Airport Moments of Beauty

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

An airline crew member plays the piano at Chicago O’Hare on 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

Entrance to Polaris Lounge, Chicago, O'Hare Airport
United Airlines remodeled its international first class lounge in Chicago O’Hare Airport in 2016-2017, and renamed it the Polaris Lounge. This photo shows the entrance to the new lounge. Taken on October 5, 2017, en route to Senegal.

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

I saw this rainbow at the airport in Lisbon, Portugal on November 4, 2017 on my way home from Senegal.

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

Connecting through O’Hare on American Airlines on December 12, 2017, I saw these holiday decorations.

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.

This tunnel at Chicago O’Hare airport connects the B and C concourses.

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.