Overheard at Gate C4

“Great. So they are not going to clean the plane.” Young mother, holding toddler, upon hearing the inbound aircraft was delayed. (They cleaned the plane.)

“Watch. It’s $50 now. In 10 minutes, it will be $100.” Maskless man commenting on the price of available boarding group upgrades. (It remained $50.)

The Burrito Place

When I moved to Denver in the mid-’90s, we’d frequent a hole-in-the-wall that served burritos and tacos near the University of Denver campus.

If the line was long, as in out-the-door long, we’d yell our order from the street and they never got it wrong. Seating was hard to come by, so our orders often were to-go.

The lines seemed to be guaranteed, so it really became a matter of how much patience and stamina we had to stand in line for a hard-to-find burrito — that you’d hold in your hands. (?!)

In 1996, Chipotle opened its second location on Colorado Boulevard, and it felt 10 times bigger, and the before we knew it locations were popping up all over the Denver area.

Now that Chipotle is everywhere it’s nowhere near as special. But every so often I’ll get some tacos or a burrito and it will be really close to the quality and taste of those days in 1995. It’s rare. Still, Chipotle is in my semi-regular rotation.

This week I ate at a Chipotle in the eighth state outside of Colorado, and like I do every time, I thought about the tiny burrito place on Evans.

Do you have our app?

Recently I took a trip, the first one in more than 18 months, and it was unquestionably weird to be back at the airport, in an airplane, and waiting in a rental car line (for one hour and 20 minutes; hello, Avis.)

The good news (?) is that the usual travel irritants still exist and then some. Something I either forgot about, or just forgot that I hated, was all the requests to download mobile apps during a trip.

I always download the airline app when I fly, but I did not appreciate the number of times I need to — or was asked to — download an app.

A few examples:

  • Rental car
  • Hotel
  • Regional restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Public parking

I will grant you that phone apps are easier to manage than having to keep track of a dozen physical travel membership cards. And yes, I know — I know! — I can delete any app I download the second I don’t need it, and I do.

I just don’t like having to tap “download”, hope there’s a decent signal and, if there is, signing up for a new account or trying to find my login info.

The End

The Slovenly Traveler

Some friends and I were talking* today about how air-travel attire has hit rock bottom.


I haven’t flown in about 18 months but it’s hard to imagine things getting worse.

Tank tops, pajamas, flip flops — often on the same person.

We can do better.