Friday, April 06, 2007

Ah, free WIfI...

Well, here I am at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, awaiting my connecting flight to Ontario, getting good use out of my camera phone while my camera is safely tucked in a locker.

I like this airport. I like it a hell of a lot better than before. Here's a few reasons why:

1) Free WiFi - I've had to pay out the ass at Santa Ana's airport, and BWI doesn't even wireless capabilities. At least not the area I was in. Vegas, on the other hand, has a quick wireless hook-up. The only catch was that I had to give them my email address. God, I hope that wasn't a sham, as I have read in the news recently. But they charged me nothing and the use policy looks authentic. It was also the only network available, except for a peer-to-peer network. At least it didn't charge me. That is when I need to really beware, and find out if I'm giving my credit card information to an airport-approved third party, or some asshole who plans to steal my money and more.

2) They have casinos in this crazy place - No, I don't gamble. I hate it, in fact. I don't know, I'm just too apprehensive that I'll lose the money I've put into the machine that I just don't bother. Maybe if I have a quarter to spare, but that's it. But it's just so funny to see slots in an airport. And that leads me to the best new thing about McCarran...

3) No more smoking inside the airport - I used to hate connecting here, because there were always so many people smoking, especially around the slot machines. And it was everywhere. I don't remember the last time I had a connecting flight here, but things have definitely changed since then. Now, I no longer get a headache when I enter the airport, I can breathe, and I don't board the plane smelling like I've spent the night at the neighborhood bar. (You've probably guessed I don't smoke, never have, actually).

4) Lockers - Sometime in the last few years I changed planes in Atlanta Hartsfield, easily the busiest airport in the country, if not the world (London Heathrow and Chicago O'Hare are the other two, with Heathrow the busiest for international flights). I had tons of baggage, and I had to carry it around for four hours because the luggage lockers no longer work. Security issue. Here, they work.

The one thing that peeves me is not so much McCarran-specific, but specific to all airports - the prices for food! And it's not even very good food, either. But amidst the Burger Kings, Starbcks, Unos and Cinnabons, I did manage to find many sandwich kiosks a la Pret-a-Manger, which I encountered in Heathrow and a thousand other locations in London this past New Year's. They have a Wolfgang Puck one, but the sandwiches were overpriced and not terribly interesting. The place I did go, a kiosk called Fresh Attractions, did have some slightly more interesting choices, even if they were just as expensive. I got a pesto chicken baguette sandwich. The chicken was a little gritty, but it still tasted good with the pesto. I think they put mayo on it, too. Maybe to mask the grit of the chicken. And here was something innovative: I kept on biting into sweet, juicy things which turned out to be grapes. I had never thought of such a thing, grapes on a sandwich. Not bad!

So I board my flight in about 45 minutes. How to pass the time? Hmmm... Gamble? No, like I said I can never get into it. Maybe I'll just read.


Fairfax said...

Safe trip! Happy Easter!

Baltimore Snacker said...

Thanks, Happy Easter to you too!