Once Upon a Layover

By June 9, 2010 No Comments

Recently, I took a few days off from work to visit my family. On my way to the airport in Kansas City, I received a text message alerting me that my flight had been delayed an hour. No big deal. Upon my arrival at the airport, I received yet another text notifying me that my flight was delayed another hour. Now we have a problem. There was no way I was going to make my connecting flight in Denver. I’ll spare you the details of the agony I went through to find a way to make it to my destination over Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully via text messages, I was alerted to the issue and knew it was crucial to get to the airport as soon as possible in order to speak with an airline agent.

A day and an eight hour layover later in Denver, I was feeling anxious, yet relieved that my journey was finally on course. Being the people watcher that I am, the layover wasn’t as agonizing as anticipated; I was actually entertained watching all the action funneling through the airport on a Thursday afternoon and evening. From men and women in business suits, young adults in military uniforms, a band resembling Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, children and even adults racing up and down the escalator walk-ways, the action was non-stop. There were people on laptops, most of whom were not working, but browsing Facebook. I walked behind a row of people sitting at a gate that were all on their phones, a few emailing and the rest also browsing Facebook or playing FarmVille. There was the occasional ego that would sit nearby and may as well have begged me to listen to his “important” conversation. A much needed snack later in the day caught me off-guard, as the woman next to me in line started talking as she reached with both hands for the last two bags of M&M’s. Just as I started to reply to her, I caught a glimpse of the bluetooth in her ear and realized she wasn’t asking me how my day had been thus far. As I waited later that evening at my gate listening to my iPod, I watched as a young girl was studying biology from an actual textbook, while to my left, a young man was catching up on some sports using his Amazon Kindle. Surprisingly, during my entire day of what some may refer to as “snooping” and I like to refer to as “investigating”, I noticed only one iPad in use.

Finally, as it was time to board my plane later that evening, I watched as most everyone rummaged through their carry-on trying to locate where they had placed their boarding passes. Meanwhile, the man in front of me simply handed the airline assistant his phone and with a quick scan he was boarding the plane. After my travel woes, I could see how using a mobile ticket with access to my itinerary could be both helpful, as well as save some room in my already heavy and full carry-on. After all, I was lugging around what seemed like an extra 100 pounds of airline paperwork just for my trip!

As I walked through the plane to my seat, I suddenly did one of those quick turnarounds. Yes, it was Evan Lysacek, Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing with the Stars runner-up. While I waited for the rest of the plane to board, or perhaps notice the low-key athlete, I sent out a couple of quick text messages, a Facebook post and Tweet via my phone. Then it hit me, I too am one of those people that spends hours using technology! This left me to think, “How in the world did anyone traveling just a few years ago manage to function without the use of all the advanced technology that has quickly become so addictive in today’s society?” It’s just not possible.

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