I believe Airports should be judged solely on whether you had a pleasant experience. There is no way Orlando isn't in the Top10. New York is a disgrace. But I pass through as an alien - US residents see no problem. Philadelphia is a dream. Excellent Airport.
Originally Posted by Ron B.: My recent, free Air France ticket - LA to Paris to Barcelona and then Venice to Paris to LA the tax was $577.97. That's a lot of travel, Ron, but it certainly makes one relook at the definition of "free".
Your pictures remind me very much of the Shimla Airport, same end of runway in space, same commitment required by pilot and passengers alike. The plane was tiny, I sat immediately behind the pilot, a Sikh with headphones perched atop his turban rather than over his ears, unique in my experience. The view was a bit too immediate for my liking but we made it off just fine and bounced in the heat all the way to Delhi. Thanks for the memory, DrF.
Just a note of caution, if, as PHeymont suggests, the airport mall tempts you to pick up holiday cheer and other liquids, don't forget connections and possible second trips through security. Just because you bought it at the airport doesn't mean they won't snag it if you have to leave airside to get to your connection. I can imagine very well supplied TSA holiday parties courtesy of some chagrined passengers.
Thanks for the good information. I would not have thought about the airport mall, Amazon Locker or the big box stores. Those are terrific ideas. I have given up on gift wrapping and just toss a few colorful gift bags and some tissue paper into my luggage. Later, I put the gifts in the bags for the big "reveal" for the recipient.
That's strange TravelRob, because I run into the same issue today, while yesterday it loaded fine (and free, I don't subscribe to the WSJ). You can hear about it in the free podcast. I've added the link to this above.
This story is a delight. Thanks for posting this. One reads about cases in which customs ceases endangered animals in transport. Perhaps this is ibe reason - some of that cargo is going via Lufthansa Cargo and passing through the Frankfurt Animal Lounge. So that is important work that they are doing there. They both keep the animals safe in transit and look out for those who should not be shipped at all. DrFumblefinger - The pony looks very healthy. You must know a lot about animals. Do you...
Thanks for the note, Voyager. I did find the piece about animals in transit interesting. I know a little about animals. It's my wife who is the Dr. Doolittle. She loves them in all sizes and shapes and they seem to like and understand her.
Having traveled to Denver in the past month, I'll vouch for that fact there a lot of places to charge your devices. And there are still lots of gates that completely lack chargers, so they still have a long way to go. The free wifi at Denver is quite fast and widely available. Much appreciate! I think this should be a top priority for all airlines -- places to charge that phone and iPad before you fly. It would be good if the consumer organizations provided comparative scores.
I would hate for Heathrow to get any more complex to get around in that it already is. I like flying into Gatwick, although a lot of carriers don't offer that airport from at least my part of NorthAmerica.
Maybe part of a proposal for Heathrow could include making it less complex to negotiate. I've never had a problem with it, although I know it's the airport people love to hate. Never having flown into Gatwick, I can't compare. The other 2 I have used are Stansted & Luton, but, like Gatwick, transport to them is limited compared to Heathrow. I'd prefer they get it all right at one, rather than have 4 less than convenient. Maybe I'll just charter a plane and go into City next time, which I...
Gatwick, if selected, will have much better transportation than now; in fact, they are committed to building it even with one runway. Every 2.5 minutes, into Central London. DrF: Gatwick is hoping this will bring some North American flights again; US Airways was the last North American carrier into Gatwick, and they stopped in 2009, sucked into the great vacuum of Heathrow. Gatwick used to have a lot of N. America business back when restrictive legislation limited the number of their flights...
I totally disagree with the list. It's partly because I'm more budget focused and partly because it takes less time and hassle at the smaller airports.My favorite airports are small ones where security is reasonable and you dont need to be there hours in advance. My tops would include John Lennon( Liverpool) Sanford near (Orlando) and Marseilles, France
These are all important international hubs, but I'm inclined to agree with TravelRob. Most of these airports are massive and far from user friendly. Maybe they have a large assortment of restaurants from which to choose, etc. But I like short lines, a quick security screen and a reasonable walk to the gate not requiring a bus or train to get there.
I don't want Restaurants or a shopping experience at my airport. I want to check in and go as soon as possible. I don't like being overcharged for something I don't want by an airport that insists on holding me hostage for 3 or 4 hours. My worst experience was JFK for 3 days when my flight was cancelled. Like Rob, if you get me away in under an hour of arrival I'm happy. Liverpool has destinations all over Europe.
