Friday, September 09, 2005

Philly Airport Police

I took a friend and his family to the Philadelphia airport recently, for a trip they were taking out west. Taking them was easy, dropped them off curbside, unloaded the van, life was good.

Then, two weeks later, I went to pick them up. They were late arriving; no problem, I'll just leave a bit later, but with the Blue Route (the freeway leading to the airport) under construction, I don't want to cut it too close. I get to Philly around 10:30pm, stop for a soda at a gas station, and head for the airport, arriving there about 11pm. The off-ramp has changed in the past few years, and you have to go about half the length of the airport, cross the freeway, double back, then enter the airport at the south end (this is all assuming you're coming from the south, as I was). It's all well marked, and easy to navigate.

But there were perhaps dozens of cars lining the off-ramp. I wondered why, as they were all sitting there with their lights on, off to the side, on the shoulder. Then I get into the airport, and I see why.

Traffic in the airport isn't bad, really, and I work my way down to the last gate, and pull up behind some stopped cars to wait, and about two or three minutes later, I get waved along by one of Philly's finest, the airport police. Apparently, there's no stopping to wait for passengers to come out. So out I go, onto the return loop to come back around for another pass through the airport, and there are even more folks stopped along that road. At some point in this, Wife called me to tell me that their plane was expected to land around 11:40pm, meaning I've got a half-hour to kill. <sigh>

The short of it is that I wound up pulling off with the teeming hordes of others waiting for arrivals, got shooed along by the cops a couple more times, and still needed to make 3 round trips around the airport before they arrived. On their side, if we'd all been sitting inside the airport, waiting, it would have jammed things up; on ours, it'd be really swell to not pay the exorbitant rates they charge for parking, just to wait for someone to come out from baggage claim. At any rate, it was an experience.

No comments: