It’s The Destination, Not The Journey.

It seems like really bad timing with the number of flights so low but Nashville’s airport just had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a new expansion. Of course it’s a development that’s been years in the planning and building, and in some ways it seems like perfect timing. With more space it’ll be easier to stay apart. They’re adding more parking so your walk to your car can be even longer, pretty much guaranteeing you’ll have to pay an extra five bucks when you go to leave because you were just a couple of minutes over the time limit. And they’re adding a “pedestrian plaza” that will include public art, green space, more seating, and a dog park. I assume the dog park will be separate from the green space because the last thing some business traveler wants while enjoying a few minutes of sunshine during a layover is to put his foot in a brown space, but that’s another story.
All this makes it sound like they’re making the airport even nicer, and it really is a pretty nice airport already. In fact every airport I’ve ever been in has been pretty nice, and I think most of them are nice, even the Sioux City Falls airport in spite of its airport code which says it SUX. They’re not meant to be destinations in themselves, and the price of a bottle of water in any airport store always makes me want to get out of there. Still I think it would be fun to visit different airports around the United States and around the world just to see how different they are. A few years ago I was stuck in the Atlanta airport because of a hurricane, and you know it was a big hurricane if it could hit Atlanta. Anyway there was a lot of nice local art and I had a lot of fun riding The Plane Train from one end of the airport to another. The Dallas airport also has a light rail that carries passengers back and forth. I had a stopopver there while flying across the country for a work conference and I was going to ride it back and forth but a rather austere coworker was traveling with me and I felt like a schmuck for wanting to ride the rail just for fun. The conference itself was in Palm Springs, California, which is a really cool airport–oh, wait, it’s actually really hot, but there’s almost no humidity so it only feels cool. Anyway when I got off the plane I stepped out into an open area without a roof. I looked up and said, “What do they do when it rains?” and several people laughed and I felt like a schmuck for not knowing that Palm Springs gets about three inches of rain a year.
I’ve also been through Chicago’s O’Hare airport a couple of times and the last time I thought there was a light rail that carried passengers around it, and I thought I’d take a ride while waiting for my flight. I was looking for it and saw a woman sitting at a tourist information desk. I was about to ask her where the airport train was when she said, “Are you looking for things to do in Chicago?” and I felt like a schmuck for just wanting to ride the train around the airport. So we had a nice chat about all the cool things there are to do in Chicago, and I thought, hey, that seems like a fun job. Maybe I should contact the Nashville airport and ask if they have people like that and, if not, maybe they’d hire me to sit at a tourist information booth. I’d really like to do that, greeting people and making their time in the Nashville airport a little nicer, and I could tell them about all the cool things there are to do in Chicago.

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8 Comments

  1. Allison

    When I was traveling all the time, I became an airport connoisseur. I have always like BNA. I can’t wait to see the changes, though it may be awhile. Atlanta is the airport I grew up with, so I really like it – and I try to help people there who look really confused. I’m an ambassador.

    I love the Detroit Airport – best shopping available. Minneapolis is nice for that too. Las Vegas is terrible, except that you can kill time playing slots. Miami is DELUXE, and St. Louis is rough. I had to kill 12 hours in STL once, and there is no good way to do that. MCI – Kansas City is weird. I prefer Dallas-Love to Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Hobby to Houston-Bush, and I have no preference between Chicago-O’Hare and Chicago-Midway.

    I love airports – they have the feeling of possibility.
    Allison recently posted…Late-lyMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now you’re really making me want to travel all over just to visit airports. Especially Kansas City. I can’t think about Kansas City without quoting Ogden Nash: “Kansas City, Kansas proves that even Kansas City needn’t always be Missourible.”

      Reply
  2. The Huntress915

    Your not a schmuck your a critical thinker Christopher! Those are questions only one who thinks critically would ask. And I’d love to ride the rail at any airport, and I would have if I’d gone to Nashville in March….but that’s another story entirely.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m sorry you missed your chance to visit Nashville. The weather was pretty cool here in March. The airport here doesn’t have a rail, though, just those horizontal escalator people-mover things.

      Reply
  3. M.L. James

    Christopher (or do you prefer Chris?),
    A good friend of mine grew up in Grapevine. Her father sold his land or at least part of his land that’s now part of DFW Airport. My friend always has stories whenever she thinks about that. I sort of remember when they built DFW. I was pretty young, and I remember riding on the rail system back in the day. It’s what we did whenever something significant was built. We checked it out. Most of the time, whenever I’m in an airport (that has happened in a couple of years), I feel lost and confused, except DFW. Go figure. I don’t know that I would trust myself to travel alone. I think that’s really cool that you’re an airport connoisseur. Mona

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m really fine with either Christopher or Chris, although those who are really in the know call me “Spunky The Wonder Squid”. I think it’s cool that when you were young when DFW was built you were taken out there to ride the rail. That reminds me that there was a manmade lake here in Nashville, on the outskirts anyway, where we’d go and swim sometimes in the summer. Anyway we went out there one time and it was closed and being drained because it was where they were building the new airport. I hope they’ve built it high enough off the ground that it’ll never flood.

      Reply
  4. Ann Koplow

    Now I feel like a schmuck for not loving airports more, Chris. Next time I’m at Logan, I’ll imagine you there, enjoying the destination.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I can’t honestly say I love airports but when stuck in one I’ll do what I can to make the time enjoyable.

      Reply

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