Saturday, November 06, 2010

Compare and Contrast, Part I

Manchester, NH has a cute, tidy little airport. Nothing's too far away from anything else, and the people are so friendly that when I checked my gats, one of the agents at the check-in counter mentioned that her husband worked at the firing range just down the road from the airport, and had I gone there? Not this visit, unfortunately.

Philadelphia's airport, where this missive is being typed, is not like that. It's a teeming, seething mass of aberrant humanity; a rat warren of kiosks and bars and restaurants and newsstands with a floorplan apparently designed by M.C. Escher. And unlike my flight up, where I didn't even have to deplane in DC, here I had to schlep to another gate clean across this place like a crowded shopping mall reeking of burnt JP-4. I'm ready to get home. I hope they didn't lose my bags.

Boarding another little Embraer soon...

23 comments:

Carteach0 said...

Beware. Philly has multiple gates and terminals with the same numbering scheme. Designed by the insane is pretty close to true.

Jay G said...

Manchester Firing Line (the range she was referring to) is, literally, right down the street. Neat place. Can sometimes be, um, crowded.

Safe transport all the way home Tam.

WV: chewin - I swear I am not making this up...

Chas S. Clifton said...

The lovely Embraer. I cannot even stand up in one. Crouching all the way to your seat is the perfect dessert after "security theatre."

WV: CRYBACK. Honestly. All the way to Row 27.

Matt said...

Sadly, here on the eastern shore of Maryland almost all of our flights out of the local Salisbury airport (its so small it doesn't have a gate, you walk out onto the tarmac to board) connect through Philly. One of the many reasons I don't fly much.

Anonymous said...

"...a teeming, seething mass of aberrant humanity; a rat warren..."

Sounds like a real Brotherly Lovely place. Based on your little travelogue here, I think I'll skip it. But those Original Yankees sound pretty real...

"...a cute, tidy little airport...and the people are so friendly..."

Still...

"I'm ready to get home."

No place like it, as someone said.

AT

reflectoscope said...

At the risk of being a petroleum propellant pedant, what you're most likely smelling is Jet-A; burnt JP-4 has a surprisingly pleasant smell.

Jim

Steve Skubinna said...

Reminds me of when I flew via O'Hare to Lexington, KY some years ago. What a contrast - and not advantageous to Chicago.

Sebastian said...

I think you may have been there about the same time as Bitter, flying out to Nashville to meet up with her niece and nephew. Your description of the Philadelphia Airport in generous. I think it is more aptly described as one of the seven levels of hell, for a variety of reasons. Though, I will say I've never had issues checking guns at PHL. I will also say when I accidentally schlepped a loaded magazine past security I was glad it was in Phoenix and not the City of Brotherly Love.

Sebastian said...

And I guess not past security, so much as they caught me.

Anonymous said...

Any day you get out of Philly without being hit by a thrown AA battery is a good day.

Buzz said...

Before my dad retired, he was all over this great country for his employer.
Of all the places visited, Philly made itself a "special" place in his bowels: Rude, grumpy people and an airport from hell. He said that, without a doubt, it was his least favorite place to go.

For me, Honolulu was like Manchester on the way in, but was a logistics cluster on the way out.
Many of the smaller airports are more pleasant than their mega counterparts.

TJIC said...

Yeah, when I fly out of Boston, I prefer to drive up to Manchester and depart from there. So much nicer.

TXGunGeek said...

Once upon a time in the not so distant past, Manchesta airport was even more of a hoot. If you were going out of gate 1 or 2 you went out the west door and walk to the truck with stairs in front of your plane. If you were going out of gate 3 or 4 you went out the east door and did the same. Those were the days. Flew out of there a lot when I lived in Derry NH(just south of the airport).

ToddG said...

You've clearly never tried going through Manchester security with a slide in your carry-on, or loaded & secured mags (per TSA regulations) in your checked luggage. High drama. 8)

wv: equishar, what the current Administration believes each person (who voted for him) deserves regardless of how much they've contributed to society or the economy.

BadIdeaGuy said...

Too bad you didn't go to the information counter. They actually have a contest every year to find the ten least hospitable people with the worst English skills (for native born/raised) to staff the info desk at the Philthy airport. It's called the "Miss Ig'nint Philly" pageant.

Random fact: my wife and I drove right by the airport around the time this was posted on the way up to a little bar in the city.

Who knew? Glad you made it home safely. Hope your bags did too.

Anonymous said...

Unlike a good cheese steak or soft pretzels, the Philly airport is a bit of culture best not experianced.

Tam, be glad you did not have to go thru security there. It adds 50 minutes to the effort. Nashville typically adds 15 minutes or less.

Gerry

Lergnom said...

I live in Philly and I didn't know the airport had an info counter.
Tam, if I'd known you were stopping here, I'd have shown up with soft pretzels. Cheesesteaks don't travel well.
Glad your stop in my little town wasn't a horror story.

Stay safe

Jeff the Baptist said...

I live about halfway between BWI and PHL. If I can help it, all my travel goes through BWI.

theirritablearchitect said...

Philly.

Worst airport I've ever had the displeasure of using.

NOT ONE THING about it do I like, from the layout to the amenities, the size, convenience (lack of) and, I'm not trying here, but, the people running the joint (this includes the TSA, of course, were the surliest bunch of assholes I've ever run across in my life.

Not ever going back, if I can avoid it.

Anonymous said...

Manchester Firing Line just opened their new location. (right on Brown Ave.) Whole wall of class 3 (50+)
Haven’t shot there yet but the showroom is a real treat.

Bram said...

HA! I drive an extra 40 minutes to fly out of Philly rather than Newark, or God help me, LaGuardia or Kennedy. Compared to the NY airports, Philly is new, clean, and well organized.

If flights are available I prefer Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, or Hartford - they are nice little airports like Manchester.

CalvinsMom said...

Hell, Tam. I'd have showed up and bought you a (ridiculously overpriced) drink at the airport watering hole if I'd known you were passing through.

tim said...

Philly airport has been under construction continuously since I first flew into there, Christmas of 1971. The last time I was there a few years ago, it looked like someone surrounded an ugly mall with landing strips. And it was still under construction. But it matches the rest of that part of town - butt ugly.

Manchester is much easier...smack in the middle of the land of Live, Freeze and Die.