My Airport Rant!

April 9, 2008

Family, Travel

airport-denver-photo20bNow that nearly 24 hours have passed, perhaps I can speak rationally about the new thing that made me hate the airport yesterday!

Sara, Titus and I were traveling yesterday and Sara accidentally left a package of wipes at our table after eating at T.G.I.F. in the Atlanta airport. About 20 minutes later Sara needed to change Titus’ third dirty diaper of the day (yes, I said dirty… not wet). I’m still trying to figure out what he ate on Sunday!!!! As she started getting things together, she realized that the wipes were gone. It had already been a long day of traveling and I could see the frustration mounting, so I quickly took action. Before launching out onto my quest, I kissed my wife goodbye and held my son, assuring him that soon he would be clean once again… and without stink!

First I went to TGIF. I’m not really going to go off on them… although I should. I’m not surprised that they threw it away. Seriously, how many people loose stuff at the airport? Probably tons! And who’s going to be able to come back and pick it up? The snippy hostess snottedly responded "well, you wife just wasn’t paying attention. I watched her get up and leave as it was still sitting on the table." I merely turned around and walked away. Lord forgive me of the things I said to her under my breath.

I was on concourse E… at the very end of concourse E. We were flying in to Valdosta, so they always put all the little airplanes that can barely make it more than 400 miles at the end of the concourse. I went to every shop in the E concourse asking for baby wipes. Each person happily suggested another news stand. After hitting every shop, finally someone suggested I talk to the information center. Great idea.

I approached the information lady, who looked rather bored. I explained my quest, telling her that I tried every shop on concourse E. Do you know what she said next? You won’t believe what she asked next! She said (and I quote), "have you tried any of the news stands in any of the other concourses?" I think the look on my face spoke clearly enough. Regardless, I asked her, "you mean you’re suggesting that I visit every shop in this airport?" This was the Atlanta International Airport after all. It’s a little bigger than the Valdosta Regional Airport. Without saying a word, she pulled out her little airport directory and started making phone calls. After close to a dozen calls, she found a store that had what I needed. Well, kind of. It was at concourse T. I was at E. It doesn’t make perfect sense, but it was 5 tram stops away. There are only 6 tram stops in all. Feel my pain. I imagine Sara in a dark corner, consoling our miserable son, sinking deeper in his own filth (okay, I’m sorry, that was gross).

Finally, 10 minutes later I get to the news stand at gate T5. I ask for the wipes. She replies, "I just sold the last one!"

Just kidding. That would have made the story really exciting though, huh? No, she directed me to the wipes. It was actually a diaper changing kit. It included two diapers, three individual wipes and a small bottle of baby lotion. Price? $10. How much would I have been willing to pay? Probably a lot more than that. As far as I could tell, they were the only ones selling this stuff, they had the supply and demand thing working for them.

Fifteen minutes later I was back with Sara and Titus. It had been so long, Titus didn’t quite recognize me at first. Sara quickly took the three wipes and rescued Titus from his filthy state. She actually did it with one wipe! That’s amazing!

My questions:

  • Why in an airport filled with dozens and dozens of stores selling some of the most stupid items (have you ever been into one of those duty free shops?) is there not a single store selling wipes, diapers or even some baby food?
  • Why are airports set up in a way that I can do nothing about this? If a particular store offers bad service, they often go out of business as customers catch on. But in an airport with an un-ending supply of "changing" customers, a store’s level of quality will not determine it’s success. I understand that the demand for wipes is probably very low, but it’s one of those items that when needed… they’re needed in a MAJOR way!
  • Last of all. Why doesn’t anyone sell wipes? Come on… we all know there are kids on just about every plane!!!

So, until I a few days go by… I hate airports. And for at least another few months, I’m going to hate T.G.I.F. They did something else that I didn’t like either… actually they did it when I ate there last Father’s Day and I was specifically reminded of it yesterday and it made me mad at them all over again. So, there you have it.


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3 Responses to “My Airport Rant!”

  1. nene Says:

    Or, at least put a vending machine in the restrooms where you can buy a pack of wipes or diapers?? Of course, that would make toooooooo much sense, right? They can sell condoms so you don’t get pregnant – but, if you do and have the baby and need to fly and change it’s dirty little tush, you are out of luck! Honestly, you should write a book! You have the funniest things happen to you in airports! Love you, Nene


  2. Josh Suiter Says:

    “well, you wife just wasn’t paying attention. I watched her get up and leave as it was still sitting on the table.” – dude this would have set me off. If she SAW her leave and WATCHED her leave – why didn’t she take them too her? Common courtesy and solid customer service has gone down the drain! You are a better man than I because I would have blown my lid and let her have it. That’s the short-fuse in me though.


  3. Kristi Says:

    Jarrod and I have been in the position of trying to buy diapers in the airport, and the pathetic diapers we ended up (eventually) finding and purchasing were just a tiny bit more effective than wrapping my daughter in a paper sack. We feel your pain on this one!


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