An Experiment In Urban Hiking

One of the aspects of traveling that I have often found intriguing is the way that airports are designed. In many ways, Orlando International Airport is designed like Tampa International Airport, with various smaller terminals that are connected to the main terminal via a short rail system that offers the traveler a cattle car experience in air conditioning. But while Tampa International Airport has a quaint and down-home quality to it that makes it an enjoyable airport to disembark at, reasonably small and unfussed, Orlando is an entirely different animal. How so? Let us discuss.

So, I arrived at about 7PM this evening in Orlando on a non-stop flight on Alaska Airlines (who did a fine job, including in the fantastic Moroccan salad I had for lunch that I had ordered ahead of time for a reasonable cost and in their wifi that allowed me to do some music ranking down). What followed was a comedy of errors that centered around a lot of hiking and a lot of waiting. First, I figured it would be best to eat when I landed because I had a (correct) feeling that the eating options would get dramatically less if I waited long at all, and so it was that I found myself enjoying a lovely chicken paremsan at Romano’s Macaroni Grill only to be hemmed in by some rambunctious drunkards while charging up my laptop at the end of the bar.

Nor was that the end of the hiking. Far from it. It so happened that after dinner I had to hike to the far reaches of the A terminal baggage claim to pick up my suitcase, which was the last one left from its flight on the conveyor belt, and then it was time to make a long hike to the far reaches of the B terminal baggage claim to wait for my mother’s flight to arrive. Once she arrived, we waited a long while for her luggage to show up only to find out that it did not come at all because it was in a transfer area for our flight to St. Thomas later today. Once we found that out, we called the hotel for our pickup, only to find that it was on the floor below where we were at and once again a hike all the way to the end of the ground transportation line. There we waited and chatted with someone we met coming to the same hotel who has some building inspection work to do this week in Florida.

Let us say, though, that we did not have the most unpleasant experience when it came to urban hiking in Florida today. No, that honor belongs to the people who flew a discount airlines from the Dominican Republic to Miami that has only been in operation since last fall. They landed in Miami only to have their plane break the nose landing gear, ended up making a runway excursion that took out a radar tower and a crane and ended up catching the plane on fire. Despite what sounds like a very unpromising set of events, and a chaotic evacuation that included mass panic and pandemonium and the taking out of carry-on luggage from the plane, some of which ended up strewn all around the tarmac, there were no deaths and only three injuries. Here’s hoping anyone doing urban hiking at Florida’s airports in the heat and humidity (which was intense even near midnight) does so under better circumstances than that.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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