stm4e (stm4e) wrote,

Airport experiences

I guess I haven't flown in a while, but I am today. A couple of things that struck me:

  1. The security line is actually 2 lines. One for "expert travelers" who know the procedures, and one for troublemakers like me who have laptops and forget to take off their shoes. The volume, and rate of passage, is much higher on the "expert" line, like you'd expect. But what's interesting is the number of people who clearly shouldn't be on the expert line (because they're herding several small children, say) who go on it anyway, because they think it's faster. As a result, there were hardly any people on the "loser" line, and I went right through.

    Columbus is a pretty small airport, but I bet this is true in general- the fast line gets way more people than it can handle, and the slow line moves almost as fast. (Unless and until you get that one person who holds everything up for a long time. You probably won't get him on the expert line). I don't know enough queuing theory to know if this is the case, but I'm betting the TSA people don't either. Or maybe they don't care, and it's just a way to seem like they're being accommodating, when they really just want 2 lines. It's not like there are any consequences for being a slow person on the fast line.

    Regardless, while I still hate lots of the pointless security theater that goes on, I have to admit that they've gotten much better at handling security and making it flow. Remember how it was around 2002? With infants being pulled from the line for "extra security screening"?

    2) Wireless is free here, and it got me thinking about how that seems to be the case almost everywhere now (at least in Ohio.) The "pay to use wireless in a public place" business model seems to have died off for the most part, and wireless is the sort of thing people expect to be free in a large public place (and even places like hotels- I don't even ask when I'm in a hotel now, I just assume they have it). It's kind of cool that things have changed so quickly, and in such a positive (for the regular person who gets an extra benefit for free) way.

    Wow, I'm remarkably optimistic for someone who got up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM today. It can't last :)
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