We thought we were so smart getting to the airport early. No crowds at check-in or security. We like Portland’s airport – PDX – so we purposefully took a long walk through the terminal before our flight, browsing in shops, stopping for a coffee (him) and a hot choco (her). We timed our arrival at the gate shortly before boarding, and that was when we first saw the notice: ”FLIGHT DELAY.”
Now we had an extra hour. What to do? We took off for another walk, and it occurred to us: why not turn our flight delay into a photography outing?
The long corridor linking terminals looked eerily empty, but to our surprise, had lots to see.
The long windows looked out onto planes lined up waiting for their passengers. The blue-grey sky and the deeper grey runway were the perfect backdrop for those strikingly painted Southwest planes. (By the way, this dreary day photo was taken just before noon.)
Who sees a great horned owl at PDX? There was a glass case with a display of stuffed birds common to the Portland area — a great blue heron, an American kestrel and a pintail duck. Love those feathers!
Another compelling display was the photographs of Corey Arnold, which lined the corridor. This image doesn’t do the original photo justice, but with lots of extra time we enjoyed taking time to look at every one of them.
PDX’s carpet seems to be famous all on its own – at least, we’ve seen it pop up on places like Instagram. It’s definitely a peppy design.
Back to looking out the windows and watching real birds.
PDX has its own little (free!) movie theatre with short films. Alas, it was time to board our plane, and so our photo outing and exploration of PDX came to an end.
The moral of the story: Try not to be defeated by delays. Turn the time into an enriching and creative experience.
(Of course, we are amazed at the many wonderful things we were able to see during that short time. Thanks, PDX!)
Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
pdx is a great airport. lots to see
You really made a good use of that extra hour! You know how to enjoy yourselves. Well done!
Thanks, Agness, it WAS a memorable hour.
Your use of spare time at the airport reminds me that life is all about the journey, not just getting where I need to go as fast as I can.
Could we have spent our time like this many years ago? We doubt it. Deliberately choosing to travel – and live – at a slower pace has changed our use of time and the way we view the world. We have surprised ourselves.
Knowing that you’re no strangers to airports, I’m not surprised at all to find out that you can keep yourselves entertained while waiting to board. Loved the pics! Anita
If only that were true! We give a lot of credit to PDX for an interesting place to spend a few hours.
If you are going to be delayed it is best to have a good amount of time added to your expected boarding. Our last delay was at the boarding gate and it turned into a rolling type – 15 minutes, then another 15 minutes – apparently there was a shortage of those little ‘tow trucks’ to bring the plane to the gate.
What a good idea to go looking for interesting items. I find airports intriguing places, with so much going on.
People watching is amazing but we were self-conscious about taking photos when folks might not feel they were at their best…
I’m very wary about taking photos with people in, especially if they are identifiable.
Great post! PDX seems like a better than most airport if you’re hit with a delay. I was once delayed at Gatwick, and it was so overcrowded and noisy, to this day I don’t know how I survived. I think it involved noise-cancelling headphones and sticking my head into my backpack…
What I’m really wondering is, where were you flying to?
Portland to San Francisco. It’s a quick stop to see our 4 grandchildren and their parents before we continue on to SE Asia. So, we’ll be back in an airport in just a few days. Let’s see if SFO keeps us as entertained.
Great idea! Much better than sitting bored with nothing to do!