Flying the Friendly Skies

Living in the tri state area provides many advantages. I was incredibly fortunate to grow up in the quaint suburbs of New Jersey, while having easy access to the greatest city on earth and being in close proximity to some of the trashiest beaches in the land. However, one east coast classic that I could do without would be the airports. The two closest airports to me would be Newark (EWR), and LaGuardia. Both have a knack for turning a simple task of traveling into a stressful nightmare. At Newark the most frustrating aspect is the security checkpoint. They set up their security checkpoint lines vertically down a long narrow hallway. As a result, no one knows which line they should go to. The TSA staff doesn’t give much direction either and the entire process turns into a mess. On the other hand, if you have ever walked into an airport on a rainy day and have noticed the ceiling leaking, then you know you are in LaGuardia. LaGuardia’s real claim to notoriety would have to be driving into the airport. With a lack of signs, a plethora of angry drivers, and a general sense of confusion, trying to find the drop off area for any terminal is always an adventure.

On the flip side going to a college in St. Louis provides its own great advantages, namely, Lambert airport. The real beauty of Lambert airport lies in the lack of people and lack of stress I encounter when I go there. I can board the metro for free at 7:00, arrive at the airport at 7:30 for my flight that boards at 8, check a bag, go through security, realize I am in the wrong terminal, do the whole process again and still make it my gate at 7:45. No one yells or honks at me, I don’t sense a general feeling of annoyance from the people around me, in fact, I usually make some sort of positive conversation with a TSA agent or another fellow traveler on my way to the gate. Another great perk of Lambert is Southwest Airlines. Southwest has daily, direct, flights to and from most major places, including Newark and LaGuardia. The flight is a quick two hours of pleasantness. I can check up to two bags for free, choose my desired seat (usually aisle), and enjoy a delicious bag of peanuts. Lambert Airport provides the means to turn a usually small inconvenience of traveling into a simply pleasant experience.