JGI, Concourse C, 4:35 a.m.

I’m on the road this morning, with very early flights. Being the prototypical Uptight Traveler, I got to Columbus’ John Glenn International Airport early to make sure there were no snags, which meant I encountered a gleamingly clean and mostly vacant terminal when I headed to my gate. (And, for those who make fun of my U.T. tendencies, I should note that there were long lines to check in bags at many of the airline counters when I arrived, so I am firm in my view that getting to the airport early remains a good option.)

This is the first flight I’ve taken since the mask mandate was lifted and masks became optional. Some travelers are wearing masks, but the vast majority are unmasked. I’d say the ratio of unmasked to masked is about 9 to 1. It’s kind of weird to be in a mostly unmasked airport after two years of pandemic-fueled masking. It makes the two-year masking period seem like a strange, unsettling dream.

Blue Tint Over Gray Skies

The C Concourse at John Glenn International Airport has an inventive solution to the inevitably gray skies you find in a Columbus winter — just tint the upper areas of the windows on the south side of the concourse looking outward a delightful, aspirational blue. Just looking at the windows as you deplane makes you think it’s a lovely day in Cbus.

Unfortunately, the illusion is destroyed when you look at the windows on the north side of the concourse and see the dismal gray reality, shown below.

The lesson? If you’re going to tint, tint every freaking window. Otherwise, you’re like the codger who wants to look younger but applies Grecian Formula 16 to only one half of his gray-haired head.

Concourse C, 4:49 A.M.

Today I’m on one of those dreaded 6 a.m. flights.  Dreaded, because I never sleep soundly the night before for fear of oversleeping, and dreaded, because you never know what you’re going to find in the way of lines when you arrive.

This morning the newly named John Glenn International Airport — formerly the homey “Port Columbus” — was surprisingly, briskly busy, and my friendly TSA agent said a hectic day was expected.  If you’re traveling during next two weeks, as I am, he advised to expect long lines and long waits, and encouraged travelers to arrive early.

4:49 a.m. Is definitely early.