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I Don’t Know Edward H. McNamara, But I’m Really Starting To Hate Him

November 4, 2014

I got this. Last time I was caught unprepared. This time I’m ready. I don’t want to hate Detroit. I don’t even spend much time there, but if I never have a connecting flight out of Detroit again, I’ll be happy.

A few weeks ago I ended up in Detroit at gate 22. I needed to leave from gate 78 twenty minutes later. (Cloud Computing. . Sort Of) I didn’t realize until I had walked from one end to the other that the Detroit terminal was a mile long. And I didn’t realize it had a train. Seriously, a train for a single building.


Anyway, I was headed back in Louisville this week and when I saw that I was routing through Detroit again, I figured I’d give the Motor City one more try. I admit I was annoyed last time. But, this time I knew about the train. And I didn’t think I was going to be as pressed for time.

As we touched down on a Sunday afternoon the captain announced we were arriving at gate A16. Being the experienced traveller that I was, I knew that A16 was even closer to the end of the terminal than I had been last time. I smiled smugly to myself. More time on the train.

I was happy as I walked off the plane. Really, I was. All the way up until I checked the departure boards. There was my flight, DL6164 headed to Louisville. Leaves at 3:30 from gate C15. Huh?

I didn’t even KNOW that Detroit’s airport had more than one terminal, and not just one more terminal, but two? I stumbled toward the train platform. And I started scanning for signs for the other terminals.

One stop.

That’s how far I got to ride that stupid train before I had to get off. Not surprisingly you get to Terminals B and C from the middle of Terminal A.

But, there will be a train surely. I mean if they have a train to haul people back and forth in a single terminal, there is surely going to be a train between terminals, right?

I wouldn’t think a building was even sentient, but this one was even playing mind games.

There was the sign for terminals B and C. It ominously pointed down. As underground tunnels go, it really was mildly pretty. You know what would have made it prettier? A TRAIN!


And after another mile walk the escalator brings me back out of the bowels of Detroit. . .or at least out of the bowels of the airport.


So, once again, the airport got me to exercise. This time I wasn’t pressed for time, but I still ended up walking farther than I had anticipated.

As the plane gathered speed for takeoff, the building seemed to be laughing at me.


Well played Edward H. McNamara Terminal. Well played, and I think I hate you.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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  1. Anonymous permalink

    No offense, sounds like a you problem. Detroit has been ranked one of the best airports consistently in the US and is way better than most. What terminal has a train that gets you from one end to another in less than 4 minutes. That tunnel is a short walk with moving walks, come on are you really going to complain about that. I walk farther in a smaller shopping mall.

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