It took us almost 13 hours from the time we left my inlaws house in Rockwell City, Iowa till we got home to Hillsboro, Oregon. Allow 45 minutes for driving and schlepping luggage at each end, and knock off half an hour because it wasn't quite 13 hours and I don't want to be accused of padding the numbers, means we were in the custody of the airlines for eleven hours. Total flight time comes to five and a half hours (5:30) which means we spent another five and half hours sitting in the airport or sitting in an airplane on the ground.
Why is sitting and waiting on a plane so much worse than sitting inside the airport? Cramped seating perhaps? I don't mind when we are actually going somewhere, it's just when we are sitting on the ground. The absolutely worst part is when they have pulled up to the gate and door isn't open yet. This happened both times on the small hopper. We have landed and pulled up to the "gate", but now we have to wait for the ground crew to do something. Unload the luggage maybe? It wasn't long, maybe a couple three minutes, but it was really irritating. Same thing happened when the 757 landed in Seattle, though that could have been due to sitting in the back of the plane and it just takes forever for the 240 odd people in front of me to scurry out the one and only door.
I think the TSA people were doing a better job than the last time I flew. Of course, there was virtually no line when I went through security either in Fort Dodge, which I expected, or in Portland, which I did not expect. The TSA folks have spiffy new uniforms, too, which helps their image.
I had to pull my CPAP machine out of my backpack so they could run an additional test on it. I expected they were going to turn it on, make sure it was really what it was, but all they did was swab it for explosive residue. At least that appears to be what they did.
Here's some photos.