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View Full Version : Best Airports In The U.s.


mmabuc
07-22-2005, 08:31 AM
I have done quite a lot of traveling in the US in the last 5 years or so and have become fond of certain airports due to their better restaurants, ease of baggage claim, lounge areas, and other factors. Now, I mainly travel on USAir, Delta, SW, AirTran and United. I usually fly in and out of Boston, MA or Manchester, NH, so most of my connecting flights are East Coast - so I am a bit biased here:

Jacksonville Airport - small restaurant area complete with a Starbucks and a Cinnabon. They even have an arcade and art gallery to kill time.

Philly - I feel like I just stepped in a mall when I get off the plane! Brooks Brothers, Johnson & Murphy, Sharper Image to name a few...it's like being at home without the teenagers!

Norfolk, VA (ORF) - Tiny restaurant area and the lounge area is small as well, however, baggage claim couldn't be any easier. I know this is a small airport, but it could be the easiest/most efficient baggeg claim around - even at the wee hours of the night.

Manchester, NH - What could be better than having one road that circles one terminal and short-term parking literally 100 yards away? It has a game room, a Dunkin Donuts, a McDs and not much else. Eat somewhere else if you are expecting to just "grab something at the airport." You honestly cannot get lost at this airport.

Houston Hobby - Another smallish airport, but now that the construction is done - it makes my list. I believe it has even been voted one of the best "Sleeping airports" around.

What are your favorites? I'll be heading out to the midwest this fall, so I'll get the lowdown for those destination airports as well.

stephen_s
07-22-2005, 09:23 AM
I prefer small airports. Two of my favorite California Airports (since I live in CA):

Bob Hope Airport (Burbank, CA) - Small and friendly.

Long Beach Airport (Long Beach, CA) - Pretty straightforward. You don't have to go going through a cloverleaf (like the New York airports) to get to where you need to go.

john225
07-22-2005, 09:29 AM
I recently had to fly on NW, and went through both of their major hubs, MSP and DTW. I was impressed with both of them, although DTW won out because there is a smoking area within the secure area.

For ease of use, though, I have to go with my 2 local airports, BTR and MSY.

GradGirl
07-22-2005, 09:45 AM
Denver International has a lovely quiet workspace on the second floor, a bit removed from the hubbub. The cubicles are well-lit and the Ethernet costs only $8.99 for two hours, IIRC. At first I was upset that I'd gotten stuck with a four-hour delay, but I finished up an entire paper during that time, had a nice meal at Wolfgang Puck, and felt great when I finally got on the plane.

I also really like the extensive shopping and eating areas in Houston Intercontinental. Any airport with what amounts to a mall inside is great by me, because layovers are a perfect time to shop.

jfrenaye
07-22-2005, 09:48 AM
because layovers are a perfect time to shop

...and unfortunately they know it.

I also like Orlando and will second NW's new terminal at DTW.

Kairho
07-22-2005, 11:26 AM
Tampa's layout is probably one of the best in the US, with Orlando a close second.

rampo
07-22-2005, 01:15 PM
I like Washington National Airport because it's modern, it looks good, and it's a 7-minute cab ride from my house. :D

mmabuc
07-22-2005, 01:42 PM
and if you stay at the Hilton in Alexandria, VA, it's only a two minute walk to the King St. station, followed by a 6 minute Metro ride. Yeah Reagan is cool. Doesn't it have a Legal Seafood too?

stephen_s
07-22-2005, 01:45 PM
Of course there's Philadelphia Int'l for the Philly Cheesesteak :D

NW CTC
07-22-2005, 05:14 PM
One of the nicest layovers I've spent was 4-hours at Charlotte, NC. It was a great spot to spend 4th of July one year. Its attributes are many:

Rocking chairs overlooking the tarmac where one can enjoy the nearby piano, watch the world go by, wait one's turn for a seated massage or enjoy the mobile depicting the history of flight

A "quiet" area with dimmer lighting, very comfy chairs, lots of conveniences & good work spaces

A couple of good bookstores - one even invites travellers to spend their layover reading in their armchairs - staffed by some very gracious, helpful people

A selection of good restaurants

Interesting historical displays

Most of all, I liked the people I encountered and the fact that the facility really conveyed a sense of connection to its location.

jfrenaye
07-22-2005, 05:28 PM
Stephan_S--Philly cheesesteaks are not found in airports--period. They are ONLY available at 9th and Passyunk and please don't let anyone else advise you otherwise. In a pinch Jim's at 4th and South may do but probably not.

