Skip to content ↓
MIT student blogger Keri G. '10

Hello, Layover by Keri G. '10

I'm stuck in an airport. Ask me things.

To take a leaf out of Sam’s book:

DID YOU KNOW? Charlotte/Douglas International Airport has a scale model of the Wright Brothers plane hanging from the ceiling of its main terminal. At least, I think that’s what it is.

I know this because I have been sitting beneath said scale model for the last six hours, and have another eight to go.

But this isn’t about my disastrous experience with America’s worst airline carrier. (I considered liveblogging it – pictures of a near-empty terminal and all – but that just seemed like gross misuse of the Internet.) This is about how I’m entertaining myself – rather, how you’re helping entertain me – during my night in an airport in a totally unfamiliar city.

Ask me questions. If you don’t have questions, then just tell me about your day (“Well, first I woke up, then I had a piece of toast…”). I have a camera and am willing to take pictures of baggage claim, if you’re into that kind of thing.

I am armed with a large black coffee and Beck’s Modern Guilt. (THIS ALBUM IS SO GOOD. DO NOT CHALLENGE MY WORD.) I just ate a sandwich and a salad, and I’m rarin’ to go. (Have you ever noticed how sometimes the baristas at Starbucks look at you like you’re a blithering idiot when you ask for a small instead of a tall? SMALL IS A RELATIVE TERM, mmmk?)

Let this possibly-doomed-from-the-start experiment begin.

Edit: For ’11:

Any time I am bewildered by the “OMG PLANES” mentality of most everyone in Course 16, I remember that I am hardcore Course 9 and scare people when I go “OMG BRAINS.” This gives me perspective o’ plenty, similar to watching Speed 2: Cruise Control any time I think movies today have gotten really bad.

I did this during my desk shift last Sunday. Oh, perspective.

48 responses to “Hello, Layover”

  1. anonymous says:

    OMG – just be glad you weren’t on this plane yesterday –

    An explosion blew a hole in the side of the plane. You certainly have better luck flying than those people. Scary, scary stuff!!!

  2. Felicia says:


    I’m glad I stumbled onto your blog. I too am stuck in an airport. Fortunately it’s one of my favorites (Hartsfield in Atl). I’m doing some research for a project and I think you can help me (as well as anyone else who’s reading this). If you had to do High School all over again, what would you want to take? I’m trying to develop technology coursework for my school district, and need to know what would have been helpful to you. What would you have loved to do in high school but couldn’t?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  3. '11 says:

    Take pictures of the airplane models. I love that airport! (obviously, I’m Course 16)

    I once missed my flight there because I forgot that Charlotte is in a different time zone than Texas.

  4. donaldGuy says:

    Umm .. you could write a tirade about how much you hate “First!” posts … -_- ?

  5. '11 says:

    @ donaldGuy
    Fortunately, nobody did a “first!” post

  6. Karen says:

    Keri, you are totally awesome and it majorly sucks that you are stuck in the airport (although I knew this because I saw on your livejournal, haha).

    My day was totally boring, I got woken up by my friend calling at 3:30 pm (yeah, I’m lazy) and I was at work by 4 until 8, when I went home and have been on the internet since! I was going to go to the county fair where they have a LEGIT FREAK SHOW like with 2-headed cows and stuff, but sadly I didn’t get off work in time :(

    I would be careful with your camera in an airport, it seems like they might be angry about that sort of thing…

  7. Karen says:

    @ ’11: my family did that once too, as did my freshman year math teacher (? apparently it was daylight savings time AND a time zone change, so they should’ve cancelled out, but he was just 3 hours late)

  8. donaldGuy says:

    Also .. its totally okay .. Starbucks is closing like 600 locations. I saw it on the Colbert Report so it MUST be true ( I also found it here: )

    so .. maybe those barristas will get laid off and have to go work at a place with normal sizes?

    have you seen the “Neurotically Yours” (aka Foamy the Squirrel) about Starbucks sizes? You should have! it is here

  9. donaldGuy says:

    Ahh .. that was totally the wrong one! (but also relevant) .. this is the one specifically about the sizes:

  10. Keri says:

    donaldGuy – I was looking for the QC strip mocking the size stuff, but I haven’t found it yet.

    ’11 – I’m uploading photos now. I can’t go past the security checkpoint until 4 AM, so all I can give you is the huge one in the main terminal.

    Karen – mmmm, freakshow.

  11. donaldGuy says:

    I believe you mean this one?

    brought to you courtesy of Oh No Robot comic search engine

  12. yukiko says:

    I’m scared that when I go to MIT for the fall, I’ll have times when I can’t come home (SoCal) for the holidays or I’ll get delayed by a day because of the bad weather (e.g. snow).
    Does that happen often?

