Today’s blog is written by Michaela Schell, a local writer and business professional.
Everyone has heard the phrase “North Dakota nice.” I recently had an experience that proved to me it isn’t just a saying around here, it really is the truth.
I have never gone through airport security and gotten to the other side with a smile still on my face, until I went through security at Grand Forks Airport. Actually, in the few years I have been through GFK security quite a few times, one time with an infant, a second time with a 1 1/2 year old, both times it was just my kiddo and me, and both times I came out the other end with a smile on my face thanks to the amazing people working there.
Time one was a little chaotic. An infant who couldn’t stand on her own, a giant stroller, and a carry-on laden with liquids…milk, pureed baby food, and other baby supplies. As I approached the front of the line saying in my head “You can do this! Don’t get stressed out,” over and over again, a security man quickly came to my side. Again, my guard went up, prepared for a hassle, but instead he grabbed my carry on out of my hands and helped me lift it onto the belt. He grabbed my stroller and walked it through himself. He even pulled all the liquids out of my bag for me (with my permission of course) and personally checked them out to make sure they were regulation. All while I just stood there holding my baby, not having to do anything. He was not only polite, he actually had me laughing as I got to bypass the giant body scanning machine to find another security woman helping me to repack my bag and help me put it on my shoulder. Wow! Never had I gone through airport security, and with an infant no less, with such ease and such nice people. That is, until six months later.
Again, I was back at GFK nearing the front of the security line. This time I was testing them. Was the last great experience I had just a fluke? Maybe there just happened to be a couple of really nice people working that day. But as I began to hoist our bags onto the conveyor belt, I got the same service as last time provided by a different set of staff members. And, if I wasn’t already impressed, as I turned around after putting my shoes back on, I saw a security woman give an elderly woman a hug and say “don’t worry, your flight will be fine.” Only in Grand Forks, North Dakota, I thought. And really, I mean only in Grand Forks. Remember, for both of those flights I had a different destination at which I had to go through security at a different airport on my return to Grand Forks. And those return trips through security at a not-to-be named airports proved to be much more stressful and extremely unenjoyable.
My appreciation was so great it prompted me to send a thank you message to the Grand Forks Airport. I hope they passed it on to their security staff. They deserve way more than a simple thank you.
I never thought traveling in an aiport with an infant would be an enjoyable experience, but I am so happy to have been proven wrong. I feel so lucky to live in a city where you can trust one another. A city where a person will gladly stop and give you a hand. A city where people give a little extra to make someone smile. There are not many places in this world that have the quality of people in such great numbers, especially working at the airport.
Thank you Grand Forks Airport for making my family’s trips so stress free and enjoyable.