Saturday, August 13, 2011

Airport Funtimes, Part 1

I haven't gone to Orlando yet, but I recently took a trip to Salt Lake, and here's what I wrote regarding my airport experience on the first leg of the trip:

Wow! The Portland airport is amazing! It started at the security gate. I have never met nicer TSA agents anywhere. They were remarkably efficient, but even while they were doing their jobs, they were all being so incredibly kind and patient with the passengers. I myself forgot to remove my belt prior to passing through the metal detector, and the agent just smiled and didn't act irritated at all when the detector beeped. This has NEVER happened to me before. The TSA agents typically act rude or impatient if I forget my belt or wear a hair clip that sets off the alarm. When I was done, a TSA agent saw me pull my empty water bottle out of my bag and kindly directed me to the nearest water fountain, assuring me that the water was filtered(which is not a huge priority for me, but I know it's important to a lot of people).

The kindness continued even as I was browsing the shops(I arrived very early). The employees were all very kind, and when I was looking for a book in the Powell's shop, the employee made sure I found the correct one. It turned out to be in the other Powell's location in the airport, and he made sure I knew exactly where to go to get there quickly. It was Divergent, by Veronica Roth, and I highly recommend it.

The Delta agents at the gate were also among the nicest agents I have ever met. The only ones who were nicer were at the airport in Anchorage, Alaska, and my aunt worked there at the time, and they knew who I was(so it doesn't count). In short, the Portland airport was FANTASTIC.

On the way back... well, the Salt Lake airport isn't awful, exactly, but it's not that great. Getting through security is terrible. The wait in the security line was longer than I would have liked, and the people there weren't particularly pleasant. They do have a full-body scanner(millimeter wave), if that's a concern for you... I went through it, and it isn't all that bad. The agents working it seemed really tense though... I definitely could have done without that. According to a release by the TSA, "Participation in the body scanning is voluntary. Signs tell travelers they don't have to participate and TSA officers are also instructed to tell people it's voluntary." I didn't see any signs, and nobody told me I could choose another lane. While I'm not bothered by the idea of full-body scanning, I was never informed that I could opt out if I wanted to, and that DOES bother me. Basically, the TSA is telling the public one thing, while doing essentially the opposite. That does offend me, especially since the rest of the security experience at the SLC airport was so unpleasant and almost seems designed to confuse and disorient the traveler.

There are a lot of eating options in the SLC airport. Check the map when you get there! It's not worth your time walking around trying to find something to eat. Some things are in more than one location, so you can plan accordingly. Also, I only saw one drinking fountain in the whole airport, and I had to ask a TSA agent where that was(it was sort of hidden). There aren't as many shopping options as in the Portland or Seattle airports... but that's not a huge deal. It just makes the place seem a little more generic.

Anyways, that's my assessment of those two airports. I'll be flying through three more airports on my way to Orlando in a couple of weeks here, so I'll post my reviews of those airports as well. Happy traveling!

No comments:

Post a Comment