It’s travel time, once again.
I’m currently sitting in the Central Illinois Regional Airport which is located in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois. Here in Illinois we seem to like our twin cities. There are shirts for sale here that say, “Leaving Normal”. I like them.
I got here way too early. I’m not used to these small airports. When I checked my bag I had to ring a bell for service. There was no one behind the counter and the guys at the TSA screening station looked half asleep and hopeful I might actually be bringing them a bag, and consequently a little something to do. Both of them helped me when I walked over. Two guys, one small bag. Funny. I got to security and same thing. No one in line. Not a single person. There were three TSA people there to tell me I had pre-screened and so didn’t have to remove my shoes or my jacket. Sweet. I did, however, still have to take out my laptop and bottle of nose spray. No biggie. I didn’t mind. I never mind actually, it’s security after all. I’d rather be safe. But, back to the lack of patronage at this airport at this time of day. I got through security in less than two minutes. Slick. Next, a sandwich and a bottle of water. There was, again, no one in line at the counter so I had a nice little chat with the gent who told me there was a less expensive bottle of water around the corner, if that mattered to me. It did. I don’t care what kind of bottled water I get, as long as I get something to drink. The short line didn’t mean the bill was cheap though. Airports are still airports after all. Nearly 20 dollars later, with only a sandwich, small bag of chips, a bottled water, and a package of peanut m&m’s for later, I was robbed, but not going to be hungry. I looked around for somewhere to sit and, I saw three people at the four gates that were up near the snack bar/restaurant. It’s been an hour and there are still only three of us.
I guess people who fly out of this airport regularly know the secret. This whole idea of getting to the airport two hours e arly is bunk when you come here. I could’ve strolled in with 30 minutes to go and been OK. That would be cutting it close for my timely sensibility, but an hour instead of two, now we’re talking. Next time I won’t make the same mistake.
This airport is great though. Good amenities. Free WiFi, plenty of comfortable seating, areas to charge your electronics, and a nice guy at the snack bar who will give you a money saving tip. Plus, there are sculptures of horses and nice art, and loads of windows for light.
I fly from here to Dallas. It’s everything this airport is, and isn’t. It’s huge, so big it has it’s own train, and it’s usually crowded. I don’t have to brave security there, as I’m just flying through, but I’ve spent some time there. Big. Big with all the things big brings with it. Lines, hurried people with tired attitudes, rush. From there I’ll fly to Vegas. Same thing. Lots of people, rushing,
Oh, wow, there are now two more people sitting in my area. Oh, make that four. The crowd, as it is, is forming. Hold your hats people. It’s starting to feel like an actual airport in here.