Because travel sucks ... now more than ever.

Let them eat cake

Mon, 2009/08/17 - 12:54 by aargh

It's tough to get comfortable in an airport gate area. Admit it. Having just passed half a lifetime waiting for someone to figure out what will set off a metal detector, you hustle off to your gate and try to claim a spot on some terribly uncomfortable chairs. Or worse yet, you've just stepped off a plane and you have to while away four hours' worth of layover while carrying nine hours' jetlag. No amount of meditation will shield you from the chatterboxes on their mobile phones, nor their larger counterparts the gate-area loudspeakers.

If you're only in an airport now and then, maybe you don't notice or you chalk it up to the experience. (-and if you're only in an airport now and then, chances are you're part of the problem.) So here's a tip -- and no one's paying me to say this -- if you're involved in any serious air travel, get yourself signed up for your airline's lounge. American Airlines calls theirs "Admirals Club." I call it home.

Airlines, knowing the wear and tear airports wage on travellers, have managed to create a very un-airport atmosphere tucked away behind big metal doors and membership cards. Comfy seats, subdued lighting, some degree of snacks and drinks all help you forget that you, yes you, are in Chaos Central.

The decor ranges from "tastefully upscale" to "palatial and opulent." If you're short on ideas to remodel your home, here's where to look. Take special note of the newest Admirals Club in DFW terminal D. I about cancelled my flight so I could move in.

Best of all, if your flight has been delayed or cancelled, you won't be at the gate area when the barbaric masses decide to revolt.

This year American Airlines is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its Admirals Club line. I didn't think much of it until, just the other day, I saw someone snapping a photo of a display at Chicago's O'Hare AC:

fancy cake

No, that's not a statue. That's a cake.

A cake made and delivered by this guy right here:

chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes

That's right, the ORD Admirals Club celebrated with a presentation by none other than chef Duff of Charm City Cakes, the bakery behind the TV hit Ace of Cakes.

There's nothing quite like learning about an event after it has happened. Had I known, I would have arranged to pass through O'Hare Thursday instead of Friday...