We usually don’t think about airports as being beautiful places. And, usually they’re not! But every once in a while, something gives me pause to smile, linger, and appreciate the moment. Here are some I have enjoyed.
Chicago O’Hare, March 16, 2016
When traveling to California on United Airlines in March, 2016, I stopped to enjoy listening to an airline crew member play the piano at one of the departure lounges. I no longer remember what he was playing, but I remember he was a good pianist, and he gave me a smile!
Chicago O’Hare, Polaris Lounge, October 5, 2017
I flew business class on United on my way to Senegal in October 2017. When I entered United’s new Polaris Lounge on the C Concourse of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, I took a moment to simply appreciate the beauty of the ceiling art. It consists of many twinkling lights, and was designed to give an impression of the night sky. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but it’s the best my phone could produce.
Lisbon, Portugal, November 4, 2017
Arriving at the airport in Lisbon, Portugal was actually a very miserable experience for me on my way home from Senegal in November, 2017. I was already sad to leave my IBM colleagues and new Senegalese friends all behind.
When I deplaned in Lisbon, I had to stand in 2 different passport control lines and go through security before being allowed to go to the gate for my flight to the U.S. The whole process took well over an hour. It was a relief to finally arrive at my gate. The rainy weather outside echoed my miserable mood. When it was time to board, this rainbow came out, as if to say, “Things will get better from here!” And they did. The rest of my trip, though long, was reasonably comfortable and pleasant.
Chicago O’Hare at Christmas, 2017
When flying American Airlines on my way home from a business trip to Boston on December 12, 2017, I connected through O’Hare Airport. It was a delight to see that the concourse had been beautifully decorated for Christmas. Although I was tired from a very intense business trip, it made me smile to see it.
Chicago O’Hare, January 11, 2018
One of my favorite airport sites for many years has been the tunnel at Chicago’s O’Hare airport that connects the B concourse and the C concourse. These two concourses are used by United Airlines flights.
I always enjoy going through this tunnel when making connections. Sometimes, if I have a long layover and the tunnel isn’t too crowded, I’ll walk back and forth through it several times just to get some exercise. I enjoy both the cascading light show and the accompanying background music.