It is easier to cross the city of Madurai from One end to another by foot, than it is to transit from One terminal or a Gate in an Airport to Another. So, in a 24 hour Flight journey from US to India, it is actually difficult to transit than sit and burn your ass off inside the aircraft.
The amount of effort required for the travel is governed by the following equation:
E = F + iT
Where E is the Total Effort for Travel. F is the effort required to fly in the aircraft. T is the unknown amount of effort required to walk from one Terminal to another. “i” is the ego in you that tells that “I can definitely do this” and it gets reduced from “This is a piece of cake” feeling to “Holy shit! I am completely screwed” feeling.
The above equation is valid only for those who travel alone. For all those who travel with family (especially kids or 1 kid who can do stuff that 2 kids do) the equation grows to the power. The modified equation is:
E = (F + iT)^n
Where ‘n’ is the feels like factor of number of kids ( and not the actual number of kids). So you may have only 1 kid but that kid might put on a nice airtime travel show equivalent to 3 kids. In this case your n is not 1 but 3. Usually if you have 1 kid, n is always greater than 1. But if you have a kid which yields a value of n < 1, I need to borrow your kid to brush off some of its characteristics to mine. Call me … Seriously!
The following are the challenges of Airport Transit: (what, you thought it ended with the equation?)
1. First of all, Good luck with getting down from the aircraft. The moment the seat belt sign is off there will be a race as to who will get up first, get their gear and head to the aircraft exit. It doesn’t matter that it takes at least 30 seconds for the door in the aircraft to open up to the exit, everyone including the folks at the last row will be up on their feet. If you feel you may not be able to compete with them, just sit back and be the last one to be out. If you think you can, you should have prior experience in Military, American Football and Wrestling, in order to succeed.
Note: If you try to accidentally push the guy behind you in the aisle, you might be able to see a beautiful sight of falling Human Dominoes. But don’t try that, you cannot run far off from the victims.
2. Let’s assume you got off from the aircraft in One piece ( 2 pieces if you are carrying a small handbag or a laptop bag, 10 pieces if you have a kid). The trick now will be to find the sign board that says “GATE C25 with an upper arrow mark”. After skimming through a crowd of people wandering the airport, security staff, airport staff, duty free shops, gorgeous European women you can finally spot something close – GATES C with a upper arrow.
NOTE: The GATES C sign arrow mark does not in anyway mean that your gate is right around the corner. I think they should intensify the arrow mark or color it to show how far your Gate is.
3. You will now start your transit locomotion by Walk, then get on an elevator to go one level down. From there you will walk a long way by foot, by flat escalator, by foot again, by flat escalator again and then finally you will get another elevator to go one level up. It is not over yet, You will have to now Catch a train because Gates C is in another terminal. All this while you will keep seeing the very same “GATES C with an Arrow Mark” board.
4. As soon as you get off the train in another terminal, repeat Step 3. It will seem like you are going towards the horizon, it actually is so! But don’t get too excited when you start seeing GATES C10-25 sign board with Arrow mark. You may still need to do 30% of step 3 before you reach your final destination. Back up 3 Gates, in case you want to Hit the Restroom.
I wish Airports were like Madurai Airport. There is only one Gate, you walk through that Gate you will be inside the airport and walk the other way you will be outside the airport. Humans love to make things complicated.