I was traveling for a couple of weeks last month. I spent a lot of time in airports. In each one I had time on my hands. As a result I wrote at least one post in each of the airports, which I will post over the next few days. After that, castles and Roman ruins and some things that will surprise you and (I hope) interest you.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of water fountains. Okay, maybe not the first thing.
I’ve changed planes in Frankfurt before. Yet every time I am surprised at the level of security.
I just stepped off a plane. To get on that flight I had to go through screening. Canadians take that pretty seriously. At Frankfurt they take the serious and make it ridiculous.
Security is important when there are crazy people out there. (I won’t mention suicidal German pilots; that would be too easy a shot. But I am very much aware I am about to take a flight over the Alps using a German airline.)
However, having just cleared security in Montreal, did I really need to be scrutinized again? And why did I have to take every piece of electronics (camera, video camera, Blackberry, tablet, chargers, converters and accompanying cords out of my carry-on so they could be scrutinized individually? For that matter, why did my paperback book have to be removed from the carry-on? The indignities are what we have to put up with, but there’s a lot to be said for sailing ships. Except for time of course. In seven hours I just traveled what would have taken me a couple of months by sailing ship and horse-drawn wagon.
The last time I passed through this airport was as year. I don’t remember seeing the full-body scanners before. I presume these are the type that see under your clothing, the type civil libertarians have complained about. I would have taken a photo of them so I could look them up on the internet, just to be sure, but I didn’t think that would be approved of.
In Canada all the airports I have been in have water fountains. That is important, since in most airports your water bottle gets taken away from you by security. Air travel tends to be dehydrating, which makes you feel even more jet-lagged, or so I’ve been told. I drank a couple of glasses of water on the plane, but my throat was still dry on arrival at Frankfurt. Not dry enough though that I was willing to pay four Euros for a small bottle of water. I’m sure there will be some water on my next flight in a few hours. It does look to me though like the airport probably gets a kickback from those selling water – there is no way they will provide it for free.
I also didn’t find any place to plug in my phone to charge it, but maybe there are some somewhere, it is a big airport.
My dislike of Frankfurt Airport may be coloured by the fact I have never been here except after an overnight flight, and I don’t usually sleep on those. I can get pretty grumpy if I have had no sleep. Oh wait, there was the one time I arrived in the evening. I was still jet lagged though, and that will be tomorrow’s story.
Written at Frankfurt Airport, May 21, 2015.