Mike and I flew to JFK airport from Raleigh/Durham, arriving there about 1:30 pm on Saturday. We were going to Moscow, Russia via Warsaw, Poland. (Business for Mike, pure pleasure for me!) We were prepared for a long day at JFK, or we thought we were prepared, because our flight to Warsaw did not depart until 11:30 pm! Ten hours in an airport is a long layover, but we were prepared with computer work we could do, or so we thought. We planned to spend the day working in an airport lounge. Little did we know that we would not have access to an airport lounge until 8:30 pm that night, seven hours after arrival! That was not the worst of the experience, however. But I am getting a little ahead of myself.
We flew Delta from Raleigh to JFK, arriving into Terminal 4. We had to go to baggage claim to retrieve our bags since our flights were not connected; we were on a different airline to Russia, and the two carriers were not partners. Thus began the saga. Although I did not clock the actual distance, it must have been at least a mile and a half walk from our arrival gate in Terminal 4 to Baggage Claim. When we finally had our bags (two large bags and a smaller checked bag) and added them to our total of four carry-on bags, our baggage was overflowing on the baggage cart. Then began the long trek to Terminal 7, Poland Airline’s terminal, from which our flight to Warsaw on LOT Airlines would depart. When we arrived there around 2:30 pm, LOT was not open, and would not be open until flight check-in time, which we were told would be three hours before flight departure, 8:30 pm! So, what to do for six hours?! There was absolutely nothing in Terminal 7 to occupy our time.
While we were pondering our plight, Mike mentioned that we did not have a current boarding pass since we had not been able to check in yet, so we probably could not get through security to go to an airline lounge! We decided to go back to the Delta Terminal, Terminal 4, thinking that was our best hope since we flew in on Delta. We did so and confirmed our assumption. Our only option in Terminal 4 outside of security was a diner. We spent about an hour there, eating lunch and sitting. There were no outlets in the diner for us to charge our devices. Worse than that, there were no outlets at all available in Terminal 4! I was amazed. A major airport in a major city, and no outlets at all! (For the sake of total honesty, there were a couple of outlets near doors, but nowhere to sit near them, and both of them did not even work! I consider that no available outlets!)
We were searching for an answer to this dilemma. I suggested that we go to another terminal, thinking surely we would find some outlets. (I do not know what my rationale was for thinking there would be outlets in other terminals. I think I was in shock at the lack of outlets, not able to believe that there would be no available outlets.) We went to Terminal 5, which is the Jet Blue Terminal. Well, thankfully, we did find one outlet where we could plug in two devices, so we did so and sat there for over an hour while our devices charged. Mike sat on a seat next to the outlet, and I sat on a small table next to him.
8 pm finally came, and we made our way to Terminal 7 to check in for our flight. Things went very smoothly from that point on. We were flying Business Class (gratis of Mike’s host) so once we were checked-in and through security, another world opened up. There were duty-free shops galore, which we passed without shopping, making our way to the British Airways (partner of LOT) Lounge. Once in the lounge, there was wonderful food and drinks, and plenty of outlets near comfortable seating. For the next couple of hours, we relaxed, ate, and worked. We also watched a basketball game. And not just any game!
Virginia (my alma mater) and Purdue were playing in the March Madness Sweet 16. It was an exciting game! After too many changes of which team was ahead and one overtime, Virginia (thankfully) won, advancing to the Final Four.
Soon thereafter, Mike and I advanced to the plane that would carry us to Warsaw and then to Moscow.