Terminal confusion

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I volunteered to pick up my daughter at the airport in the city last weekend. You must understand that she lives the Metroplex, but we had a family gathering attend that afternoon, and she was coming into the airport which was fairly close to the gathering. I don’t often get a chance to get together with her and her sister, so I was excited about the prospects.

I remembered it was a complicated procedure to get through the maze of twisted, narrow roads, and the plethora of signs to be read, each with multiple arrows, and confusing words. One would think that the word “arrival” would be easy to understand. A big sign on the main road said, “Terminal C, Arrivals and Departures.” By the way, the main road is really an oval race track. That’s good, because you can circle that race track several times without anyone knowing that you are stupid. Because you … and they … are so involved in reading signs and trying not to run into someone else, no one realizes you are the same gray SUV which almost side-swiped him a few minutes ago.

I have modern technology on my vehicle. So, while I was miles from the airport, I pulled to the side of the road, checked my phone for the details of my daughter’s flight number and arrival gate. Terminal C, Gate 36 was entered into the system. It looked so simple, and the woman in my dashboard was confident that we would find it in thirty-seven minutes. That was good. My daughter didn’t arrive for another hour. Onward … through the blowing, icy rain of mid-April. April?

With the help of “Miss Know-which-way-to-go,” I made it to the airport and whizzed down the racetrack to Terminal C … which was on the other side of the track. For some reason I didn’t trust the woman … after all she had been in that dashboard a long time … things might have changed.

Remembering the go-cart tracks of yore, I flashed back to the nightmare of concrete curbs and kids honking loudly to get out of the way. It all came back as I turned into the circle in front of Terminal C. But this time, I didn’t hit the curb. And ... it took only four trips around the outside of the building to figure out where to park.

As I sat in the no-parking zone outside Gate 36, waiting on my daughter to find her bags and come out the door, I realized that the word “arrivals” was confusing. Was she “arriving” at the airport, or “departing” from the airport, the plane, New York City. Halfway from her “departure” from New York City, she was “arriving” at DFW. Then she “departed” the plane, “arrived” at Terminal C, and made her way to her baggage area where people were “departing” to places unknown. 

Add to the confusion the fact that while I was sitting there trying to remember what my daughter looked like, cars kept pulling up and dropping people off. These people who had plans to “depart” from Terminal C were “arriving” at Gate 36. I know, they were playing the odds that it was easier to get into the airport through an arrival gate than a departing gate, but it made me nervous.

Soon, my daughter texted me that her plane had “arrived” and she would be coming out soon, so we could “depart” and “arrive” at the memorial service on time to celebrate the … departure/arrival of our uncle to his final “terminal.”