It has been a rough travel week. It started with my ill-timed journey from Denver to Harrisburg, PA on Sunday afternoon when the snow in Denver and Chicago conspired against me and trapped my plane on the tarmac in Denver for 4 hours while we waited for de-icing and runway plowing. Once I arrived in Chicag, snow had caused 5+ hour delays. I arrived in Harrisburg at 2am Monday morning. Never thought I’d be so happy to see Harrisburg, PA.
Now I’m sitting in the airport in Pittsburgh waiting for a flight to Philadelphia. The terminal is relatively empty and my gate is near the end of one of those moving walkways. There is not a single person on the moving walkways, yet I’m sitting here, forced to listen to a pre-recorded voice politely saying, ad nauseum, “Caution, the moving walkway is nearing its end, please watch your step. Thank you.”
What would otherwise be a relatively quiet and peaceful experience has been destroyed by the incessant repetition of this disembodied voice at the end of the walkway. Two things about this absurd situation really grate on me.
First, no doubt the only reason this bit of noise pollution is being forced on every person sitting at my gate is because some enterprising lawyer successfully sued some airport at one point after their oblivious dumbass client fell on his face at the end of some moving walkway.
Second, this is just terrible design. Would it have been that hard to install a sensor near the end of each walkway such that the Voice of Caution would only be triggered if there were actually someone on the walkway?