Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goodbye, Old Airport

Today, officially, the new Indianapolis International Airport opens its doors. And, the old airport closes. I hear the new place is fabulous. But, I am a bleeding heart. A traditionalist. One who doesn't necessarily fight progress, but loves to remember the "good old days". So the fact that they're closing what seems to me to be a perfectly good airport to open another one is time for reflection.

I had intended this to be a total photo montage of the old Indianapolis airport. But, as I am wont to do, I took a few photos and then got distracted by breakfast, by security, by the need to purchase a water before getting on the plane. So, I didn't get all the shots I dreamed of. But here are a few.

Here is where I've checked in at the American Airlines counter with regularity.

I remember one time in college, back when you still booked your flights over the phone, a special moment at this counter. I guess you can still book on the phone, but I generally book mine online now. Back to when I used to book on the phone, the reservation agent booked my return date one entire month later than I had requested, and this fact did not come to my attention when I got the ticket. I guess because it was the right date, I never noticed it was the wrong month. So, when I arrived at the counter to check-in to fly back to Dallas, the agent said I wasn't booked on that flight. I was so young and freaked out by this - I hate when it seems I've screwed up the general rules of the universe - I just started to cry right there at the counter.

Of course, I usually cry upon entry to this airport, because it means I am again leaving behind family that I won't see for a while. So, I cry. I'm a crier. People who know me know this. So, I was probably a little on edge anyway. And, if I didn't go back for another month, I'd miss classes and get in trouble at school. This just wasn't going to do. I think the crusty agent was ready to tell me too bad, so sad, pay the fee and come back when you have a valid ticket for this date. But, when the tears came a-flowin' - this is one time the tears worked to my advantage - many stories in my life where they were not so advantageous - she turned all soft and changed me to the flight that day and sent me on my way.

The hallway where all the ticketing counters can be found.

I hardly ever fly anything but American now, because I live in Dallas and its the only direct flight. But, in college, I bought whatever ticket was the cheapest - spending hours calling different airlines looking for the best deal. So, I flew into this airport from all over the US. I flew out of this airport for the past 17 years to go back and forth to school and now my home in Dallas mostly, but also flew to band trips and vacations from here.

A great piece of public art that hung over the escalators to baggage claim at the old airport.

I really like that piece of art. I remember when they refurbished the airport a few years ago and installed that. I liked seeing it when I was headed to baggage claim. What's going to happen to it now? I mean the new airport is all tricked out. Where are all these signs, fixtures, let alone art going to go? I would feel better knowing it was going to be re-used. Surely, Indianapolis, you're going to re-use this stuff, yes?

Hallway from ticketing to security and two concourses.

This was one of the tactical issues with the old airport post-9/11. All - well, almost all of the shopping and dining was located outside of security. So, you couldn't go through security and then enjoy a meal or shop. Now, there was a Subway and a Sam Adams Brew House inside security, and one magazine shop. But, all the fun stuff was on the wrong side for the traveler.

Concourse B, home of American gates B1 and B2.

I took this photo with my camera phone back last Christmas because Jared of the Subway restaurant commercials was standing in the concourse. That's him in the back with the navy sweater and black jeans on, looking down at his Blackberry. This time, I forgot to take any photos once inside security. So, this is all I've got of where I spent hours upon hours of my life waiting for planes. That's the Sam Adams Brew House on the left.

And, once, before 9/11, waiting on a plane. I was waiting for S, then my boyfriend, to arrive on a flight. I had gotten all dolled up since I was going to see him for the first time in a number of days. I stood there in great anticipation of his arrival. When he deplaned, next to him was my minister's wife. No kidding - they sat next to one another the whole flight, not knowing who the other was. So, the first person I talked to was the minister's wife. It sort of killed the mood. I mean, it was nice to see her and all, but I was standing there, ready to see my BOYFRIEND, not my minister's wife. Nonetheless, I did stand in this concourse waiting on passengers as well.

The old airport from the runway through the plane window.

Also from the plane window.

From the air.

These from the air shots (and the one at the top of this post) are not of the airport, per se. I shot them off because the leaves were so pretty from this vantage point too. But, I guess it is the last photos I took of the last flight I was one from the old airport, so they go well with this reminiscence.

One more from the air.

So, goodbye, airport. I will miss you if no one else does. I speak of you fondly and tell everyone you were great.


  1. I'm willing to bet that while telling the crying at the ticket counter/by the way I'm a crier part of this entry, you teared up a little. Just a guess.
    Not your brother again

  2. You think you're SO smart, don't you...well, sadly, you're probably right, not my brother. You're probably right.


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