Observations of a Stranded Passenger

1. Rocking chairs > padded Delta seats > sitting on a cylindrical metal railing > leaning against a rectangular prism-shaped pole.

2. Natives love the Cardinals and Mizzou. They’re very easy to spot. Except, of course, if you bought two weeks’ worth of college gear or a sweatshirt in the terminal. Then you blend into the mob of Missourians, and any other visitor would find this observation misleading.

3. All of the items at Starbucks start to taste the same after you’ve eaten there multiple times in a forty-eight hour period. The coffee’s hot and the pastries are kind of bland.

4. Poor weather in your arrival city leads to a closed airport, which leads to every flight overbooked the next day.

5. Delta still uses the huge rolls of paper lined with holes to print passenger lists.

6. There’s a clearance section in the local newsstand.

7. Airlines use the same gate attendant for different flights to the same city.

8. The longest restroom lines occur immediately after the coach passengers have come off an arrival flight.

9. The temperature in airport terminals is about ten degrees colder than any other business.

10. The most popular forms of entertainment for waiting customers include playing with smartphones, reading novels, and eating fast food.

11. 4/5 girls under age five hold hands with a family member as they walk through the terminal.

12. In this particular airport, a female automated voice welcomes you to the airport (as if we haven’t already walked through the front door, checked in, and passed through security), while an automated male voice recites announcements regarding flights in the specific terminal.

13. In this particular airport, you can only see the departures and arrivals from this terminal. At Hartsfield, you can view them for all terminals.

14. Very few people use the plugs that Delta provides for electronics, and I am one of them.

15. Workers don’t renovate a terminal during the day. They instead put up barriers in the middle of the floor that are terribly inconvenient.

16. There is no A1 in this terminal. It begins at A2. I never considered A1 to be superstitious…until now?

17. One can hear a baby’s cry through several walls.

18. State businesses, colleges, or attractions primarily advertise on terminal billboards.

19. This particular airport uses two different kinds of fluorescent lighting; the kind used above the waiting area is bright white, while the kind implemented above the walkway is cream-colored.

20. Angry passengers are whining, sniveling children, and gate attendants are the most patient babysitters you’ve ever met.

21. In addition to the disabled and small children, unaccompanied minors get to board before everyone else, even first class. Wish I’d known that all these years.

22. The cult of non-revenue passengers continues to follow the departing flights from gate to gate. However, the number of followers slowly declines as more and more receive salvation from a cleared ticket. Will we be next? Only time and the Delta database five minutes before departure will tell.

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