As for airport amenities---Schilpol in Holland has a brothel

GradGirl
07-22-2005, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Jul 22 2005, 05:28 PM
As for airport amenities---Schilpol in Holland has a brothel


And a casino too, but the question was Best Airports in the U.S.

stephen_s
07-22-2005, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Jul 22 2005, 03:28 PM
Stephan_S--Philly cheesesteaks are not found in airports--period. They are ONLY available at 9th and Passyunk and please don't let anyone else advise you otherwise.* In a pinch Jim's at 4th and South may do but probably not.

As for airport amenities---Schilpol in Holland has a brothel
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You know, John, you're right. My bad.

I do remember, though (about five years ago), flying to New York and I had a stopover in Pittsburgh. I ordered, I guess you can say, a pseudo-cheese steak sandwich.

Thanks for the correction. I really appreciate it. Now I know where to get the good stuff :).

lameline
07-25-2005, 11:30 AM
i fly out of sfo and oak frequently. while at oakland, it is easier to park, negotiate the freeway exit, etc., i find it excruciatingly boring, crowded and inhospitable for anyone waiting for a flight. across the bay, sfo has a beautiful international terminal, with ongoing museum-loaned exhibitions. (it's greek statues, and their evolvement to "fine art" at the moment), a flight museum, and REALLY good food. if you are on a domestic flight, it's a short walk to the international terminal, but i always spend all my spare time there, instead of going through security to my gate, and waiting with the sheep. if you've never been to this gem of a terminal, you should go, if only to simply walk through and notice the incredible roof!

NW CTC
07-25-2005, 11:43 AM
Yes, SFO is lovely but in my experience the TSA at OAK are a lot easier to deal with!

doubleos
07-25-2005, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Jul 22 2005, 07:23 AM
I prefer small airports.* Two of my favorite California Airports (since I live in CA):

Bob Hope Airport (Burbank, CA) - Small and friendly.

Long Beach Airport (Long Beach, CA) - Pretty straightforward.* You don't have to go going through a cloverleaf (like the New York airports) to get to where you need to go.
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Ontario Airport (Ontario, CA) is also a very nice small airport in the Southern Califronia market. In fact it was used in the tv series "LAX" as LAX. For good reason too, as I would list LAX is one of the worst airports. It seems that anyone that can't get a job elsewhere is hired to work at LAX, exemplified by TSA.

wallyburger
07-28-2005, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Jul 22 2005, 09:23 AM
I prefer small airports.* Two of my favorite California Airports (since I live in CA):

Bob Hope Airport (Burbank, CA) - Small and friendly.

Long Beach Airport (Long Beach, CA) - Pretty straightforward.* You don't have to go going through a cloverleaf (like the New York airports) to get to where you need to go.
5160


I would have to agree about small airports - I usually travel in the southeast and have come to enjoy the smaller airports that dot the area. For the most part I don't need shopping areas, I really looking for easy access to the terminal.

Here are some of the airports I've appreciated:

Knoxville - easy drop off on-site for rental cars, the terminal is open and airy while waiting with a nice fountain and alot of interesting artwork. I think they even had rocking chairs which I've seen in a few other airports - nice touch.

Gulfport MS - not currently a nice airport in the way of style or grace, just an easy airport to get in and out of; probably had one of my best experiences there - had a 5:30 am flight and was running late (very late), but since you can park in a surface lot and walk (or run) about a 100 yards to the terminal it makes it easy to get there. For that flight, the pilot said he saw me running and knew I must be the person they were looking for on the manifest so he waited on me before closing the door. I really appreciated that.

Nashville - pretty easy for car rental returns, nice areas for food and waiting - nice area for waiting with kids in between terminals with big windows and some lego tables.

