Dave Boyer writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer this week about a new vacation destination: Philly Airport.
“If you haven’t planned your summer vacation yet, I recommend a day trip to Philadelphia International Airport. Too many travelers consider the airport a place to begin exciting trips to more enjoyable locales, such as Paris or Paducah. This attitude is needlessly ambitious. Your vacation will be much less frustrating if you think of Philly airport as your final destination. Go, pay for parking, look around a bit, and return home refreshed at the end of the day.
The average temperature in the airport in August is 85 degrees, so wear loose-fitting clothing. And comfortable walking shoes are recommended for that invigorating dash from Terminal C to Terminal F when your first flight gets canceled.
English is spoken at the airport, but the locals have their own unique dialect. “System saturation” means the airport can’t handle all the flights in a timely manner! “Operational failure” has a variety of translations, from “flat tire” to “flaming engine.”
The airport does not have a pool for kids. But it does have a spacious sauna that doubles as a shuttle bus between terminals.
Chez Dour offers small, expensive sandwiches of uncertain origin filling a cheerless display case. The clerk behind the counter gives off an air of listless indifference, just as they do in Paris! Two turkey wraps and a bottle of water cost $18, as pricey as any highfalutin bistro on the Left Bank. And we are on the left bank – of the Delaware, if you’re facing upstream.
Then it’s back to Gate C25, where you can settle onto a padded bench and crack open a good book while you await confirmation that you’re not going anywhere. The gun-metal-gray vinyl of the benches is shredded, and bleeds foam stuffing. Oh, if these benches could talk! No doubt they would tell of thousands of weary pilgrims who tried in vain to sleep here as they contemplated a better life beyond these walls.
One of the best ways to stay away from such a dangerous place is to plan a day trip to Philadelphia International Airport. The security is tight, and you’re in no danger of going anywhere else.”