As an initial side note, Absurdistan is also the title of a book that Catherine showed me the other day.
This evening I arrived at the airport an hour before I needed to be there to discover that there were probably 300 people in line waiting to check in, and 4 people at the counters doing the checking in. It was rediculous. And then at regular intervals they would announce over the PA system that all passengers for whichever flight was closest to departing should proceed to the front of the line and the counters would process those people and stop checking in anyone else.
As one of my associates in the queue observed, you can see how the airlines are making huge profits by reducing costs (eg. of check-in staff), but it’s hard to deny that service has gone out the window when you wait an hour and a quarter patiently in line, only to have your flight finally called to the front of the line anyway. It would have made far more sense to simply have gone and gotten some take away coffee and a paper and found a seat near the check-in for the hour, and just pottered up to the front when your flight got called. It was frankly rediculous.