Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GEG-Spokane Airport

I took an opportunity when it came up to get away without kids for the weekend. I flew to Portland Oregon to meet up with my sister which of course took me through the Spokane airport. It has been probably 14 years since I was last on an airplane and so many things have changed. You can now walk up to the ticket counter, input your confirmation number onto a touch screen, weigh your luggage, show your ID and then your done. No need to talk your flight plans with an agent.
Since 9/11 the lines through airport security can get pretty long. You show your ID and ticket then stand in line waiting for your turn to put your things into gray tubs-empty your pockets, take off your belt and shoes, open your laptop case-which then gets pushed through, scanned by machine and person. Then you get to pass through a metal detector while a gaurd watches you. Heaven help you if the detector goes off because you are pulled to the side and scanned even more throughly.
Once past security and you have redressed, there is to your pleasure food venders and gift shops. You can find most of the things that aren't allowed through security and a few things you might need to entertain yourself until your plane arrives. All for a hefty price. I imagine the prices are high because of the rigorious security their inventory goes through to keep us safe from terrorism. Or at least I like to think that is the reason.
$3.29 for a simple bottle of waterHaving to arrive at least an hour before your flight leaves you with time to kill. People find different ways to occupy themselves while waiting for their planes.
From sleeping to reading the newspaper
You now get to line up according to the number on your ticket. To make this easy they have signs that point you to where you should stand. I noticed that passengers are a bit particular about getting in the right order. Heaven help you if you are number 24 and you get in front of number 22. If you're lucky you can see the luggage cart on its way to your plane outside just before you head down the tunnel to get onto it.
I wouldn't have thought twice all those years ago about pulling out my large DSLR and photographing everything about the airport. Now though I found myself trying to be discreet, shooting with a small point and shoot camera and acting somewhat like a spy, wondering if and when security was going to question me about my motives.