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Published: Sunday, 5/18/2008

Strange logic at Toledo Express

Some people generalize and say that seniors like to complain about trivial things. Well, I m not going to disappoint them.

It s Saturday night and I just returned from Toledo Express airport where I picked up a passenger coming in from Cincinnati.

The terminal was deserted, for the most part, about an hour before the 8:28 scheduled arrival of the flight.

With an hour to kill I approached the television set in the center of the waiting area. It was tuned to CNN, a worthwhile way to spend some time.

The TV is in a sort of square, tower affair, about eight feet in height and several feet in width. The TV is on one side, and on the opposite side is a monitor showing arrivals and departures of the various flights. The other sides are blank.

On this Saturday night, the flight monitor wore a sign on its face announcing that it was out of order. Finding the status of a flight meant first getting the attention of a nearby security guard, who noted that the monitor had been out of action for at least 24 hours.

He said knowingly that he had heard of no flight delays. That was a bit less than reassuring, but not the reason for my complaint.

Astonishingly, on the side of the tower displaying the flight monitor, there were a dozen seats within 15 or 20 feet of the screen, making for an easy view.

On the side with the TV showing an interesting news program, there were exactly zero seats within 40 to 50 feet.

This means, as near as I can figure, that you can be seated comfortably and stare at a screen that shows schedule information of, perhaps, a handful of flights. When it is working.

If you want to watch TV while waiting, you get to stand with your back to the security officers and the down escalator that arriving passengers use on their way to the baggage claim area. The only ones occasionally glimpsing the TV were a few of the security folks or a couple of people who stood in front of it for brief periods.

I asked one of the security agents why the seats were on the side with the flight monitor, which seems a total waste. People usually check a flight s status once, maybe twice, in the course of waiting for an arrival or departure. Why weren t the 12 seats on the side where the TV could help occupy some time?

The answer made sense. I was told that the seats then would be too close to the entry from the escalator about 30 feet away and might block the arriving throngs who couldn t walk around them.

Then I asked what seemed to be a perfectly logical follow-up question. Why wouldn t Toledo Express simply switch the positions of the TV and the flight status monitor?

The response was a blank stare.

I guess that answered my question.



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