April 30, 2006

Home! Home! Madison! Home!

That's how I feel about home!

Composed en route from Boston:

Why, oh, why does it cost $7.95 to access the WiFi in an airport? What good is a "day pass" when I'm only here for an hour? In fact, when your security check-in is as abysmal as what I just went through at Logan Airport, here in Boston, you ought to make up for it by giving us free WiFi, or at least cutting the rate way down. If the check-in had gone as fast as it does at my home airport in Madison, I might have been willing to pay perhaps $5 for the time I would have had to fool around with the internet, but I spent half an hour in line. No $7.95 for you.

So here I am, composing my post in advance. By cutting me off from my beloved internet, you are causing me to write more about how I can't stand your airport. Give me free WiFi or I will bitch about your crappy airport on my somewhat popular blog.

What was so bad about the security check-in? The line was long. There were two lines on an incline in a hot corridor, and then one of the lines branched into two lines, which means it goes twice as fast, and at least I lucked into the faster line. At the front, where you lay out your carry-on items, instead of long, banked stainless steel channels, there are pushed-together plastic folding tables of the sort that a caterer might hide under tablecloths at a big outdoor banquet. My line snakes behind the monitors displaying the contents of bags belonging to people in the line we branched off from. Everyone in my line blithely invades the privacy of those other passengers by staring. What else is there to look at?

Well, there's that green-and-white Starbucks logo beyond the security checkpoint. In the dreary hell of the security line, you're concentrating your hopes on getting to the end. And there is that shining logo, the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'll have a large latte.

I didn't think of saying "venti latte." I never do. But if I had, I would have said it, because by then I was in love with Starbucks.

Continuing this post draft in Milwaukee: The WiFi here is $9.95. My flight boards in 10 minutes. Do I love the internet enough to pay $1 a minute? Apparently not.


Pat Patterson said...

What's the difference between flying into or out of Logan in 2006 or Manila in 1972? Manila had long solid wooden tables for check-in and really interesting odors. While Logan has the caterer's tables(as noted) and really, really interesting odors. Wi-fi in the Phillippines consisted aofvery pretty girls asking to be my wife. Which ultimately would have cost a lot more than $7.95. Ah, travel, national and international, its the problems and disasters that make going and coming interesting.

Andy said...

Ann, be very glad you didn't pay for the WiFi at Logan. As a frequent traveler out of here, I can tell you that the connectivity is abysmal. I'll only use it when I know I can expense it, because it isn't worth it otherwise.

TW Andrews said...

Based on your description of the terminal, I'm guess that you were at the United terminal, which does indeed suck at Logan, but that's primarily because it's not a United hub, or even principle airport.

The American Airlines and US Airways terminal is quite nice.

John Henry said...

If you had a Sprint cell phone, you can buy a connector that lets you access the web (on your laptop) via the cell phone.

Cost is about $5/month plus a half cent/MB after 40 free MB. Not as fast as broadband Wifi but much faster than dialup.

I agree with you about the hotspots. Neve use them.

John Henry

Richard said...

I have decided that airports are the least civilized places I routinely visit. Bad food, bad seating, lousy announcements, you have to haul your luggage into the restroom, and you take a chance on getting athlete's foot. Expensive internet is just the latest entry to my list of gripes. Some glamour!

PatCA said...

I sympathise completely. The first couple of years after 9/11 I could deal with the idiocies, but airport hassles have really caused me to change my traveling patterns. If I can drive to skiing, for instance, I do it rather than go someplace that will take a whole day of airport hassles.

me said...

I was in Logan a week afte 9/11. It was a joke; they were strip searching 90 year old women. We sat on the runway for an hour as they questioned a man with his family just because he was wearing a turbin.

Ann Althouse said...

And what's the deal with the automatically flushing toilets? They often flush when you just approach them, sometimes with a crazy burst that gushes over the edge and onto the floor. You get the feeling that the entire airport hates you.

Danny said...

Has anyone experienced the cascading air puffs during the security walkthrough at Reagan National? I don't think it gets any more absurd than that.

P. Froward said...

Ann says

You get the feeling that the entire airport hates you.

Only the airport hated you? Sounds like you didn't get the full Boston experience.

After a few years in Boston, I found that I enjoyed visiting NYC because everybody seemed so friendly there.

Jacques Cuze said...

Treo 650, bloglines, nothing else is needed.

Or Treo 650, bluetooth, PC, nothing else is needed.

Or Treo 650, USB cable, PDAnet, PC, nothing else is needed.

Or a vente martini for 6.50, nothing else is needed.

Jacques Cuze said...

You have an iMac or iBook or iSomething? No PDAnet for you! But bluetooth should presumably work.

You look very sophisticated when sitting crosslegged on the floor of a terminal in your manolos posting commentary about how Bush is destroying the country through your treo.

Maxine Weiss said...

Ettiquette for standing in line:

Always wear your deepest sunglass with palm pilot/cell phone in hand.

For women: make sure to wear at least two rings of substance (ie, good gold). Women, alone, with no rings will be, standing in line at airports are major targes, will be hit on etc, no matter how you look, by the worst of characters.

Peace, Maxine

Frank Borger said...

When we still serviced equipment in Detroit and Indianapolis, I finally convinced management to let me drive from Milwaukee to the sites. It only took about an hour longer, I could bring spare boards and parts with, and could stop for a nice lunch with an attentive wait-person. Oh yes, did you ever try getting a toolkit thru an airport post 9/11? Hammers and awls and knives, oh my!

As far as Logan, you only had to pass thru. I still remember sleeping at Logan because I missed a connecting flight.

katiebakes said...

Ann, your comment about automatically-flushing toilets reminded me of this Slate article on the subject: here.

David said...

Get a wireless card for your laptop. I use Verizonwireless and can access the internet wherever my cell phone works.

In the southwest, Verizon has the best coverage.