thomas m wilson

The Ugly Airport

June 14th, 2007

Ah travel! I’m currently sitting in a departure lounge of the airport at Washington D.C. Yesterday I made my way here after a stupidly early start (I accidentally set my alarm for 2.30am in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep). The flights to Greenville – where I’m now going to attend the conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment – were cancelled due to severe thunderstorms in the south. After going and prodding the staff of United I discovered this – they were not forthcoming. This was three hours after I was supposed to leave. Then another three and a half hours elapsed as I stood in the line for customer service. Upon getting to talk to somebody I was told that I was rebooked on a flight at noon today and that there were no hotel vouchers. After ringing all the hotels it appeared that the hotels of D.C. were fully booked. I’d now been awake for nearly 24 hours, and the prospect of a hard airport floor was not attracting me. This low point was starting to remind me of the other low points I’ve had on this trip – such as having a red eyed Kiwi sheep farming lad slam into the front of my compact rental car on a road in New Zealand, or getting a cold from sleep dep. Travel sometimes doesn’t seem worth it.

Luckily a distant contact who I managed to phone booked me into the local Hilton somehow and the airport agreed to pay some of the price. So I have actually managed to get a few hours sleep – ah the joys of a hotel bed for a weary wanderer! – and I’m off to the second day of the ASLE conference.

If I have yet to respond to your emails, that is because I’ve only had twenty minutes on the internet to post these few blogs. I’ll do so asap.

Expect more from the ASLE conference soon. I will get there!