  13. donaldGuy says:

    Just kidding .. you totally meant this one:

    I just fail at links tonight. Its okay though, cause I am going to bed. I hope other people come along to entertain you!

  14. Keri says:

    donaldGuy –

    I was also looking for that one, but I’m thinking of one from a little earlier than that.

  15. Keri says:

    How did you beat me to that?

    Curse you, froshling.

  16. Karen says:

    Jeph has really gotten a LOT better at drawing…

  17. Anonymous says:

    hey keri, i just made 2 seconds pass for you!

    i liked the story of how you reacted to your acceptance at MIT. any other stories the like? it makes mit hopefuls feel better.

  18. Keri says:

    Karen – I love watching how Jeph’s drawing improves as QC progresses.

    Anonymous – Will an “MIT students make monumental mistakes too” story suffice?


    Whatever. You’re getting one anyway.

    I’m currently working on a major project at my UROP with a grad student and another undergrad. We’re all working on different facets of this project, but the common factor is that we are always in dire need of SCMM-U plates so we can grow yeast colonies. Last Monday, I left the lab at an absurdly late hour because I was making and autoclaving the media for the plates. I poured the plates and went home, satisfied that I’d succeeded at something I’d done a million times before.

    When I came in seven hours later, they still had not solidified.

    As it turns out, I’d made media with 0.1% agar instead of 1% agar, meaning that my media would never stop being a useless liquid. I’d wasted three hours and 60 plates, and I felt like an idiot.

    …people have done far worse things.

  19. carmen '12 says:

    for rush and the readjustment lottery…if i got placed with my 3rd choice, and i re-enter into the readjustment lottery will they actually give me like my 10th choice or something like that? or would they only move you if i get placed into my other better choices..

    also…what are my chances of getting a single again after the in-house rush at next?

    on second thought…i m gradually coming to like next house..the dining menu is really enticing =)..and don’t worry i will spend time to get to know the dorms during REX before i go change it


  20. Lauren '12 says:

    they have wireless at that airport?

  21. Keri says:

    Yukiko – I’ve heard of and dealt with major snow delays before, but they shouldn’t stop you from coming home completely.

    …unless, of course, your trip is only two days long. (Oh my god, get me out of this airport.)

    My worst weather-related plane issue involved a flight delayed by four hours because of a major snowstorm over Logan Airport. Granted, this was also two days before Christmas, so it would have been a nightmare to fly regardless of how much snow was being dumped on the runway. Sometimes flights get cancelled when the weather’s particularly disastrous, but just about every airport everywhere encounters similar weather problems. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything particularly out of the ordinary. For me, it was a matter of adjusting to closures due to snow instead of hurricane warnings.

    Lauren – The entire airport has free Wi-Fi.

  22. Piper says:

    FREE?? Man, stupid Logan and LAX… (Longbeach has free WiFi. I started flying JetBlue because 1) Longbeach is awesome, and 2) JetBlue has free TV for every seat – IN YOUR CONTROL!!)

  23. Daniel '12 says:

    I wasted the internet by liveblogging an episode of America’s Best Dance Crew.

    Wasting the internet is enjoyable.

  24. Daniel '12 says:

    14 hour layovers suck. I had a 11 hour layover in Japan and went into Japan so I could get a sticker in my passport. And ate some non-fresh sushi.

  25. Daniel '12 says:

    I love JetBlue! I live like two minutes away from Long Beach Airport so going to school in Boston is a nice thing.

  26. '12 says:


  27. Ahmed '12 says:

    Assuming you’re flying US Airways, they shot up from number 10 to number 1 in customer service rankings among America’s largest 10 carriers. Hopefully your experiences with them will improve…

  28. Keri says:

    Piper – the *one* time I don’t fly JetBlue, and this happens. Rawr.

    Daniel – this was only supposed to be 50 minutes long. My connecting flight was cancelled.

    …incidentally, I could go for some sushi right now.

    ’12 – YES. I don’t love it as much as Sea Change, but it’s a close second.

    Ahmed – There are currently eight people asleep in the little waiting area around me, all of whom were on cancelled flights or missed connections due to delayed flights. Of these people, one was on the plane down with me and another was on my cancelled connection. All of us were flying the same airline.

    …really?! They can’t seriously be #1. Granted, they took a little longer than most large carriers to impose checked bag fees, but that’s not much compared to massive delays and cancelling flights left and right.

  29. Daniel '12 says:

    I hope you find a nice vacant bench or row of chairs to make a nice bed. That is, if you choose to sleep tonight.

  30. Keri says:

    So much for sleep. There’s no point anymore.

    I’m going home for an ultra-short visit, for reasons I will reveal later.

