Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From PDX to FAT

On Saturday I found myself at Gate A7 at PDX which is something akin to the far flung departure gates of the Phuket airport in Thailand, or Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The exception would be that when departing from these destinations it is the end of a tropical dream, the wake up call that you are returning to the real world so your surroundings are appropriately reality provoking.

The A gates in the farthest reaches of PDX are the place where all the old airport furniture goes to die. With the large adhesive carpet squares, usually reserved for day cares and libraries, and some sort of after market outlets added onto the stainless and vinyl rows of connected chairs so you can charge your devices.

They threw a Starbucks and a Laurelwood Brewing down here to make us feel like we're not waiting for a Greyhound bus. To be fair, I haven't been to the bus station lately, maybe things have improved, somehow I doubt it.  The Starbucks system was down, so they wouldn't take my Starbucks card. Hey, if I'm not getting a 'star' for my purchase so I can earn a free coffee I'll go for the other NW tradition, Coffee People-Aero Mocha and the non-fat Velvet Hammer. Yum!

Granted I was waiting to go to Fresno so no glam and glitz there, but good friends and fun times ahead. Really, do they have to make us feel as though we're with Good Will travel services. A little piped in Muzak, maybe a fresh coat of paint, come on throw us a bone down here!

We'll just have to live the dream all on our own, pumping ourselves up for the trip. It may not be Paris, D.C., or Chicago, but we are getting away and isn't that the most important thing? To see the ones you love and pretending to be carefree and unencumbered.  It' still a good thing even if you're departing from gate A7.

Bright and early this morning we headed to the Fresno Air Terminal, now Fresno Yosemite International airport, still FAT. Great news! An unannounced delay of 3 hours because the plane can't get out of San Diego. Huh? What could possibly be going on down there? Couldn't get the flight crew back from last nights trip to Tijuana? Missed high tide this morning so surfing went late? Really?

After wandering around and trying to read my book they announced they were generously providing meal vouchers. Yippee. Heading towards the only place to eat, other than Starbucks brought me to an area where I did finally get wifi. Turns out if you aren't in the bowels of FAT at the Alaska terminal (why are they always at the edge of no where?) and you venture upstairs to the Delta gates there is free wifi. Ahhhhhhhhh (enter celestial music here). 

So now I'm living large with my $12 meal voucher, do they check the menu so you can't actually get anything for less than $13.49(+ tax-foreign concept to all us Oregonians trapped here in the Central Valley) before deciding on how much to give you? 

Original departure time 10:35am. Most recent update, 2:34 pm. Now they are requesting names and email addresses (shouldn't they already have these in their system?!?) so they can send some 'certificates' for our inconvenience. Well at least I had some time for a blog post.

Languishing in the fruit and nut capital-

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