Flying Turkey Travel Award. Let's begin with a little background. You and I have all travelled by air. And especially if you are American, you may well have changed planes at an American airport. So you will know how passengers changing planes at American airports feel. They are tired. They are frazzled. They are nervous. They are anxious. They are in a bad mood. And they are usually in a hurry, trying to make a connection. And since short American flights long ago stopped serving any kind of food, save pretzels, it's also fairly likely that they are hungry. So what does Detroit airport do? It gives you a long, long concourse with, admittedly on hurried inspection, just one eatery (not counting coffee and the Martini Bar.)
But still you say to yourself, "Hooray! Burgers! Yummy burgers!" You are starving. You have twenty minutes before you need to board your flight and burgers mean FAST food - don't they. You are not normally a fast food person but fast food, you say to yourself, has its place and this is it.
So you enter the burger joint and you perceive a queue. You join the queue. After five minutes of confused standing, a helpful person behind youin the queue mentions, "I think you have to go to one of those screens." Screens? Ah yes. You go to the screen and you see lots of pictures. You have to tap the one you want. OK. Cheeseburger. Next. It gives you a pictorial cacophony of other options. No thanks. NEXT. It gives you a a dazzling selection of different drinks. No NO, you just want a cheeseburger. A nice, small, quick cheeseburger. Finally after a succession of different screens, you wearily reach the end. (Meanwhile the lady next to you is muttering, "this is the stupidest !@#$%& I've ever seen". Believe me, she ain't seen nothing yet.)
Then you have to go and pay. So you join another queue. For the till. And you get a number. Except you're told your number very quickly and if you forget it and try to look on your receipt, you can't find it. Only people who've been to this place before know what to do ("It's the last two digits of this six-figure number - 34 - see?") But the thing is, most people passing through airports are by nature, er, passing through airports. They are not regulars. They need things simple.
Then, once you've found your number, you have to wait. Wait until someone in the back of the shop cooks your burger and hands it through for embellishment to the poor girl manning the till (I hasten to add this is not her fault) who is doing her best, running back and forth alternately trying to give change and slop baked beans or chips or whatever on somebody's burger. You wait. And you wait. And you wait. The poor old lady in front of you has been waiting a very long time indeed. And behind you the queue is building up and more and more people are muttering, "This is the stupidest !@#$%& I've ever seen". And the numbers are called in no sort of order so you don't know when you'll be lucky. This year, next year....
And THEN when you finally get your burger (and the poor old lady still hasn't got hers by the time you get yours and she's number 31) you have to put all the stuff on it yourself - tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard, whatever and they're all in different places, as are the drinks and then you finally say " to !@#$%& with it" and, covered in ketchup, you run for your flight, which is boarding, your hands full of an over large, cumbersome container that won't close and behind you, you hear the poor old lady saying politely, "Excuse me, I did order a coffee too..."
So, step forward whoever invented this asinine system. The Flying Turkey Travel Award goes to you!