  31. Ahmed '12 says:

    I’m a timezone behind…but now I leave you! (reached the intermission of El Cid) Good luck with the rest of your night.

  32. Austin '12 says:

    Hey, at least they didn’t start trying to extort you (although they still might try to sell you first-class tickets at the gate when your plane leaves)…US Air bumped up the prices from Philly [where I live] to Logan so high that it looks like I’d have to fly to Providence or Manchester if I want to make it any more affordable than the train…and mess around with shuttles/commuter rail to get to MIT. And this with PHL supposed to be one of their hub cities… :(

  33. Claire says:

    when will the 2009 frosh application be up?

    I’m pulling a Snively and checking practically every day.

  34. Brunell says:

    If it makes you feel any better its 946 over here in germany and i can let you know the sun is on its way! Didnt burn out overnight so thats always a good thing smile. I should give the summary of my morning in case shes stuck at the airport again.

    I woke up this morning about 30 minutes before i needed to catch the bus for work so i did the usual dash-n-go (30 minutes sounds like alot but i have to walk quite a ways to even get to the stop). I got there right when it was supposed to show up, but of course of all days it was 15 minutes late, and now im sitting at the max planck institute of nuclear physics (shout out to physics!!!) about to work on dust accelerators… this summer has been good to me.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I believe, carmen, that if you get none of your preferred choices in the reassignment lottery (that means not putting down any dorms you like -even less- than the one you’re temped in), you will not be forced to move out of your current dorm.

  36. Laura says:

    Okay Keri, here is my attempt to amuse you during your horrendous layover. Enjoy. =)

    Layovers suck. I had a layover of like 5+ hours in London Heathrow after a red eye cross-Atlantic flight, which was not enough time to actually go into London but more than enough time to make me want to kill myself. Considering travel time to and from various airports, time difference, etc, I spent a good 24 hours getting to Spain. It sucked.
    My worst airline experience was going on a family vacation in the 6th grade. Being from NJ, I am one of the unfortunate creatures who has to fly out of Newark Airport, which cancels half of its flights if it rains for 5 minutes. Our flight to Florida was canceled, so they flew us to Austin, then to Ft Lauderdale (which requires many hours of driving to get to Orlando) so we missed a whole day of Disney World, and it was very sad. It took 24 hours to get to Florida (which is much closer than Spain!) and would have been faster if we had driven there. Also, they ruined our luggage. It was a lousy experience.
    But dude, I am in LOVE with JetBlue, I totally agree with whoever mentioned in personal TV. Total rock. I flew to Virginia and watched the History Channel’s true version of the Battle of Thermopoli, which was quite fascinating.
    My day so far is not very interesting, because it’s 10:45 here, so I just woke up. I guess that means…hey, maybe you’ve been through security by now! Comments on your blog seem to be time stamped according to EST, but you know, traveling around the world has led me to understand the importance of labeling those kinds of things! (I can never figure out what time people send me emails in webmail, sometimes it seems to know what time zone I’m in and sometimes it doesn’t. Same with Facebook. It’s all very confusing.)
    Well, I’m going to go eat some breakfast. I feel very privileged to be one of the lucky few who knows the reason for your trip and I am super excited for you, and really hope it works out, and wish you the best of luck! Hope the airport past the security checkpoint is a little more interesting!

  37. Daniel '12 says:

    I’m still awake. Hope things are working out for the better right now.

  38. Paul says:

    @Carmen: Anonymous is correct. The Readjustment Lottery is totally separate from the Summer Lottery. You get to pick your dorm choices (up to 4 or 5 other dorms you would prefer) all over again.

  39. milena '11 says:

    I *always* fly JetBlue, even if I can find cheaper flights with other airlines. Their seats are comfy, there’s lots of legroom, and I love the TV’s, even though we can’t get satellite TV while flying to Puerto Rico (but they do play cool movies for us, like Juno).

  40. Paul says:

    Status update? Still need things to do?

  41. Keri says:

    After a single hour of sleep, I am at the gate.

    I was selected for TSA screening, which means I got to spend fifteen minutes standing by a table where a TSA officer removed and individually swiped everything in my backpack and camera bag.

    …Air travel is not my friend.

  42. Nina says:

    I do OMG PLANES all the time, but I am far from Course 16 anymore. Maybe I will soon be OMG PLANETSing.


  43. omar says:

    oh wow. you’re intense.

    i’ve never been amazed by airplanes or anything that flies for that matter. except, maybe, no wait, no.

  44. Mollie says:

    Any time I am bewildered by the “OMG PLANES” mentality of most everyone in Course 16, I remember that I am hardcore Course 9 and scare people when I go “OMG BRAINS.”

    This, in a nutshell, is my marriage.

  45. Piper says:

    People think I’m Course 16 because I fly planes O.O