LCC 2008 – Part 2/Arrival in Denver and the Evil Airport

    This was the first time I’d flown Frontier Airlines and so far, so good.  Their planes are tiny – something like 24 rows in total – and, like all economy sections, leg and aisle space are in short supply.  But they boarded when they said they were going to board and my flight actually landed at Denver Airport a few minutes ahead of schedule.  This was a very good thing as the Denver Airport is one of those sprawling multi-terminal hubs.  Half airport/half shopping mall, with flat moving escalators stretching across the length of the building.  Signs pointed the way to ground transportation and I set off confidently in that direction, tote bag propped on top of my wheeled suitcase to make things easy on my shoulders.  I ignored the moving escalators.  They were for wusses afraid of getting a little exercise!   And the free train?  Hah.  I had plenty of time.  I’d walk it.
Five, ten minutes later I found myself dead-ended in another terminal, having somehow missed the turnoff for ground transportation.  My suitcase/tote bag had doubled in weight (or so my arm was telling me). True, I had a half dozen copies of MFH squirreled away in case the box shipped by my publisher got lost in transit, but they were paperback, fer crissake!  Okay, trade paperback, but still…
I switched arms and trundled off back the way I came, my stride a bit less jaunty.  I kept a lookout for signs and arrows pointing me in the right direction.  Even still, I missed the turnoff again and not because I’m directionally challenged.  Seriously, I’m usually a damned good navigator.  But there were elevators, escalators, pedestrian overpasses scattered next to and above one another and the arrows pointing towards the elusive ground transportation seemed to indicate all directions and choices at once.
By this time both my arms were burning from the strain of lugging my  magical weight-gaining bags and I honed in on the first uniformed person I saw and asked if he’d point me towards the Super Shuttle.  He pointed and gave me a series of lefts and rights and ups and downs that left my head spinning. I became increasingly stressed every minute and discovered it’s impossible to practice deep yoga breathing when you’re walking at a fast clip and hauling lead baggage.
To cut an embarrassingly long story and seemingly endless hike short, five friendly, well-meaning airport employees later I finally found the Super Shuttle kiosk at what must have been the furthest possible point from my arrival gate.
I huffed and puffed like someone who’d just tried to run a mile after years of sedentary living, both arms felt like they were going to drop out of their sockets and my hair flew every which way but neat.  The woman behind the counter raised an eyebrow as I collapsed on top of the counter and gasped, “Adams Mark Hotel, please.”
“One way or round trip?”
“Round trip.”
She typed on her computer as I caught my breath and looked at my watch.  Still plenty of time to make my panel.   As she handed me my receipt, the gal smiled and said, “They leave every 15 minutes.  So relax.”   She pointed the way to the exit and the waiting
And in a total anti-climax as I immediately boarded a waiting shuttle along with two other passengers.  The shuttle departed within minutes and we were on our way to downtown Denver.