Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There is something about the airport at 5 a.m.

Every time I book a 7 a.m. flight, I cringe a bit. Even living 20 minutes from the airport, it means getting up by 4:15 a.m. or so... and I am one of those people who can't sleep when I know I have to get up that early.

So here I sit-- up until 11:30 last night reading Game of Thrones (not up so much because of the book as I was on account of an unplanned 2 hour afternoon nap), then wide awake at 3 in the midst of my normal panic attack caused by dreaming I missed by flight.

I'm on my way to... wait/... where is it this time. Phoenix? No that was week before last... Vegas... no, that is vacation this coming weekend. Hold on, let me check my boarding pass... Hartford! Connecticut, here I come. And it is early, and even the airport is sleepy.

But there is something about airports this early in the morning. I've travelled wayyyyyy more than I like to these past six months or so (after this week, I hit my slow season-- HOORAY!), but despite my general loathing of security lines, digging for a boarding pass, and sitting next to some guy on the plane with hairy arms (who, inevitably, feels he should take his shoes off for the whole flight) I love being in the airport this early.

Typically, its airports that make me so weary of travel. I like seeing new places, new regional cuisines, and I adore a few nights to myself in a big, fluffy hotel bed, but travel is usually made worse by other travelers. Think about it-- in an airport, everyone is sort of isolated. You're in your own world, heading to your own destination. That is all well and good, but it typically translates to an obliviousness that often borders on inconsideration to those around you. We stop and hunt for our boarding pass... oh wait, there are 15 people behind us trying to get to their gate before the door closes. We spread our belongings out across two seats so we can easily keep track of everything, not realizing that there are 10 people standing at the gate who would want to sit down.

But not this early. All of the mild travel transgressions which most of us are guilty of at some point or another seem to not apply at 6 a.m. We all walk around clutching our coffee for all its worth. No one is on their cell phone moseying along in the way. Everyone is just trying to get where their going, and we are all bonded by a common, muted disdain for being awake this early.

I like the airport when it sleeps. And I am looking forward to getting on this plane so I can as well. Me without enough sleep= no good!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if you've ever spent a night in an airport, but that is a completely surreal experience. If it weren't so annoying and generally uncomfortable, I'd love it a lot more than I do. It's always such an interesting mix of people.