By: Alise Adornato
Indira Gandhi International Airport:
Berco’s Chinese: Grace and Carolyn are still waiting for their complimentary fruit beer. I did not appreciate how easily spillable the fruit beer was. The vegetarian spring rolls were subpar and the 15 minute wait seemed excessive. I would pass on Berco’s the next time around.
Subway: If you are in search for a classic Subway with more vegetarian options then this is the perfect choice. Overall the subs were average and consistent with Subways in America. The service was slightly above average.
McDonald’s: I was informed by none other than Grace and Carolyn that you can only buy a drink from McDonald’s if you buy a meal. This seems unnecessary. I think McDonald’s is financially secure enough that it doesn’t need to sell a meal with every drink. Carolyn and Grace went once again without a beverage, but they did invest in the classic soft serve vanilla ice cream. Overall, McDonald’s offers consistency, but it is unnecessarily extra.
Häagen Dazs : The ice cream was delicious and the store offered several flavors, new and familiar. Service was amazing! Häagen Dazs is definitely a place for good ice cream and nice conversations with the workers. 10/10 recommend!
Recommendation: If you still have rupees, pay with them! If not, you will end up with tons of rupees in change, instead of American dollars.
Security: 9/10 (for safety) and 8/10 (for being irritating)
Security in Delhi definitely seems excessive. We went through 2 or 3 security checks, including one before entering our gate. The first was your standard security check (I enjoyed going through the diplomat line); however, the metal detectors are classified as female and male. I had never seen separate metal detectors based on sex, so it was very interesting to experience. After going through the metal detectors, men are individually checked out in the open, while women walk into a tiny makeshift room and are searched. Overall, I found this easy to go through and a very fascinating experience.
The security check before the gate is where the irritation emerged. Thanks to Barry Kallmeyer (dad) deciding to arrive at the gate an hour + before takeoff, my fellow travelers and I found ourselves locked in a glass box. Yes, we were literally encompassed by glass walls and the box had no bathrooms or food because all of the vending machines were out of order. Due to our security check before entering the gate, many of my friends lacked water because they were prohibited from bringing in the bottles of water they had just bought in the airport. Instead many of them threw out their water or took the power move of chugging the water, and no, they were not allowed to keep the empty bottles. Thanks Barry. 🙂
The airport is very large and has many high-end stores inside. Apparently, it is the “best airport in the world” according to Alice Fletcher, so I’m not sure how accurate that is. The international terminal check-in area has an appreciative mix of greenery and modern architecture. I found it very beautiful upon first glance. The people in the airport seemed very relaxed. Grace McCarthy and I only got a few stares while singing Alexander Hamilton in the center of the terminal at 10 pm, so I would say that is an accomplishment. Overall, the airport has some hits and some misses. The glass box will forever be a miss! Again, thanks Barry.
Newark Liberty International Airport:
Expensive Italian Restaurant: Grace McCarthy, Kate, and I ventured into this restaurant because we wanted to fill up before the dreaded plane meals. We found this restaurant that I cannot find the name of, and waited to be seated. We were seated next to a nice and classic Brooklyn family, as Grace would say, and enjoyed a very nice and engaging conversation with them! The whole restaurant is run by iPads, which is innovative in thought, but seems odd in a society that puts importance on personal service. Grace and I shared a margherita and burrata pizza for $16 each! Yes, $16. To make things more expensive, the iPads automatically choose 18% gratuity, so Grace payed an extra $3+ for no service! However, the pizza was very good and the conversation at our table was engaging. This is a perfect place if you are okay paying a little more for great pizza and you don’t want to talk to anyone. (BTW: You can only pay with a credit card)
Most of the group, as well as I had pre-check in Newark. In the past, I have had problems in Newark, so I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have any issues. Customs went easily and the border agent checking my paperwork was surprisingly pleasant for 4 in the morning. In addition, no one’s basil seeds were taken! Pre-check went smoothly, 10 out of the 14 of us had successfully made it to our gate in a timely matter (It was a close call). However, the line for regular security took an insanely long time, so the other 4 in the group were stuck and almost missed the flight! (See aesthetic for the dilemma)
There is just something about Newark that puts a bad taste in my mouth. The restaurants and shops are great, but I always seem to have a problem. The aesthetic score was definitely brought down by our flight incident. While waiting for the last 4 in our group to get through security, the gate agent told us that we had 4 minutes to get on “her plane”, otherwise we would probably never get home. Arguments broke out, yada yada yada, she finally realized that we with our teachers and didn’t have our phones, yada yada yada, two people checked themselves in before the situation was handled, yada, yada, yada, we all ended up making the flight, only to sit on the plane and be delayed for another two hours. So yeah, that definitely brought the aesthetic down!
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport:
Everything is pretty average. I don’t think there is anything special about the food in the airport.
I along with many of my fellow travelers had pre-check in Cleveland. I correctly guessed that I would be randomly selected even with pre-check. So, I went through the body machine thingy and my ankles were patted down. That wasn’t too bad, but the situation didn’t stop there. The TSA agent proceeded to take everything out of my jam-packed bag in search of my unopened Buckeyes and book about Cleveland, both for my homestay family. Once everything was out in the open, including my anti-malaria medication, the TSA agent happily allowed me to put everything back in! 😦 Also, the line for regular security was very long and those that went through regular security had to take out all of the snacks in their bags, so not the best time.
I mean it’s Cleveland. I don’t find anything special about it.