Letter: Mormon missionary homecomings shouldn’t clog the Salt Lake airport

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Leon Nelson, center, Construction Director with the Salt Lake City Department of Airports gives a tour of the progress being made to replace the three aging terminals with a single central terminal building. Over time, the existing terminal, parking garage and concourses will be completely demolished and replaced with an estimated completion date of 2023/24.

I attempted to pick up my son and 20-month-old grandson at the airport recently. They were coming into town for a family wedding. The pickup, which should have been simple, was incredibly difficult and frustrating.

The short-term parking was initially completely closed (with no sign warning of the closure) and then opened to only one car at a time. It therefore took me 40 minutes to park. That normally takes about five or a maximum of 10 minutes. Then, when I finally reached the baggage claim area, it was completely packed with people, wall-to-wall, because of apparent missionaries returning from missions somewhere. It was difficult to move, impossible to talk on the phone, and extremely difficult to find anyone.

My son struggled mightily to carry his young son and his luggage in that sea of humanity. I appreciate that people are eager to see returning missionaries; I enjoy meeting family and friends at the airport. But, for the sake of the rest of us who use the airport, could church members please consider meeting returning missionaries at some other location? Or please limit missionary airport greetings to immediate family members? Particularly during the construction at the airport?

Please don’t render the short-term parking and the baggage claim area of the airport impossible to use. Thank you.

Lydia R. Berggren, Salt Lake City