of the best-rated companies in the country.

Digital me, I actually have a BlackBerry app with my flight information that tells me what kind of plane I'm supposed to be on; but the information is sort of meaningless to me, and probably didn't answer the girl's question if I were to check--what does she consider a big plane, anyway? And they all look kind of big to me, frankly.//

The last time I was here, people could just kind of wander around the airport. Now it's travelers only, and you have to take off your shoes. I ended up going through a regular metal detector instead of the backscatter machine because the guy in front of me was holding up the line so the TSA guy sent me to the next empty line, which was the one that doesn't take naked pictures of me. I have to admit, though: I don't actually care too much if the TSA people see me naked. Not because of legal or constitutional issues or whatever, but because I know what I look like naked and I'm an H.P. Lovecraft fan; i.e. I don't really consider MYSELF to be the one who's suffering the indignity of the experience.

The place is modern and bright. The airport looks more like a shopping mall than an airport as far as I'm concerned, being someone who still visualizes airports in terms of grainy, gritty movies made in the '60s and '70s; think the beginning of THE GRADUATE, f'r'instance, or the end of DOG DAY AFTERNOON, or the AIRPORT or AIRPLANE movies. None of those movies featured bagel places or theme bars, not that I recall, anyways.

2 comments:

Leanright,  Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 7:56:00 PM EDT  

You're quite fortunate that it's been 12 years since you've flown. It's a rat race. I fly out about twice a month and it is NEVER an enjoyable experience?

Austin? Great city. Was there last September. I flew into San Antonio first; it's only about 80 miles away, and I just HAD to see the Alamo. I'll always remember it.

Tony,  Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 5:52:00 PM EDT  

I'm a working pilot and an airplane geek, but I never know how to answer the 'Is it a big plane?' question.

I remember seeing once a KAL 737 parked between two KAL 747s. The scene looked like the 747s had had a baby...

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