Mark
07-28-2005, 10:13 AM
I have traveled to all 50 states and to nearly 50 countries (toured with a famous comedy basketball team)... I am based out of SoCal and my favorite airport is Long Beach. It has a small town charm in a large metro area. It is very convenient (from a few major freeways), parking rates are very, very reasonable and parking is only yards away from the terminal. The lines are generally very short. My favorite part is the outdoor lounge / bar on top of the airport terminal where you can sip cocktails watch the planes take off and land, and also enjoy the beautiful scenery (golf course, palm trees and pretty ladies) all around the airport.

jfrenaye
07-28-2005, 10:21 AM
(toured with a famous comedy basketball team)

Not naming names or anything...LOL

paddyboy
07-28-2005, 10:42 AM
Ft. Myers, Fl. (RSW) Upside: Clean, easy to get into and out of, close in parking, friendly people, very efficient TSA folks. Baggage claim is easy to access and very quick. Downside: The kiosk food/bar stands after the security checkpoints are really expensive.

Akron/Canton (CAK) Upside: Great access, dirt cheap parking practically in the terminal, served by Air Tran, Delta, USAir, etc.; cheap flights in and out, good bar, good resturant, very friendly staff. Downside: The baggage folks for arriving flights are slow.

The worst airport in the country: Clevealand Hopkins (CLE): It's a bush league place that needs a complete make over, instead of the continuing stream of add ons. There's one access road, that's a traffic nightmare. parking is far away. Before security, there's no place to eat or drink; and after security, there's only fast food stops. I live in the Cleveland area, and compared to most airports around the country, and internationally, its well below sub-par.

stephen_s
07-28-2005, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Mark@Jul 28 2005, 08:13 AM
I have traveled to all 50 states and to nearly 50 countries (toured with a famous comedy basketball team)... I am based out of SoCal and my favorite airport is Long Beach.* It has a small town charm in a large metro area.* It is very convenient (from a few major freeways), parking rates are very, very reasonable and parking is only yards away from the terminal.* The lines are generally very short.* My favorite part is the outdoor lounge / bar on top of the airport terminal where you can sip cocktails watch the planes take off and land, and also enjoy the beautiful scenery (golf course, palm trees and pretty ladies) all around the airport.
5790


OOOH, can I get an autograph? I don't have any celebrity autographs yet. (I'm serious, by the way).

czcfrn
07-28-2005, 11:03 AM
Since I live near the Detroit hub of NWA, I'm spending a lot of time there. The fairly new McNamara terminal is a huge improvement and is really quite pleasant. Lots of big windows, lots of seating, an express train for which you never have to wait more than 5 minutes and a large variety of stores and restaurants. The moving walkways run the length of the terminal and (tap on wood) have always been working when I have been there. You can have a backrub while waiting for your flight as well and watch the "show" at the big pool and fountain with its dancing water show.

But the hidden jewel is the tunnel that runs from Terminal A underground to the B & C terminals. The ceiling curves overhead and covered with etched glass. There is a continuous light show with moving colors, much like the aurora borealis. There is some new age, subdued music in the background as well. I head there to calm down when the aggravation of delays and long lines at security begin to get to me! Check it out by taking the escalator near the fountain down one level.

adverlive
07-28-2005, 11:43 AM
Tampa has to be in the top three for its design. It used to be very 70's looking, but recent ineterior changes have brought it up to date.
You never have to walk much in this airport....they should all be designed this way.

Annonymous
07-28-2005, 03:44 PM
Kansas City, Missouri (MCI). Seventy feet from curb to gate.

Eileen Sellers
07-28-2005, 03:52 PM
I have 2 favorite small airports.

Santa Barbara-- the terminal is a small hacienda style -- really cute with an upstairs lounge. When you arrive, if you have carry on- you can just walk thru the chain link fence to the cab stand. It is really neat.

Bozeman, Montana: The terminal looks like a mountain lodge, carpeted with wood vaulted ceilings (very high ceilings) -- very quite, almost like a gift store. Has a great upstairs restaurant/lounge with slot machines. Lots of fun for an airport.

drwong
07-29-2005, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by mmabuc@Jul 22 2005, 01:42 PM
and if you stay at the Hilton in Alexandria, VA, it's only a two minute walk to the King St. station, followed by a 6 minute Metro ride. Yeah Reagan is cool. Doesn't it have a Legal Seafood too?
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Yup - DCA also has a TGIF and Cheesecake Factory (albeit with a limited menus, since it is an airport location). One or two stops away are a host of other trendy and/or popular restaurants in Crystal City and Pentagon City. DCA is an origin/destination, so you won't get to experience any of the local amenities during any layovers there.

