Frank Rogala

Northwest connecting to Continental at Bush Airport

File this under “how did this happen?” Board this shuttleAfter booking a flight that shared airlines Continental and Northwest I found myself changing planes in Houston at George W. Bush Airport.  After getting off my Continental flight I started walking through the airport passing eight, B., C., D., expecting that E. was coming up soon.  By the time I got to D., I figured I had time to have something to eat before the flight.  Little did I know that I was a long walk and a circuitous shuttle ride from reaching the Northwest terminal. Not seen any signs to direct me and with no Northwest personnel to ask, I finally backtracked to my original gate to ask for directions.  After it was explained to me that I needed to go back to where I had turned around and to descend a stairway (no labels for the elusive E), I asked the Continental gate agent how most people find their way to E.  She said it was a problem, and that many people got lost and she didn’t know how they were supposed to find it. Bush airport shuttle rampIf that wasn’t strange enough, when I finally descended the stairway I found a narrow doorway and loading area.  A lady with a radio stood in the door and once she saw me asked where I was going.  When I told her I had a Northwest flight she called on her radio.  After a short period of time a shuttle arrived. After only an a few others boarded the shuttle we began a trip that wound in and out and around the guts of the airport finally arriving on the tarmac outside of what I assumed was E.  There wasn’t any type of physical entrance other than the ramp up to the temporary jetway that took me into the terminal. Bush inside bus heading to Terminal COnce inside, it was another long walk to my gate and luckily I made it in time.  On my return trip I was wiser, but also on the lookout for any signs or maps that would direct the many people who need to go where I had to go — this time to A. I didn’t see anything that would have made this trip any less fretful or confusing. I again asked a gate agent at Northwest how most people find their way to the shuttle.  Again I was told, “I don’t know, it’s confusing.  A lot of people get lost.” I expect this bizzare ritual is somehow a result of some post- September 11 security measures that Bush shuttlebusmust have do a snafu into an otherwise well-planned way to make this airport crossing (I was told that an airport tram does exist).  However, that does not explain why after this period of time that no directional sign, banners, posters, etc. have been installed.

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