Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I got up extra early this morning and took my sister Carlota to the airport. She will be spending Christmas in Africa. She gets to spend forty hours on a plane before she gets to Entebbe, Uganda. She is attending a tribal wedding there.

I noticed in the dark this morning that the Mayor and Airport manager had painted lots of no parking markers on the little inlets on Sunport Blvd. This is where legions of folks pull in off the road to await cell phone calls from passengers who luckily didn't have their baggage lost by our increasingly pathetic airlines. Then I get home and read the paper and the story is all laid out there too.

Score one more hassle for the airport visitors and passengers. This is totally unnecessary. Yes, there is another poorly lit and out of the way airport cell phone waiting area on the North East Side of the airport. I used it once and watched a drug deal go down in the mostly deserted parking area.

Mr. Mayor and airport manager, would you please stop thinking of ways to make air travel and airport hassles even worse?

Meanwhile the city council says traffic light cameras will keep on clicking away for a while at least. I really don't have much against those cameras and most people I talk to think they have made intersections safer. However, I am against the enormous fine structure that the Mayor is using to pad the city coffers.


Michael Bernstein said...

"most people I talk to think they have made intersections safer."

Oh, well, as long as people *think* it makes them safer, it must be OK.

As for me, I'd like to see some proof of the proposition, which is sadly lacking.

Teresa Blankmeyer Burke said...

Oh boy oh boy - don't get me started on the Sunport!

I'm in and out of the Sunport at least once a week, and I'm always dealing with a mixture of pride (it is a beautiful airport, especially compared with others around the country) and shame that Albuquerque TSA workers are so so so rude.

This is especially true in the arrivals area, where I've seen TSA security hassling little old ladies trying to haul their bags out to their pick-up car and yelling at my husband for getting out of his car to put my bags in our track, and so forth - this happens at least once a month, BTW.

I am not talking about illegal parking either. What happens is that my family pulls up in a legally designated loading area, I start heading with my bags towards the car once I see them approaching, and TSA starts immediately shouting at us to move, move, move when we have clearly just pulled up and are moving as fast as we can.

This does NOT do much for the image of our city.

Then there's the whole plastic bag issue - why is it that the Sunport is is the only airport I fly into in the ENTIRE country that is so rigidly uptight about plastic baggies and 3 oz containers being in the right kind of zipperlocked plastic baggy - the wrong size, brand, and thickness apparently can be a real no-no! I've got this down pat so it is not an issue for me, but it is downright embarrasssing to see the TSA bawl out people for not doing this the right way. This is especially true for those people who managed to fly into the Sunport from their home airport and pass this part of airport screening just fine, and then they come here, do the same thing that got them through their home airport, and get a wholly different set of rules/behaviors.

In the past year I've flown into dozens of airports nationally (more than I can remember) and we are the only one that gets so riled up about the size and texture of plastic baggies.

This does not happen at Heathrow or Gatwick or Madrid or JFK or SFO or Dulles or BWI or National to mention a few of the airports I've been through in the past 6 months...places that have actually and unfortunately had to deal with terrorism/terrorist plots.

I'm all for making airports safer, but why oh why are we at the Sunport pickier and ruder than any of the other airports I frequent, especially including Dulles, BWI, and National (I refuse to call it Reagan) which I fly through almost as much as the Sunport? Surely we are no more at risk than these others? I'm not asking that we lower our standards, just that we try to maintain the same level of professionalism that I see at other airports around the US.

Thanks for letting me vent...