Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Airport Angst

Yesterday we flew out of BWI as part of the holiday hordes moving around the country for Thanksgiving. Peanut and I arrived well ahead of our scheduled departure in order to allow time for anticipated delays in the security screening process.

That didn’t happen.

We breezed through the process with minimum wait and perhaps the most notable thing was that neither of us was subjected to the full body scan nor a pat down. I didn’t see anyone else getting this intensive screening either. We simply walked through the regular old metal detecting arch and were on our way. When we finally reached my sisters home in St. Augustine and settled in with a beer, I compared notes with another sister who had flown down on Monday. She had the same experience.

Could it be that the recent uproar over TSA screening practices has resulted in a more selective screening process?

I’d love to hear if other airport travelers had a similar experience.

As it turns out the security screening wasn’t my biggest gripe with BWI yesterday. Instead it was their Wi-Fi setup.

BWI does not provide free Wi-Fi. You need to subscribe to Boingo and pay ten bucks for a one time 24 hour access to the web. I think this is gouging. Considering that even Starbucks now offers Wi-Fi at no charge, the fact the airport still charges for this service really raises my fur. I mean for godsake, its not like they aren’t getting enough money from the traveling public already in parking fees, landing fees and retail rents so high that a small smoothie and a pretzel for Peanut cost me $6.23. I felt like I was at Ravens stadium.

And here’s the real kicker.

I am not a frequent flier. The last time I flew out of BWI was back in April when we made the same trip. Again on that trip I allowed ample time for security delays and figured I’d use any extra time to hop on my laptop at the gate, perhaps even write a blog post. I sucked it up and signed on to Boingo.

Yesterday, when I decided to go ahead and pay the Wi-Fi toll, Boingo recognized me and asked for my username and password. I remembered my username but the password had long been forgotten. In order to get password assistance I had to call an 800 number which in turn resulted in waiting on hold for about twenty minutes. When I finally got the password thing worked out and got online, Southwest announced a gate change. No problem, I simply closed my laptop and moved down the terminal to the new gate. When I reopened my laptop, the connection was lost and I had to login to Boingo all over again.

As it turns out I spent about fifteen minutes online before having to pack everything up and get on the plane. That's hardly enough time to get caught up with my loco blogging brethren. I didn't even have time to really read Sarah's excellent post much less comment. 

Boingo blows.
blog comments powered by Disqus