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Friday, June 19, 2009

Are We There Yet?

At the Airport.


Uncle Teddy pork barrelled (it's a verb, look it up) us a metric butt-ton of federal moola to turn the Anchorage International Airport in the Ted Stevens International Airport. And by metric butt-ton, I mean a shitload of money, even by Ted Stevens' porky standards.

But it's mostly smoke and mirrors. The Anchorage airport is like one of those Hollywood sets, all glitz in front, and nothing but a shell and 2x4's behind the scenes. The lobby is all marble and chrome, the baggage handling system is a guy named Wally who doubles as the janitor and Ted's pool boy and who is about 104 years old and unloads the planes one bag at a time and totes the luggage around front on a burro.

Four years ago the place underwent an umpity million dollar upgrade. And today they're ripping it all out and upgrading the upgrades. The place is a construction zone. It's been a construction zone for years and years and shows no sign of ever being done. Ted, still raking in the pork dollars, even though he's long gone. At least he is in the South Terminal, the one the tourists and oil executives use.

Over here in the North Terminal however - well, it's still 1970. Nothing works. The carpets are threadbare and the chairs are ass-sweat soaked vinyl. The status boards are updated with chalk, yes, chalk. There is a tired and dirty air about the place - pre-oil boom Alaska.


See, over here in the North Terminal is where we Alaskans usually fly in and out of. Ted doesn't have his name on anything over here, hell he's probably never even been in the North Terminal. From the looks of things this would be a perfect place for Ted's replacement, Mark Begich, to pour in a few pork dollars.

The plane is late. Hours late. Mechanical failure. They've replaced it with a larger plane, but it's still oversold. They're bribing people to get off the plane. $250 dollar vouchers. Yeah, kiss my ass on that. And really, how is this possible? Frankly, it concerns me when the people who run the airlines suck so bad at math that they can't even get the number of tickets correct - you know, there's shitload of math when it comes to flying the fucking thing. Maybe they should let the pilots sell the tickets.

The upside of the plane being late, of course, is that it's a couple less hours we have to spend in the George Bush International Prayer Emporium in Houston (Yes, Houston, not Dallas, my mistake, sorry).

We're off to a rocky start, but we've made it through security and the plane has finally arrived. Once they hose out the vomit and shoo the moose off the runway we'll be on our way.

Yay, vacation.

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Update: Wow, I think that post set the record for misspellings and typos and cut and paste malfunctions. It's also the first post I made from the netbook, which at the time was done using IE7, because I hadn't finished customizing it yet (and in fact, I'm making this update from IE7. I'd forgotten that IE doesn't do spell checking (hey no redlines, no errors, right?), and the netbook screen is small and I can't see everything like I can in the office.

12 comments:

  1. I layover in the South Terminal when I fly to Taiwan, and it is nowhere near as nice as you claim. Maybe it's just the holding pen where they put us while they re-fuel, because I've never been in the lobby. But I've never seen any marble, either.

    Ate a Moose Sausage there, though.

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  2. On second thought, maybe a layover doesn't get us counted as tourists and I was in the North Terminal. Do you know?

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  3. If they installed a 'cow-catcher' on the front of the plane, they wouldn't need to wait while shoo-ing the moose.

    And the moose sausage would be cheaper. Everybody wins!

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  4. Gee, I don't have any of theose problems either at the Ely airport or Duluth airpot. Heck, even the Mpls/St. Paul airport is pretty damn good.

    Of course, none of them serve Moose Sausage.

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  5. Enjoy your vacation. Texas will, in the end, only be a bad dream ;-)

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  6. Pittsburgh Airport is pretty awesome. You should fly there!

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  7. I keep telling you to get routed through the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport massive airline Hub O' the World!!

    We've got 5.5 36-gate concourses of airport fun and that's even BEFORE you get to the main terminal with the North and South sides, check-in, baggage claim and "upscale" shopping in the multi-story marble atrium (or hundreds of people camping on the floor in same said designer atrium overnight, depending on the delays on any given day...). Usually about 20-25 TSA fondling stations open at a time. Not to mention a private art show located in the pedestrian walkway between A & B concourses and available for viewing only by ticketed passengers...

    Any and all of which may be under construction/ renovation/ redecorating on any given travel day (and has been for the last 20 years or so).

    WendyB_09

    Note to self: Swallow food before reading Jim's blogs... mutters to self as she cleans off screen yet again...

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  8. Atlanta airport is fun for its tram between concourses. Last time I was there, there wasn't free wifi though. And since I really don't like Delta (which basically owns the place), I try not to have to fly through there.

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  9. I am the best person to go through security at an airport with, because I get them to wheelchair me. Frankfurt Airport was abso-tooting-lutely the best. TH, TPT and I (along with 3 other equally lucky travellers) were zipped through 2 security checkpoints in one of those golf carts on steroids. When I flew to Seattle with my coworker in April, she told me that she wants to hire me to travel with her next time she flies to Europe. :-)

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  10. Detroit had actually rebuilt itself into a new nice terminal. That's the good news. Even Northwest, the anchor airline, figured out how to make it work. Of course, Northwest is Delta now.

    Damn.

    Dr. Phil

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  11. Holy hell. You were flying out of Anchorage the very same day I was, to come home. On my one and only trip (so far) to AK. What are the odds.

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  12. AND I flew to Dallas too. We might have even been on the same plane.

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