I decided to add a new bag tag to my luggage for this trip. I don’t really need it, because no fellow traveler is going to confuse my battered and lurid red bag for their own, but because I thought the message was apt under the circumstances.
Yesterday I learned a valuable life lesson.
I knew that heelwalking through an airport in my ugly special shoe would not be easy. Airports are among the most wide open interior spaces we encounter in our daily lives. You start at the outer ring, with parking, and then progressively work your way inward, stepping through through the vast check-in lobby, followed by the TSA security lines and fragrant food court and shopping areas, then moving to your concourse, and your gate, and finally strolling down the jetway to your plane.
In our rush to get to the plane, we tend not to think of the sweep of these vast spaces. At least, I didn’t — until I started walking with a short-stepped, orthopedic shuffle. Yesterday, every rampway and concourse seemed enormous and unending.
I knew it would be that way, and I was mentally prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was this — in both the Cincinnati and Newark airports, the moving walkways that help to shuttle us along were closed for maintenance. What are the chances of that? And in both airports my planes were at gates that were at the farthest end of the concourse. Seriously? And at Newark, the taxi stand isn’t right next to the exit, but across lanes of traffic and then over past the parking and rental bus stops.
From this experience I can only conclude — the gods, and airport designers, hate a gimp.