My Kingdom for a Gate Agent

I changed my mind about my last post concerning the digging of a subway line to Dulles. There's no need for a train line to this airport. It's time to just blow the airport up and move all flights to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. And build another train line to that airport.

Dulles is sort of like an attempt at a major international airport. The fa├žade is very nice, with it's swooping roof and huge plate glass. The problem is that is what you see when you arrive, but after that it's pure trailer park. A hybrid bus/lunar rovar transports you to your terminal instead of an underground walk way, there are like three bathrooms in the entire airport and there are about ten thousand airport employees busy not cleaning the three bathrooms, not vacuuming the dirty carpet, not putting up helpful signs. And there are two gate agents to deal with the eight million people who decided to go home for Christmas today.

The bright side is that I am slowly getting sozzled, waiting for the next available flight (I missed the first one, thanks to the ridiculious back-to-the-future shuttle and no gate agents. Did you know that flights could leave earlier that they say they will, without any warning? Yeah, neither did I). But let's be honest. Getting well and truly shit-canned before flying back to see you relatives happens at every airport, not just this one.


  1. That happened to me a few years ago. At Dulles.

    I showed up with 12 minutes to spare and the gate agent said they close the doors 10 minutes early.

    I tried explaining his obvious deficiencies in math to him but he didn't care.

  2. I'm sure if you would have arrived at the airport the required hour and a half before your flight, you would have made it. Stop blaming everyone else for your own stupidity.

  3. Anon: you clearly have never been to Dulles. I once arrived there the full 2 hours before my international flight was to depart, and between the (lack of) gate agents, the (lack of) security screeners, and the (lack of) stupid 1950s "people mover" shuttles, I arrived at the gate just moments before they closed the doors. And that was *before* 9/11 "changed everything."

    Nice architecture, though. So it's got that going for it. Which is nice.

  4. Never ever check baggage going into or our of Dulles either. Went to New Orleans couple months ago, we were held on the tarmac for over an hour. Pilot tells us they're "loading luggage". Plane takes off, lands in New Orleans, oh whoops, we lied we didn't actually load any luggage.

    Coming home, we had no choice given the whole ridiculous liquids rule, and it took almost two hours on a completely dead Tuesday afternoon to get our one bad from the plane to baggage retrieval area.

    I wish I could say this is abnormal but its really really not.

  5. Merry Christmas D.C.! I'm letting love rule today.

  6. Agreed that the earlier Anonymous has never been to Dulles.

    If I absolutely HAVE TO fly out of there, I usually allow more like 3+ hours (in addition to the extra hours you have to add if you go anytime near rush hour) and still seem to cut it close.

    It's terrible and makes BWI (a mediocre airport by any other measure) look like a modern marvel. The Smithsonian out there is pretty cool though.

  7. What freakin' sucks is, ever since 9/11, if I want a non-stop flight to San Francisco, I have to go to Dulles. So in addition to dealing with that cluster f*ck of an airport, I also have to deal with getting all the way out there. Hmmmm..... $65 cab ride or $50 worth of parking? Either way, it sucks ass. I hate hate hate Dulles airport.

  8. Once I arrived at Dulles 90 minutes early for a domestic flight, no baggage. I had my boarding pass with time stamped well over an hour before the plane left.

    I missed it. Stupid TSA. That airport is to be avoided at all costs. The best part is that in order to get me to my destination on the same day, I had to fly out of National instead. Oh, but they wouldn't change my return flight, creating an interesting paradox involving my car and getting between Dulles and National. Anyway, several hours of public transportation later, I was selected for special screening at National, too. At least there, it took 30 seconds instead of 45 minutes.

  9. I'll rape M@ with no lube. The horrible offspring resulting from our unspeakable union will grow up to become a Gate Agent.

  10. It's been a week, guys. Where's the hating?

  11. My flight Sunday which was to arrive at 9:00PM was delayed 2 hours at orign. Upon getting to Dulles, the stellar ground crew shorted out the electrical system and couldn't get the baggage holds open for 2 hours. I had an infant with me, so I needed the stroller which they couldn't get me.

    Also, because we had waited around for the stroller for 30 minutes before being told that they were going to send them to luggage, and it was after midnight there were NO shuttles. We had to actually call someone to drive a shuttle over to bring us back. That took nearly an hour. Luckily by then we only had 30 minutes to wait for our luggage.

    If United didn't have a hub there making it possible to fly virtually anywhere in the world without stopping, the airport would be completely useless.

  12. FYI - There is a train that goes to BWI. The MARC train.