Why You Should Always Listen to the Automated Voices at the Airport
I’ve been traveling a bit for work lately. In fact, today I just left for Atlanta. However, last week I was in Chicago. It was the first time I had ever traveled for work/business.
I’ve done plenty of traveling both inside and outside of the country so wasn’t too worried about it. As I drove up to the airport last week however, it hit me. I had never parked at the airport to stay overnight. The only time I had ever parked was if I were going to be staying a bit longer to pick someone up at the airport, etc.
So there was my first hiccup; General Parking or Short Term. Did it even matter? I had never parked in General Parking, only Short Term. Had known people who parked in Short Term overnight before as well, but I was going to be there for more than a couple of days. The last time I parked in Short Term, it was only for a couple of hours. Which one was cheaper?
I decided to go to General Parking.
I didn’t want to park too high up so I headed towards the ramp that looked like it would work for me. Wrong decision. Each level had been blocked off probably because it was full, so up-and-up I went. Finally, reached a floor they’d let me off at. Managed to park my car on the far side away from the door, near the opening. I knew it was going to snow, but I figured it would still be protected so I wouldn’t have to scrape when I got back.
Locked her up and went to head towards the Terminal.
After a few days, I was back at MSP Airport to head to my car. I took the Tram to the parking ramp and remembered that I was in the Red Ramp on the outside wall, pretty sure I was on Level 4 too. So I got off on Level 4 and headed to the far wall. Um, where was my car? No, seriously – where was my car?
I knew I had the right color and the right location on the outside wall – couldn’t screw that one up. And I had SWORN I was on Level 4. Immediately, my mind; went to the worst-case-scenario; my car was either stolen or it was towed. Both would absolutely suck considering it was past 9:00pm on a night I had to workout in the morning with a 5:00am wake up call. Not what I needed.
So I did what any other rash person would do in this situation; I hit my panic button to make the horn sound on my car to try and locate it. After a little while, no noise. Not one darn honk. Crap.
OK, maybe I didn’t park on this floor and the concrete was too thick for me to send a signal to my car through another level. I decided to head back towards the elevators and try another level up. The walk wasn’t a short one. Remember, I was on the far/outside wall and the elevators were on the inner-walls.
It was at this point, I started noticing the automatic voice they had playing over the loudspeaker. It kept stating to remember where you parked and to take the reminder ticket with you to help you with this as well. Gee, that would’ve been useful BEFORE I got myself into this situation.
To make things worse, I had an incredibly heavy box that I was carrying on top of my suitcase that made me move slower, was hurting my hand and was now starting to fall off of my suitcase every time I hit a bump. Not going very well for me. Ugh.
I reached the elevator doors and headed up to level 5. Came outside and pressed the panic button. No horn. Was I still too far away? I really didn’t want to drag the box and suitcase to the far wall again. But I needed my car so off I went. Reached the wall and…no car. Now I was really starting to get nervous. I really didn’t think I had parked at a higher level. Plus, I didn’t know how much longer I could carry on with this box falling off of my suitcase every 10 feet.
As I reached the door to the elevators and heard the automated voice yet again tell me to take my ticket, I caught my first brake. A cart! Oh thank goodness! This now solved the problem I was having with the heavy box that kept falling off my suitcase and causing a lot of pain in my hands. That problem, solved.
I figured this was a good omen and that I would find my car next. So I took the elevator up to level 6. Came out, pressed panic and again, no horn. Good omen, gone. Crap. Really? At this point, I was so frustrated and worried, I sent Boyfriend Bill a text that I couldn’t find my car.
I think he thought I was joking because I got a “Not good. Haha. ” texted back. I was not having fun at this moment so needless to say, that didn’t help the situation.
Getting to the point, no car on level 6. Thankfully, the cart was working out great and I wheeled it back to the elevators. Level 7. I was really starting to wish I was in the Mall of America, because I knew from the show Mall Cops that they have someone on a bike that helps people find their cars a lot! If only…
Anyway, I came out of the elevators and the photo-reminder for Level 7 was a soccer player. THAT didn’t look familiar so I knew this was going to be another waste of time.
I was walking behind a guy who seemed like he didn’t know where he parked too or at least didn’t take the dang ticket to remind him. He was trying to lock/unlock his car to get the horn to sound as well.
I headed to the back wall, turned the corner to look down the row and…
THERE IT WAS!!
Oh thank goodness. It wasn’t towed and no one stole it. It was there. I immediately unloaded the cart and transferred everything to the car, silently thanking the person who left it at the elevators for me. It was a lifesaver.
Now that I’ve heard the automated voice a thousand times and spent over a half an hour trying to find my car, I know to take one of those DARN TICKETS before you head to the terminal. I’m pretty sure all of the walking, carting, lugging and listening to the voice tell me to take a ticket over-and-over again was reason enough for me not to make that mistake again.
With that, it’s that time of year for Spring Break and before you know it, summer vacations. Just remember where you parked and the rest of your trip should go very well!