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I travel a lot these days. I've gotten to be quite a pro at navigating TSA security checkpoints, remaining calm throughout the entire boarding process, being productive on flights, etc. But one annoying thing that seems to happen more often than not is that my gate seems to always be as far as possible from the security checkpoint. This happened again yesterday on the way out of Toronto International. Here's a pictorial guide to my thought process:

"Okay, I cleared security with no problems. Thank you Canada for not subjecting me to a full-body scan. Let's see, my flight is out of F32. Sweet! First gate!" 

"Weeee! I'm walking at an incredible rate on this conveyor belt! Free Canadian airport wireless, here I come." 

"Wait. What? Srsly?!"

Of course, it could be that this happens only half of the time and that the above sequence only gets recorded by my brain. That combined with confirmation bias. But it seriously feels like no matter where I come out of the security line that my gate is the furthest possible distance away. I should start recording data. We need some data!


Code name: 1% said…
OH my goodness, I have long had a working (and untested) hypothesis in this direction. Not quite a data point, but perhaps some weak corroborating evidence better applied to layover situations than first entry through security: many airports cluster together regional destinations, such that all of the flights to airports in Louisiana are located at the dead end of terminal F, and the flights to eastern Texas are right next to those, etc. And who the heck is going to fly between Lafayette and Baton Rouge with a layover in Memphis? As such, your next gate is at least a little further away. Seriously, though, I've never flown through Detroit without having to go to another terminal through that funny-lighted subterranean walkway. How do they manage to arrange that?
Sheila said…
In policy school (GSPP) several years ago we discussed this. You are not imagining that airlines have preferred to park their planes at the terminal terminal gates. Two reasons: 1. faster parking for the planes. 2. arriving passengers have to walk further, and thus take longer before they wait for their baggage- thus reducing their perceived time at the baggage carousal.

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