Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr. Kennedy, tear down this line!

I got to the airport way too early today and this will give me plenty of time to get caught up on my paperwork and planning materials for the very full week of all company IT meetings starting bright and early tomorrow in Maine.

Hahaha! Just kidding, it gives me time to bitch and complain on my blog.

I woke up to a foot of snow on my car this morning, which immediately made me worry that the two hour drive down Long Island to New York City, coupled with President's Day, typical traffic around 6:00 PM, potential alien invasions, Jesus coming back, etc. should make me want to err on the side of caution and come extra early.

Holy crap, did I err. I got here 6 hours before takeoff. To give you an idea, if you try to check in earlier than 4 hours before your flight, they laugh at you (even the self check-in computer terminals are programmed to laugh and give you a printout receipt of the laugh) and then they direct you over to the only available seats for your 6 hour wait, which are at a teeny, tiny kiosk bar.

Since literally hundreds of thousands come through JFK every single day, they planned ahead and made it more than accommodating with well over 4 whole, uncomfortable bar stools.

Fortunately though, drinks only cost about 3 or 4 times what you would expect, so I still have well over $10 left for the rest of the week abroad. This is not quite enough for another drink, but that is OK, she was probably sick of me hogging that 5th chair, anyway.

But enough complaining, let me move on to something positive:

If there is anything on the entire planet more disgusting than a JFK toilet, I challenge you to name it. I certainly have yet to discover such a thing in my 42 years alive.

OK, that was not terribly positive, I admit it. Let's see what else I can spread joy and happiness about.

If I was not terrified of being stripped searched by a 300 pound, way, way too enthusiastic guy named Borlaff for taking a picture and showing it you, I totally would take a picture of the "security check-in line".

Bear in mind, this not the same as the "check-in your bag and get your ticket" line. This is the "sir, take off your shoes, turn your head and cough for me" line.

Guess how they took away the pain from the indignity of it all? It was easy. They made the line so unbelievably long, that you would be willing to do naked jumping-jacks for a viral video to get out of it.

It is well over 400 miles long. Seriously. It is longer than the average 2 hour wait Disneyland ride line, the only difference being these people are far more surly.

As soon as the self check-in computer stops laughing at me in 15 minutes, I will get into it and get ready to cough.


  1. Who knew?!

    Your discription of the JFK experience has a surprisingly similar parallel to my National Guard Armory cold weather homeless shelter down in California... :o)

    Their line was astronomically long as well.

    I wasn't told to 'cough'...tho I had one that volunteered to perform on it's own, but I was wanded and pat down for weapons... these people were also of the surly compositiion.

    As for their bathrooms/showers, they were also from a far less savory eco-system.

    But I do think there are 2 points of difference between your experience and mine... that being:

    Any alcohol present was not for sale (tho prescription meds were) rather it was present on people's breath, clothing or stashed not so ingeniously on intoxicated persons delusionally hopeful to smuggle it past the front door security check.

    The other point of difference: I arrived with my luggage for check-in only 4 hours too early instead of your 6 hour faux paux... ;)

    On the upside: people watching can certainly pass the time...that's what I did.