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The Layover

Posted on 06/04/2012 by Barry Irwin


Several weeks ago, I took a long weekend and visited my brother during his birthday. He graduated from college about a year ago and is living in the big city, so this was my first time visiting him in his new home. Thanks to AirTran, I was able to get a great deal on airfare from CAK to his city since they were running a summer sale. We had a great weekend seeing all the sights, checking out the nightlife, and literally eating our way through the city. 

On Sunday, it was finally time to come back home to Northeast Ohio.I arrived at the airport several hours earlier than my departure time and had a lot of time to kill. I had flown through this airport many times before and had always been intrigued by a door located near baggage claim that said “Airport Operations Office” on it. Working as an Operations Supervisor for CAK, I am always intrigued by the inner workings of other airports. Now was my chance to potentially see the behind-the-scenes operations of one of the top 20 busiest airports in the United States. I walked to the door, opened it and I ended up in a vestibule with another door, a phone and a window with closed blinds. I waited several minutes before a man came to the window and asked what he could help me with. I showed him my business card and asked if it would be possible to get a tour of the airport. He said he had to go check with the duty manager. Several minutes went by before he came to the door and escorted me to the duty manager’s office. I had a nice conversation with the duty manager who it turned out his relative works for the University of Akron. The duty manager said he would have his assistant take me out on the airfield. 

Next thing I knew, the assistant duty manager was driving me all around the airport.  We were dodging planes on taxiways, checking out the airport’s maintenance equipment, and getting an up-close look at airline operations. All-in-all, the tour lasted about an hour and it was extremely interesting to learn about another airport’s operation. We came back to the operations office, and luckily, I still had plenty of time to catch my flight. I would like to thank the folks at that airport, which shall remain nameless, since I don’t want those guys to get in trouble for giving me a potentially unauthorized tour. I would be more than happy to return the favor in the future.

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