I’m sure that if you ran a Google search, you could find hundreds of rants about how awful airports are. But I figured, you can never have too many rants about airports, so here is my totally unique perspective on it.
We got to the airport for our flight back to the States (yay! I was so dang excited) and got in line to check our bags. We had to stand in line for about half an hour because they had to check passports and ask questions, because this was an international flight, and you can never be too careful. That was fine; I understand that long lines can be necessary. We finally got through the long line, said goodbye to the family in Germany, and got in line to have our passports checked so that we could get ourselves on the flight, and I looked up at the flight schedule board.
And our flight was boarding.
But we still had a little under an hour and a half before our flight left, so like the calm people we are, we weren’t at all stressed as we seemingly inched through the customs line, got ourselves and our bags through security, stopped for the longest bathroom break of my life (and waited about ten minutes to an eternity for someone to get bottled water) and casually sped to our terminal. But instead of walking through that passageway that normally leads right into the plane, we headed right into a room staffed with a whole team of airport personell and another x-ray. So we inched through that security check and as we were getting the last of our bags through, an announcement came over the loudspeaker announcing that our flight was boarding.
I would like to note here that throughout all of the “Maybe we’ll have to stay in Germany jokes”, not once did I give anybody my full-power death glare. You should be proud of me.
As soon as my bag was checked, I raced out of the room and had to wait on pins and needles for the rest of the group to follow me. We went down some stairs, where I realized that we had to board a bus that would take us to the airplane. Have you ever played sardines with strangers? There wasn’t any more standing room on that bus after we got on.
After waiting for such a long time that we all could have walked to the plane, the bus finally drove away. I guess that as soon as I got on the bus, I didn’t have to worry about missing the flight anymore, but I finally felt better when we were all safely on the plane.
I spent the next eight hours watching The Amazing Spiderman 1 and 2, Hidden Figures, and Up.
When we landed in Philadelphia, we had two hours to get through customs and board our flight to Arizona. We made our way to customs, then had to stand in another half hour line to scan our passports and get our pictures taken (we all looked lovely after eight hours of airplane travel), then stand in another super long line to have our passports looked at again. We didn’t cut this flight so close, and we had time to get some food before the flight.
I bit into my sandwich after we’d boarded the plane and had to face it: American bread will never be what German bread is.
I slept for the entire four-hour flight. All of the pain and stress was worth it when I saw my parents again and was finally back home.