It’s been a long day…night…day. At the conclusion of our trip to Tucson, Old Man Winter decided to play havoc with airline schedules. A few inches of snow delayed or cancelled many flights in and out of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Fortunately, our flight was only delayed…but nearly four hours. As a result, we arrived at 12:30 a.m.
Upon arrival we learned some cots were being made available for marooned passengers at the airport. We we’re lucky enough to eventually find two of them, but many folks did not. As a result there were people sleeping in all kinds of places, all over the airport. And yes, there were some buttcracks that were clearly visible.
The cot was helpful, but the never-ending recorded announcements on illegal parking, security (which was closed at this hour), smoking, and health made it very difficult to sleep – my health would have been much better without the announcements. Throw in the professional snorers and a bright bank of overhead lights and it was next to impossible unless you were narcoleptic.
To top it all offer were all awakened by security at 4:00 a.m. which is apparently wake-up hour in airport world. Ugh.
Not everything was bad – the cots were there, most with a pillow and blanket, and airport staff kindly handed out a free personal care bag with toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, and a toothbrush – very nice. We also got a firsthand glimpse at life in airport world in wee hours of the night.
My suggestions for improving the experience for those marooned at airports, include:
- Turn off the damn announcements – they aren’t pertinent in the middle of the night, especially when TSA isn’t even operating.
- Dim the lights on those corridors where the cots are being set up or establish a separate room for guests who are stuck in airport world.
- Consider heated runways and tarmacs – sure that’s expensive, but given the costs in delays, cancellations, snow removal, etc, it could pay for itself fairly quickly.