I spent a week outside of Baltimore in early May, which was all fine and good until it came time for me to actually leave Baltimore and go home. Apparently Baltimore fell so very much in love with me that it didn’t want me to go. And Chicago, for its part, was apparently righteously irritated with me, and with the two cities’ combined efforts they managed to trap me in the A terminal of BWI for seven hours on Mother’s Day.
While spending seven hours in an airport doesn’t crack my Top 10 Things I Like to Do (but it is a worthy contender for the Top 100), at least I was at BWI, and not, say, the airport in Columbus, Ohio. Sorry, Columbus, but you just don’t stack up to BWI’s terminal A. Because between the people watching, the food court, and the Swarovski kiosk all within tethering distance, the seven hours didn’t fly by (no pun intended) (maybe), but they sure did put on a show.
So if you are ever held at gunpoint and forced to choose an airport terminal in the mid-Atlantic region in which you must spend seven hours, may I A) suggest that your hostage-holder address his or her other far more serious issues of holding people hostage with an incredible amount of specifications, and 2) suggest you spend that hostage time at BWI?
1) The food court has Chipotle. And I love Chipotle. And it’s nice to be stuck in an airport and not have my options limited to McDonald’s, McDonald’s, or Hardees. (Is Hardees even still around?) I mean, if you have to be stuck in an airport, it should at least have easy access to chips and guacamole.
2) There is a Swarovski store right next to a store selling all of the USA/AMERICA! paraphernalia you could ever want. Do you know what that means? A Whole. New. Sparkly. Wardrobe. You’ve got the time, so why not grab a hoodie and put your bedazzling skills to work?
3) There are banks of outlets as far as the eye can see. Or at least it seems that way. There was definitely a long bar of outlets, as well as many several other wall outlets which for people frantically trying to contact the airline or their loved ones and tell them to go to hell and question how could they strand them in Baltimore (the airlines, not their loved ones…mostly) was imperative for the dying cell phones. Normally you can’t find an open outlet to save your soul at airports, but BWI Terminal A? Not a problem. And as the hours went on and the crowds thinned as more and more people rebooked for a flight the following day or on another flight through another city, there were more than enough open outlets that one guy propped up his tablet and streamed the Blackhawks game. Big win, IMHO.
4) It’s open and airy and not far from the security lines. That means that instead of feeling claustrophobic and cramped while you wait to hear your flight called, you can enjoy the sunshine. And then the sunset. And then watch the stars come out. And watch the night sky deepen even more. Because dear Christ on a cracker is your flight ever going to get called? GAH. But on the plus side, you also didn’t have to haul your bulging, overburdened carry to the farthest gate at the farthest terminal. Though you did still have to battle security lines, which I think means you’re free to reward yourself with extra guacamole.