The carpeted floors here at PDX are soothing but I'm finding the departure experience leaving a bit to be desired compared with the arrival. Part of that is United - it's another jam-packed flight (though this time on an A320) and at least they are offering to check carry-on bags for free again, but they could obviate the problem by just checking (small?) bags for free at check-in time instead of making me have to take it through security myself only to check it at the gate. Also I don't have a seat - instead of a boarding pass I have a lame "departure management card". I kind of have to hang by the gate and wait for them to call my name. I wonder what would happen if I took a walk and just showed up two minutes prior to departure? ;-p
I also did not enjoy getting through security. Thank goodness I'm flying out in the late evening when it is relatively quiet. The PDX screening arrangements don't give people much room to take their shoes off and get their things in order to go through the scanner. (There's also an asinine requirement to take laptops out of many kinds of other bags and run them through naked or in only their sleeve - can't pin that one on any particular airport, though.) So I inadvertently held up a bunch of people because only the first guy heard "I'm slow; please go ahead of me" while I worked with my things and the boxes on the floor off to the side (but apparently not far enough off to the side).
Then when I got through I found what I thought was a nook I could work with and I was almost done when I was asked to move - I'd been re-packing in front of a glass door! And it all made me wonder if maybe there should be a slow lane for folks like me. I need to be able to take my time (otherwise I'll forget or screw up something), but I want to do it without holding faster people up. Maybe security screening will develop golf-like etiquette where faster players can play through.
Okay, my section's boarding! Gotta go!
PS: The free wi-fi here is pretty good. Just a couple ads when you're going through the service agreement bit, but no ridiculous hoops to jump through. At the end it even helps you out by showing you an airport map and where you are in it!