I like the Portland Jetport. It's clean, easy to negotiate, a quick trip, if you will. Well, as long as you don't count the line at the security checkpoint at 6 a.m. But is there a rule somewhere that states people who make announcements over airport public address systems have to speak as fast and as unintelligibly as possible? I spent some time sitting in the Jetport over the weekend and noticed that most of the announcements were delivered in a slurred staccato that verged on a new and different language. United 5320 from Chicago O'Hare turned into something like "Ute Fenty Shair," and I never did catch the gate number.
Portland Jetport has an excellent public address system: clear, loud without being overbearing, easily heard throughout the terminal despite the usual background babble that seems to fill every airport. And it's not like there's an overabundance of notices to read. "Ute Fenty Shair" had five minutes of dead air on either side of it. This is Maine, after all, and it's okay to slow down. So as we were leaving, I was pleased to notice that not all the speakers took the fast and furious approach. A calm, collected, but obviously anxious woman came on the PA to ask if there was an AirTran ticket agent anywhere in the terminal. A newly arrived traveler "needs help to get to Portland (pause) Oregon."
I wonder how often that happens.
Jeff Clark, senior editor and less-than-frequent flyer