Touristing the United States/But Let’s Call This an Airport Rating
Writing from the airport again — Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) this time — thinking about the time I’ve spent in Mexico and the United States. I must admit I’ve been loving New York City and I actually thought I was going to hate it. Entering JFK wasn’t too pleasurable though, albeit smooth. I witnessed border security officers making racist remarks and being aggressive to people. I actually passed through without a single question or checks (but let’s see, I still have to leave) but so far I’ve been rather happy here. And I honestly can’t even say if there was a trip I was sort-of-truly happy about for the last two years (recalling my break down in Madrid last summer). Of course, not to forget being able to speak in my own tongue after two weeks was such a relieve.
New York is strange-comfort. New York is perhaps, deep-undesirable-(capitalist-)desires. Washington D.C. is super serious and has some kind of majestic aura to it.
I wrote the above segment in future-spect.
Now, writing from JFK trying to comprehend what the hell went wrong today. My bus from D.C. to Newark Penn Station was scheduled to arrive at 4pm but it only arrived at 4:40pm due to the downpour and caused some flooding on the freeways. I uber-ed to EWR and when I got to the check in counter, I missed it by just a few minutes. The guy called the gate only to find out that they closed it. Then, I was directed to the airline services of United Airlines and they told me that they cannot put me on their flight and turned me away. With the original airline counter closed, floor staff not knowing where the hell airport information counter is, and me being hungry and angry, I sat down and had an “All American Cheeseburger”. Used the free wifi, book the next flight, which luckily was the cheapest. The only issue was that, it was taking off from JFK at 00:30. I had time (not too much but enough), so I said to myself, “fuck I’m not gonna miss this one, otherwise it’s going to get too expensive to go back to Amsterdam”. I booked the tickets and hurried my ass to JFK. Problem was that, the journey from EWR to JFK wasn’t that smooth sailing either, the subway wasn’t supposed to stop locally and also there was ‘issues with the tracks’ and was stopping for 5mins — that-felt-like-eternal — on each station that its not supposed to stop. Anyhow, I got to JFK and arrived at the check in counter, handed my passport over and they told me that my ticket got canceled because my payment didn’t go through. At that moment, I swear I went dumb. The woman at the counter explained to me that I might not have gone through with the entire booking or ‘further confirmation’ which supposedly prompts the system to cancel the ticket. Okay sure, but I saw my records there and I told them that I could pay for the ticket right there and then but they said, “oh but now that’s too late”. Then I asked for the airport information counter since they couldn’t help me. I had to go from terminal 7 to terminal 4 (where I am at now).
- Both EWR and JFK give you free 30mins of wifi which is ridiculous considering how many stranded travelers there are/JFK gets. You’re lucky if you have a few devices with you.
- There are hardly any seats or even lounges, lounge pods.
- Regular staff at EWR knows nothing, really.
- Considering the proximity of both airports, shuttling between (which means going through New York City) the two, is a fucking nightmare.
- The terminals of JFK really aren’t that big, why didn’t the architects/builders made 1 larger terminal instead of multiple small terminals?
- From the Air Train, only terminal 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 are shown, what happened to 3 and 6? Don’t fuck with people’s mind.
I finally paid for unlimited wifi here considering that I might have to call JFK home for the next 18 hours (or more). This time, the next flight/cheapest flights out cost(s) at least $1,000. I walked by the different airline ticket offices and quickly logged on to Singapore Airlines to see if I could redeem a flight from New York to Amsterdam but the only SQ flight out from JFK is to Frankfurt, so I hastily put myself on the waiting list. I started looking for ways to get back to Amsterdam from Frankfurt, trains would’ve cost me at least €100 for 5-6 hours of traveling and buses between €40-60 for 5-8 hours. Now, I’m also waiting for an answer for car pooling from Frankfurt to Amsterdam.
Everything is in suspense! If all goes well, I will spend not more than €50 to get back to Amsterdam. Please Singapore Airlines, bring me back to my bed. This is not funny anymore.