Tangible Signs Of Abject Failure

Any experienced traveler knows that you want to avoid the C and D concourses at LaGuardia if at all possible.  They’re old, and cramped, and noisy, and horribly overcrowded.  It’s embarrassing that many travelers get first exposure to New York City by passing through one of these ancient, unpleasant, and inadequate buildings.

Yesterday I had to connect through LaGuardia, arriving at a gate in concourse C and leaving from a gate in concourse D.  This meant that, unlike virtually every other modern American airport, I had to go back out past security in leaving concourse C and then go back in through security, again, as I entered concourse D.  It also meant that, as I was making my way through the crush of humanity, I got a good look at the latest additions to these hopelessly outdated concourses:  rentable workspace cubicles that promise the stressed-out traveler who is willing to fork over a few bucks the ability to “think/create/connect/recharge.”  They’re called a jabbrrbox, and they come equipped with a bench, a computer screen, an electrical outlet, and a glass door to shut out the ever-present LaGuardia din.  Their motto, which apparently is not ironic, is:  “Your private office, whenever you need it.”  Being on a public concourse at LaGuardia, I wouldn’t exactly call it “private” — but maybe that’s just me.

Could there be a surer, more tangible sign of the miserable failures that are concourses C and D at LaGuardia?  The conditions on these concourses are so appalling and unfavorable for working or reading that someone decided that they could actually profit from the fiasco by selling travelers hoping to gain a few minutes of solitude the chance to sit in a phone booth-sized glass cubicle where they can be gaped at by everyone passing by.  And never mind that these boxes just add to the clutter of already narrow walkways.

I didn’t see anybody actually using one of these contraptions yesterday.  Perhaps other travelers react to them, as I did, with a mixture of astonishment, disgust, and rueful resignation.  Who knows?  If the jabbrrbox approach doesn’t work, maybe the powers that be at LaGuardia will actually consider trying to improve conditions for everyone.