Twin Terminal Confusion

12 Jun 2011 by Kathleen Krueger

Twin Terminal Confusion at MSP airport"I'll meet you at baggage claim," my mom had said, when I talked to her before boarding my flight.

We'd coordinated out flights into Minneapolis. Mom was flying in from Texas and I was flying in from Oregon. My trip hadn't started out very good.

The first hiccup on the trip had been my flight out of Portland. It had been delayed. That meant hanging around the airport waiting. I hate waiting. I hate wasting time. Plus, it meant that our carefully planned connection at the Minneapolis airport was messed up too. Mom was going to have to hang around the airport waiting for me to get there.

Just as I picked up my cellphone to call her, it rang. It was my mom. "Where are you?"

"I am at baggage claim, like I'm supposed to be. Where are you?"

"That's where I am too, but I don't see you."

"You can't be. This place isn't that big, I'd see you,"

We both must of looked silly, talking into our cellphones and twirling around looking in every direction. Finally, we were determined we were in two separate buildings.

Don't get me wrong. We both were at the Minneapolis airport, but my mom was at Terminal One, the Lindbergh Terminal; and, I was at Terminal Two, the Humphrey Terminal. Two terminals for the same airport. Who would have thought? Since Minneapolis is one half of the 'Twin Cites', I guess they decided they needed twin terminals as well.

Of course, they aren't sitting next door to each other. They're about three miles apart, on opposite sides of the airport. So, my mom got the directions and arrived at my location about fifteen minutes later, a bit frazzled. It'd been a long day, and we still had a three hour drive ahead of us to Grandma's house.

Since my mom had flown home a day before I was scheduled to leave, my aunt volunteered to drive me to the airport in Minneapolis to catch my flight. I wasn't worried about the dual terminal thing for my return trip. I'd already told my aunt the story about the mixup with the two terminals when I'd arrived. Besides, she seemed to know exactly where she was going.

But as we were driving up to the terminal, it just didn't look quite right. Then she pulled over to the curb in front of the Frontier Airlines sign and parked. I thought that was kind of strange, since I was flying out on Southwest, but maybe she just saw the empty spot by the curb and figured I could walk the rest of the way. So, I got out of the car and we unloaded my luggage, which included my extra large red suitcase, my canvas carry-on bag (that Grandma's cat had peed on) and then, just to make things extra cumbersome, a long box that contained the banjo I had been given by my grandfather before I left. Hugs, good byes and my aunt got back in her car and drove away.

Balancing the boxed banjo on my large suitcase, and slinging my canvas carryon over my shoulder (I had sprayed it down thoroughly with Febreze at my aunt's house), I wheeled it all slowly through the doors. There was an information desk right inside the doors, so I stop and asked which direction I needed to go to get to the Southwest ticket counter.

You've probably guessed it by now. Yep. I was in the wrong terminal. I was in Terminal One. Southwest flies out of Terminal Two. My aunt had already left, and I didn't have her cellphone number. I would need to catch the shuttle that runs between the two or take a cab. My return trip wasn't looking much better than how my trip had started. I thanked the clerk and headed back out the door with my pee stained carryon, my boxed banjo and the oversized red suitcase.

I've heard since then that they had just recently relabeled the two terminals Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 because there had been too much confusion with the names, Lindbergh and Humphrey. There was some controversy about it because changing the signage alone had cost over a hundred thousand dollars. I hate to be the one to tell them, but they could have saved their money. It hasn't helped. People are still confused.

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