Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Do as I say

Not as I would ever do personally.

My recent vacation involved flying out of Reagan National airport.  Reagan National is a reasonable enough distance from my house but I never think of it when making flight plans. I immediately jump to BWI or Dulles. Reagan National isn’t even on my radar. In fact, I think about it so little, in my mind it is still simply National airport. The last time I flew out of it was early Sept 2001 and the time before that was about 4 years before that.  But I’ve been in and out of BWI and Dulles many times (and almost always at come gawdawful hour of the morning)

Here’s the one thing about National everyone knows - it’s on the Metro line.

“Oh it’s so convenient!” everyone says when you say you are flying out of National. “it’s on the Metro” “You can just hop on the Metro for that” “Oh yeah, you don’t have to deal with parking. You can just get on the Metro”

Then I say “Oh, have you taken the Metro to National then? Where do I change lines? how long does it take on average?”

and I am met with silence


Everyone thinks *I* ought to get dropped off at the nearest Metro station (which is over an hour from my house) figure out the pricing structure (is it peak, off peak, is Mayhem free or a $1.65?) and then drag myself, 2 children, 2 backpacks, some rolly luggage and a purse the size of a dufflebag into a train, get off at  L’enfant Plaza or Metro Center or where ever it is I change lines, haul everyone & everything around said station to the next train, get everyone & everything on to it, keep them occupied & in their seats the whole way and then get it all off the train at the airport.

But none of them have actually done it themselves.

Why not?

Because the reality is much more inconvenient than the suggestion.  Maybe if you were alone, with one bag it would be possible.

But as I recall from that trip in 2001, we 3 adults, each with one bag, rejected the Metro idea out of hand in favor of long term parking and the hassle of airport buses & remembering lot names & keeping track of tickets.

Yet, people seem vaguely disappointed I didn’t do it. Even somewhat accusing. “You had your DH drive you all the way into National? Why not use the Metro?” 

Which is annoying when they themselves have never tried it.

Yes, it sounds like a good idea to everyone, except cynical worst case scenario me, who actually has to do it. And even I see an appeal in the idea. But I have no idea how long such a Metro journey will take and airports and the time involved with airports stress me out enough without adding Metro time stress.

I’m sure people who use the Metro regularly find that National station incredibly helpful & use it when they fly. But I have not met one person out here in the exurbs who have done it, though everyone thinks it is a perfectly marvelous idea, just not for themselves.

Please, please if you haven’t done it yourself, don’t harp on about me doing it.


Kim said...

People always have great ideas that they themselves don't follow. :)

Too Many Hats said...

You made the right choice - I would not have even considered it traveling alone with two young kids and all that stuff. I pity the woman that chooses to do it - yikes.