In general I like to be at an airport 2 hours before a flight. I prefer to sit and relax as I most often have access to some kind of lounge. In the days before that, I would simply take my time strolling about and having a sit-down meal. When I came through the Springfield Regional Airport, I noticed there wasn’t much in the way of amenities (just as there isn’t in Shreveport). I therefore told my friend I didn’t need to be at the airport until 12:15 or 12:30. We actually arrived closer to 12:40, but that was still okay for me to get through check-in, security, have a quick bite and an adult beverage. Or so I thought. Now, in all fairness, it is possible this was a day where every single point was unexpectedly short-staffed; that can happen. And in all fairness, when one books an afternoon flight, there are likely to be more people checking in and I didn’t check in on line. With that said, it was the worst experience I’ve had. While there were two points through security there was only one TSA agent checking IDs, so there’s a bottleneck. The single bar and place to have food was jammed and definitely understaffed. I didn’t realize at first, you had to go order in the food area, get a number, then they would bring the food. That isn’t unusual, except it was quite obvious the process wasn’t moving quickly and by the time I finally got a beverage, there seemed little chance of making food happen. I had a fairly tight connection in Dallas, but since both planes were “puddle jumpers”, I properly calculated I wouldn’t have to change terminals. There was a BBQ spot close to my gate and although the selection was limited, it was okay.
I’m not going to get into the annoyance of the rental vehicle I have and traffic from the airport was lighter than expected. There is a Texas Roadhouse next to the hotel for my first stay (part of why I booked there). It was very crowded, however, there was a seat at the bar. They were staffed as well as they could be and quite professional. I did order a larger size steak than usual.