On May 7, I Ubered to PDX to board a Delta flight bound for Atlanta. The Uber driver was masked, and would not touch my bag. With no traffic, a normal 40-minute trip took 20. Upon arrival, I saw nothing. No cars, no shuttles, no people. The Delta Counter was empty; no lines, few agents. They took my bag, I headed towards security looking for coffee. There was none to be had. Breezing through TSA I arrived at the Gate. The plane, a 737-800 was sparse. One person per row in First Class, middle seats empty in coach. Less than 75 passengers on board.
We were told to wear our masks at all times, except when eating. Half the people did not keep their masks on. It could have been the food. Chesit’s, water and Biscoff. We were offered snack boxes. I chose Humus, which I promptly spilled on my new, $6 cloth mask. Shortly into the flight, the entertainment system ceased working, offering only a few options. I smelled like Humus the rest of the flight.
Landing in Atlanta, early, I walked through an empty terminal, to an empty baggage claim, taking an empty Skytrain, to an empty hotel at the Georgia Convention Center. No restaurants open at the hotel, but I did get some great Egg Foo Young delivered. Needed a bit more soy sauce, though. But hey, there was no line at the drive thru.
The next morning, I headed over to the Auto Rental Center via the Empty Skytrain. Hertz was so deserted they gave me a BMW for the price of Kia Soul. I was hoping for the 740, but alas, only got the 330. Nice wheels for the drive to Oxford, MS, my destination, about 5 hours away. Nothing to report on the drive. Absolutely nothing. Truck stops are the best bet. Beyond that, open road. Filled up at $1.50/gallon.
A week in Oxford, normally a vibrant college town. Nothing open. I did get coffee in the morning at the hotel, which has become unusual. I have kicked my coffee habit. Not willingly or easily. That I really miss.
The return trip was different. More people, not difficult when zero is your baseline, but still empty. No food or housekeeping at the Atlanta hotel. The front desk told me housekeeping would not come into your room until two days after you departed.
The airline and hotel employees were all great. They were happy to be working, and asked me to tell everyone to come by and see them. The planes were clean, an unintended and welcome consequence of this mess. All CDC Guidelines followed. The whole trip went without a hitch. I will make the same trek in July, and hope there is more coffee, food, and people. In that order.