Scarlett’s Letter June 6, 2013

Travel day. Up early and off to the airport in Salt Lake City. Based on a conversation with my man on the phone the night before, something about airport food and powdered eggs, I set out to prove that in “most” airports, given enough time and money, you can find really good food, and, in fact, many local hot spots will have a restaurant situated at the airport. Salt Lake City is no different.

The co-worker I was traveling with is new to the company and to travel. Sadly, he does not have status or priority, or anything, and it is painful to watch the airport experience for the less traveled. True, when I fly certain airlines, out of necessity, I don’t have status or priority, but I make up for it with arriving even earlier than usual. The security lines at Salt Lake City this morning were outrageous, and I could see that my co-worker was a bit stressed. I flew my usual airline and he flew another, so I bid him farewell as he headed to the long line to get his boarding pass (which I would have printed at the hotel, for free, the night before. Just sayin’, we can avoid a lot of stress with a little advance reconnaissance). I strolled right up the blue carpet at my airline (priority line), plopped my suitcase on the scale, printed my boarding pass (I had an electronic one, but usually grab a paper one, too, while they adhere the bright red “priority” tag to my bag before slamming it unceremoniously onto the conveyor). Not thirty seconds later, I was headed back to security, which looked like a line for the main attraction at an amusement park. Again, off to one side, was my line, priority access. I was the only person in that line. I was through security in another thirty seconds, no lie. My co-worker hadn’t even reached the ticketing counter for his airline yet. I felt bad. For a minute, because his flight left an hour before mine, so I had all the time in the world, now.

I found a restaurant in the airport, Market Street Grill, a popular Salt Lake City restaurant with an additional airport venue. I prefer taking airport meals at the bar rather than sitting at a table all “loner style”. As is my custom when faced with a long day of travel, I like a mimosa with my breakfast, if at all possible. So, that’s what I had, a mimosa, to accompany my first cup of coffee for the day. I perused the menu and found grilled salmon, two eggs and choice of sides for $12. I ordered that and it was fabulous. I was nearly done with my mimosa when the bartender asked if I’d like another, he said he was almost out. Scarcity creates demand. I demanded another mimosa! And a moment later, one of the wait staff came up to the bar and the bartender said “sorry, I’m out of mimosa’s, ask them what else they’d like”. Preferential treatment = bigger tip! Well, my $12 breakfast ended up being $50 with the two mimosas, the coffee and the bigger tip. It’s all good, though. It was the only meal I’d be expensing and my daily limit is $55.

Then all my good karma kame krashing down. A delay out of Salt Lake City to San Francisco. But, after two mimosas, who cares? I did finally make it to San Francisco only to have to ride some shuttle bus across the tarmac and under the airport in a dark, dank tunnel, to some obscure gate in the bowels of some long, forgotten terminal. It was almost Stephen King like, creepy. Another delay. We were finally allowed to board the tiny propeller plane that would buzz us over to Sacramento, but sat on the tarmac for an hour. The flight was only twenty minutes, so the whole thing was pretty ridiculous. But, I made it.

Other than my breakfast, and the priority lines, the highlight of my day were the Audible and Kindle acquisitions I made while waiting for delayed aircraft. An expensive but entertaining and enlightening way to kill time. And money. The rest of the day was uneventful once I got home, I shopped for food for the week and read and relaxed. Not bad for a Thursday.

The most amazing airport breakfast of all time - Market Street Grill at SLC
The most amazing airport breakfast of all time – Market Street Grill at SLC

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