Airports started out close to the city center but the need to expand for more travel and bigger jets, combined with NIMBYism of local residents, pushed airports out to the exurbs.
Entire cities built up around the commerce of the destination airport, from shopping to dining in newly planned communities. The aerotropolis was born.
But far from the futuristic vision of perfection, there’s a darker side. Sure you can go to the dentist, a chapel, or pharmacy at some airports. But they are also a lawless land much like every post-apocalyptic sci-fi show ever. They are Mad Max: The Road Warrior combined with Last Of Us, Jericho, and V, all rolled into one.
Frequent flyers may feel at home in the airport, anonymous amongst a sea of people and seeing order in the chaos.
But make no mistake there is chaos, as this rant describes: Civilization breaks down at the airport, it’s like a lawless 1800s border town. There’s price gouging, nine dollars for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. TSA makes up rules and you have to do whatever they tell you to. Random people are lying down taking naps, and it’s worse if you’re stuck there overnight.
People are getting hammered at 7 a.m. at the Chili’s. And then they lose it as soon as their flight is delayed. They’re gate lice shoving women and children in line who have a better boarding group than they do.
And that’s before you stick these people next to each other, just inches apart from each other, inside of a metal tube hurtling at over 500 miles per hour for several hours at a time with nowhere to run.
Despite more law enforcement per square foot than almost anywhere on earth, they tend to be more interested in searching out drugs and confiscating cash from people who haven’t committed any crime (civil asset forfeiture) than protecting and serving. When you do need help response time is longer than dialing 911 in rural Idaho.
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) August 28, 2021
TSA right here like, ‘nope, I’m on my lunch break and I don’t get paid enough to deal with that kinda crazy.’ pic.twitter.com/RM5Im3nA3r
— Chris (@Chris_nDC) August 28, 2021
— ONLY in DADE (@ONLYinDADE) December 20, 2022
Airports are both order within the chaos and the breakdown of all civilization, rolled up into one. Just like in fictional sci-fi worlds there are people who manage to hold the group together, and groups where everyone is out for themselves. Pick your side, and don’t get eaten by zombies.