I think the comments, and mine are all hitting on the same point: better airport is not more amenities for while you're trapped there...better airport is not trapping you there. I get disbelieving stares when I tell people that Laguardia is my favorite. But, while it looks a bit dated, its size means you don't have ridiculous hikes, and it's easy to get in and get out. Heathrow T5, on the other hand...especially if you are transferring from T3...is an experience that makes you feel like...
Dulles airport was unique. A bus on "scissors" rose up to the planes exit door and we all walked into the carriage. It drove back to the main terminal, Then the announcement. Because of a backlog of passengers we would have to stay on the shuttle bus. We were packed in tight. Standing shoulder to shoulder. No seats. We stood in it for two and a half hours. Sweltering under a July sun. No AirCon. No water. We weren't allowed to open the doors "for security reasons". Temperatures soon rose...
I think it depends on where one lives. Yes, those three cities may be faster; however should someone live IN Oakland, it may take them mere minutes using public transportation to get to the Oakland airport. And, using Oakland as an example, it takes me less time to get to the Oakland airport from my house using public transport than it would if I were to take my car simply because of traffic. However, to travel to my home to San Francisco (SFO) it is actually longer to take public transport...
Taking a bus from Honolulu is quicker than taking the freeway? Even with bad traffic (which the buses would also get trapped in) I find this hard to believe. I agree with Jen. Depends on where you live. Many of us would welcome reliable fast public transportation serving our airports. The cab lobby has effectively prevented that in many cities.
There's certainly a lot of variation, as I also noted above. And sometimes the planners don't help much either, as is the case with all three of our New York airports, where the whole AirTrain concept is completely botched. At Kennedy, the AirTrain's stations are not in, but sort of near, the terminals. That means you have to drag your stuff outside, across the roadways, and then up stairs or elevator to the train. And then, you have a choice of going to the commuter rail station (about 3...
Originally Posted by PHeymont You just have to conclude that all this planning is done by people who have chauffeurs or helicopters to get them to the plane on time... Or progress is blocked by some politician or lobbyist... ;-) I did just get a chance to read the blog you linked. While I agree that public transportation is much more available in Europe, and perhaps Asia, however with the few examples he sites, there really are few cities that have that 15-20 minute from "airport to...
London was mentioned, actually...Heathrow Express in 15 minutes to Paddington. There's also a slightly-slower less expensive version. Skipped the CAT in Vienna last month, but the regular S-Bahn only took 28 minutes... Paris...hate to say anything bad about Paris, but RER is NOT a great way to do that...needs a true express.
Heathrow Express MAY take 15 minutes. The only time it was convenient for me and I decided to give it try, it stopped part-way to Heathrow and we just sat there. I'd have gotten to the airport faster and paid quite a bit less to take the slower train from Paddington, the Heathrow Connect. Since then I make a point to stay along the Piccadilly Line of the London tube and pay the least of all.
It's hugely embarrassing to my German friends, and a farce of incompetence. What kind of architects and engineers are designing this place????? Correspondence school graduates? Perhaps the should just bull-doze the place and start over again. Might be quicker that way.
What I dislike are when fees are not used for what they're charged for. If airport improvement fees really are used to fix up and improve airports, I think most consumers are fine with that. But when they just get put into the general revenues of a city's cash pool, that bugs most of us. What a find far more unreasonable than this are the fees to change or cancel a flight. Often they approach or exceed the value of a ticket. That's really gouging the consumer.
The other fees that especially bother me are the ones you never see in tickets, because they come out the back door. Compare airport car rental prices with off-airport of the same brand; compare the price of gum or candy at the airport or a neighborhood store. That’s airport revenue, too, either through a direct charge (car) or super-high-rents (newsstand)
I often find that better facilities and more relaxing just mean they've added a shopping mall and an entertainment area to extract more money between gates. So I now have further to walk - and drag my carry-on to get to the gate. Maybe developers see us customers as "Lambs to the slaughter" Squeeze us - until our pockets run dry. I'd be happy if all those moving walkways worked. The cartoon Jetsons never had a problem with them in the 60s. Before they were even invented I think ! Vey...
I confess to a preference for developing world airports - small, simple, friendly places, like the towns they get us to when we choose to fly at all. I realize that I'll likely need to go through one or 2 of these urban behemoths to get to them, and then I'm reminded I'm on the right track again when baggage claim is a few steps into the building and it's a couple of guys who just pushed a cart to an opening in the wall and I can still see the plane.
It's a nicely researched and well-written piece, PHeymont. Thanks. I'm with PortMoresby, though. Given a choice, I'd rather travel to a smaller airport, and avoid these mega-hubs if at all possible. I know at some level you agree with this (based on some of your past comments on Heathrow for example).
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