Jaraad is back to blogging

I arrived Queen Alia airport in Amman at 2 am. The check-in line was moving extremely slow until I arrived at the counter and found that the computer system is down!!! Yes, you read that right. The computer system was down. Hence, the check-in process was done manually. I was charged 50 JD (71 USD) for checking in my second suitcase. I was told I need to go to another window to pay for my second suitcase and come back to finish the check-in process. I am not sure if this is because the system is down or this is how it is done at Queen Alia International Airport.

Fortunately, Queen Alia airport is not busy especially at 2 am. There were hardly three flights taking off early in the morning. Otherwise, it would have been chaos with a broken computer system. No wonder it is one of the World’s Worst Airport Terminals.

Photo Jan 21, 5 59 10 PM
Queen Alia International Airport in Amman at 2:30 am

The good news soon Amman will have a new airport. I hope it comes with a fault-tolerant computer system and better services though.

The first thing I did when I arrived Heathrow airport was locating the nice Multi-faith prayer room they have in every terminal. I prayed Fajr.

I found something interesting in the room, a “Wudu Stone.” I know Muslims can perform Wudu using sand instead of water in some situations but I am not sure about using stones. Besides, the airport has many toilets one can perform Wudu easily there. The only concern is washing the feet which one can skip by wiping his/her shoes or socks. Anyway, I was grateful to find a place to pray peacefully.

Photo Jan 22, 2 35 43 AM

Photo Jan 22, 2 35 51 AM

Another interesting observation about Heathrow airport is the airport staff. I was shocked to see the staff regardless of the position; security, maintenance workers, operations officer, engineers, counter services, shops sellers, cleaning services and almost every job you can think of being an Asian (to be specific of Indian origin.)

Photo Jan 22, 3 07 47 AM
Heathrow Airport in London

My worst experience was at O’Hare airport in Chicago. Entering USA even when you have a visa is not an easy process. I will talk about it later.

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13 thoughts on “Jaraad is back to blogging

  1. Yes he iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis! :D
    ———
    الحمد لله على السلامة
    ——–
    My relationship with Queen Alia airport is a modest one; still I hated each and every encounter!
    ——–
    My/our relationship with Heathrow airport is a singular one, couple of hours actually but I would for sure come for more :D
    ——–
    It`s good to know u r (among) the worst terminals, maybe just maybe the new one shall be better, or else we might top the list in no time!
    ——–
    Awaiting yr Chicago experience (and much more, esp.ly reflections from Jordan`s visit)
    ——-
    It was such a quick visit, no?! :)

    1. I wrote many of my Jordan experiences on Facebook. Sorry for missing it :) I will try to post it here in detail.
      I spent 40 days in Jordan. I wish I had more time but this was our holiday.

  2. Glad you made it back to the US safely. And yes, that is the way they do the check in at Queen Alia Airport. If you have to pay, you have to bring the paper back and THEN they will continue your check in. It’s no fun!

    Also, I noticed that as well about Heathrow!

    1. Thank you, Samar!
      Another reader, on Twitter, told me the same thing about the different place to pay for excess luggage. How come? This is very stupid! Why can’t they make the payment at the same check-in counter? Anyway, after visiting Jordan this is the last thing I am concerned about :)

      By the way, how did you handle vehicles honking? It was so hard for me. I tried to walk as much as I can so I don’t ride a car.

      1. Anytime!
        Yep, it’s insane…but it creates jobs? I guess.

        Oh, I handle it very well! I have become a honker myself! but I agree with the walking, it’s easier to get around with less traffic. I don’t like when I am walking and taxis honk or flash their lights. They always do it when you don’t need one but when you do..none can be found.

        I do hope you enjoyed your stay :)

  3. How was the snow? Did you vote in the elections? Only travel with a single suitcase. QAI airport is poorly ventilated and uncomfortably warm never mind the computer glitches.

    1. My interview at the American Embassy was on January 10th. Guess what? The embassy closed on that day because of the snow. I had to reschedule. Anyway, I am in the USA now :)
      We had snow in Irbid as well. The last time it happened was in the mid 90s. But there was lots of snow in Amman.
      The strange thing about Queen Alia Airport is that it is being used as a hub by neighboring Arab countries for a long time. It should have been much better than this.

  4. Glad you made it back to MO! I know you were slightly concerned that that may not happen, but it seems you were given a return visa with little problem. Sorry coming to Chicago was unpleasant. We were detained shortly upon arriving in O’Hare from Syria. I was so tired at that point and my ears had stopped up that I probably sounded ridiculous trying to explain who went met and why we went. :) The most questioning though was in Istanbul on our return trip. The guy wanted a business card of what Andrew does back in the States. Um, he didn’t bring those with him. Thankfully I did have the address of the place we stayed. We never expected all the questions in Turkey, but maybe they are trained to ask them if someone is going to the US and/or has been to Syria.

    I enjoyed your airport experiences.Thanks for sharing!

    1. I thought a country like Turkey who depends a lot on its tourism business would not be stupid to bother tourists with too many questions.
      Yes, I am pleased to return back to MO :)
      I had three hours layover in Chicago and I hardly made it to my next flight. The line for foreigners at the homeland security was too long and moving very slow.

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