Today, after driving through the worst ice storm recorded in April, I dropped my mother and her friends at the airport for their Biennale “Jesus Tour” Trip. Because of work, I’ve been clocking a lot of frequent flyer miles and have become completely accustomed to the “do-it-yourself” digital atmosphere at Terminal 1.
But, for individuals who have not traveled and grew up just going to the counter with your passport, boy have the times changed. Firstly, getting your boarding pass (either on your phone or paper) is key to unlocking that nasty kiosk that asks you for things that you have no idea are. Secondly, when you arrive and are forced to use the kiosk, having the boarding pass is key to further validate your passport and print your baggage tag.
The next part is totally confusing if you don’t know the navigation of the airport. One side is US departures, the other side is domestic and in the middle is international flights. You have to drop your luggage in the correct area and finding someone to ask like an actual person is quite difficult. One thing I didn’t realize is that if your luggage is too heavy the machine/conveyer belt actually weighs your bag. My aunt had to take things out because it was exact with the weight. The fun part is watching the bag move along, and then tell you which gate you need to go to.
My family was grateful that I could navigate them through this maze because nothing about it is intuitive. It’s all forced and unless you buy into the system and just go with the flow you will have a really hard time enjoying the experience of traveling.