Monday, March 24, 2008

The highs and very, very low lows

On Friday, I spent an uncomfortable two and a half hours trying to get from the Newark Airport airtrain station to the actual terminal a half mile away. In a nutshell, the airtrain was down, the Port Authority employees didn't know what to do, about 300 increasingly frustrated people waited in various lines while we were moved up and down the stairs to shuttles that may or may not have actually existed. A bunch of people missed their flights -- I was lucky I showed up almost four hours early (purely by chance). Even then, I only arrived at my gate about 15 minutes before boarding.

More disappointing than the lack of a contingency plan by the Port Authority is the complete lack of human decency displayed by many of the people that were waiting. Lots of cursing, screaming, tantrums, etc. One woman behind me called the police.

At one point, a shuttle actually arrived, full of people trying to get to the train station from the airport -- most of whom were coming in from international flights. Since they didn't know where to go, and no one in authority was helping them out, these folks would accidentally get mixed up in the lines waiting to go to the terminals. They'd then realize their mistake, walk out of line, and try walking into the building so that they could get a train. People waiting would then start screaming obscenities at them for "cutting" the line. Welcome to America, where we're all jerks.

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