I’m in Airplane Mode - Changes at La Guardia

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 06/13/2012

Heading to the Atlanta office this morning. It’s the lightest I ever traveled—just my phone, wallet, keys and an extra battery-pack for my phone. No laptop. I’ve got the PowerPoint deck converted over to iPhone keynote for review. No laptop. I’ve Instapaper’d everything I think I’ll need to read in preparation, like the backgrounds to the founders of a vendor we’re recommending. The only inconvenience is having to turn off my phone in takeoff and landing.

I left all my change at home. I took no jacket even though it’s drizzling, so I have nothing to carry and am traveling light. I’m still in 2-hour-early mode for airports, which everyone recommends, so it makes me freak running 45 minutes late of that schedule, but truth is 2 hours early is way-overkill at La Guardia, and the 45 minutes lost waiting is 45 minutes gained sleeping. Getting into a the now-legally-hail-able livery cab at 5:15 for a 7:00 am is fine. Left my house at 5:05, through security and coffee in-hand at 5:35!

The biggest inconvenience on a one-day redeye trip like this is having to turn off my phone during takeoff and landing. It’s really amazing how the phone has so quickly become the information-center of my life. It’s an always-on, always on-you personal information space. It’s got all my work, entertainment, and has fully replaced my beloved paper notebooks for journals. Coffee in one hand, one-handed phone and typing in the other beats the satisfaction of making marks on paper by a long-shot.

And finally, La Guardia Delta terminal has changed immensely since my last time here. Gone is the little Dunkin Donuts cart and here is an efficient corral system for the registers, where I dropped my guard against the marketing and bought some dead tree carcass media—a Forbes with 81 new ways to get rich. That Blackjack piece on NPR got to me, as did the news Mark Twain was a get-rich-quick scheme junkie. But in Twain-like suspiciousness, I now feel the airlines are in cahoots with the tree-carcass industry with it’s all-electronic-devices “off” rule—even in Airplane Mode.

La Guardia also now has iPads everywhere in little kiosks at tiny little personal tables with USB and AC outllets everywhere. I remember the struggle to get the rare waiting seats near outlets. Today, there’s open unused tables. This is like a commodity people would spend money on, and there’s just so many now that they’re not all used. There’s even a Free Public WiFi here with four bars, but I’m too suspicious to use those anymore, when my pseudo-4G is fast enough. But at least I’m getting on the plane 100% charged.