Thursday, September 13, 2007

Logan's Run and Splash

On a recent return flight from Boston, I had a window seat on the airplane. For some odd reason (explained shortly), we seemed to be taking the scenic tour of the airport. We taxied all over the place and finally ended up by the water on the northeast side of the airport.

We had dutifully boarded the airplane, backed from the gate at the appointed time, then gone on our merry little tour. It became ominous when we stopped on a taxiway instead of near the end of a runway. It became downright bad when the pilot shut off the engines. After a few minutes of delay, The Dreaded Announcement came: there had been fog in New York City all day, all NY-bound flights were delayed, and we had been given a ground-hold for forty minutes.

Stop me if you disagree, but don't you think They Knew About This when we were still somewhat comfortable in the gate area at the terminal? Is there some reason that we had to get on this little aluminum tube, taxi about the scenic parts of Boston, and then wait out on the tarmac before taking some sort of action? I'm not the claustrophobic type, but I'm not stupid either. Don't answer that.

While on the exciting tour - at no additional cost to the public, I hasten to add - we went past an area of houses that overlooked the water separating the airport from the towns of Revere and Winthrop. There were some nice little marinas there with boats bobbing on their leashes.

And then there was this party barge.

It must be really bizarre to spend any time sitting under that little umbrella... as the landing airplanes come roaring a hundred feet over your head. It must surely cause the conversation to waver every 60-90 seconds on a busy day when every landing slot is taken. And the TSA really lets these people sit there? I don't care - I can't see them as a credible threat - but if I can't take more than three ounces of toothpaste on an airplane, why would they allow this?

I suppose I have ruined someone's day by even mentioning this in an obscure corner of the Internet, but I just had to ask. Sorry.

As to the title? Look here.


Barry Leiba said...

I know you said "Don't answer that," but I will anyway, just so's you know there's folk reading.

You're a computer guy, you know about these things: terminal gates form a limited resource, which has to be carefully managed. There's boatloads... uh... planeloads... of space on the tarmac. They're much happier clearing a gate and making you sit in the tube on the tarmac, so they can give the gate to the next flight.

It sucks, but from their PoV it makes sense. And you can't do anything about it, 'cause they took all your weapons away before they let you in, ha! (And YOU thought that was to protect against terrorists, didn't you?)

scouter573 said...

The reality of the situation is all too clear and you have captured it. I was railing at The Machine.