Although most passengers find themselves using the newer main terminal, the historic 1930-era terminal is still active, although they demolished the original control tower because it blocked views of the apron from the new tower. Not many of those beautiful old terminals left - LGA and the never-opened SFO (Treasure Island) come to mind.

HockeyDude
07-29-2005, 01:21 PM
Orlando would be my top pick


I vote Miami and Los Angeles as the worst..

Dr Ryan James
07-31-2005, 03:42 AM
My favorite airports are the ones with decent Diners Club lounges. Newark has a great one.

Ryan

Soronian
08-01-2005, 07:25 AM
Although it is not on most traveler's beaten path, the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan is a feast for the eyes! The Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture includes a wood paneled "living room" complete with Mission seating and a fireplace, as well as an outdoor patio located inside the secured area near a cafe. Even the restrooms were beautiful. As with most regional airports, there are not a lot of amenities, but somehow I didn't care -it was enough just to be there. The architects also designed the West Palm Beach Airport which has some nice features.

NW CTC
08-01-2005, 01:20 PM
I vote Miami and Los Angeles as the worst..

I'm with you there and would be hard pressed to decide which of these is the worst and why. Maybe that's a topic for a new thread?

Genrd
08-01-2005, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by Kairho@Jul 22 2005, 11:26 AM
Tampa's layout is probably one of the best in the US, with Orlando a close second.
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I agree - Tampa is the BEST around.

[email protected]
08-01-2005, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Jul 28 2005, 10:49 AM
OOOH, can I get an autograph?* I don't have any celebrity autographs yet.* (I'm serious, by the way).
5796


Can you give me info on Long Beach airport? Shops? Restaurants? Will be there in a couple weeks, after a cruise, with a possible 3-4 hour wait.

stephen_s
08-01-2005, 05:20 PM
Long Beach Airport - is a small airport. The main area has a gift shop and an upstairs cafe with a view of the runway. At the gate area, there is a coffee/snack kiosk. Really, the only thing to do there is just to hang out at the cafe.

There are no jetways so you board the aircraft via airstairs or air-ramps.

If you want more information, go to http://www.longbeach.gov/airport/default.asp.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Scott
08-02-2005, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by rampo@Jul 22 2005, 01:15 PM
I like Washington National Airport because it's modern, it looks good, and it's a* 7-minute cab ride from my house. :D
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Its kinda cool to hear about this since I work across the street from the Hilton and park in it every day.

wingstogo
08-03-2005, 06:48 AM
The best small regional airport I have seen is GSP in South Carolina. (Greenville-Spartanburg). Easy drop off, rarely a backup at Security, and a nice restaurant with a view of a garden and the tarmac beyond that is outside of Security so you can get a bite with your party before going to the gate area. Plus, the garage only charges you $1 if you leave in less than an hour. They also have an active doppler map where you can watch the weather.

stephen_s
08-03-2005, 07:51 AM
Another one of my favorite airports is Monterey Peninsula airport. If you ever get up there, definitely go to the Coffee shop (you don't even need to be flying anywhere). The food is better than most airport cafes and you get a great view of the runways.

marliny
08-05-2005, 08:44 AM
I would have to agree with a few of you who mentioned Akron / Canton OH as a good airport. It's small and the parking is close to the terminal, and the gates are a short walk form the ticket counters.

Port Columbus, OH is also not bad either.

Ned
09-05-2005, 10:54 PM
Hi,

I live in Philadelphia and therefore spend a lot of time in that airport. Now that baggage is under control again it's back on my top 3 list again. The food and shopping are great there. According to the upcoming new head of US Air he intends to work to make Phila (their largest revenue center by far, even after the merger) even better including fixing up their gates where they are starting to show some wear.

The worst airport I've been at is Seattle. It's dirty, the food is pretty bad and their baggage situation is much worse than Philadelphia's ever was. LAX isn't much better than Seattle and their food is worse.

I like Orlando and Portland.

Of the small airports I agree that Bob Hope is good, as is Indianapolis. Cleveland and Richmond, VA are terrible.

REDJIM
09-06-2005, 03:11 AM
NWAs Mid-Field Terminal at DTW is huge and sterile, but the food service upgrades there are pretty well thought out.

glorya14
09-06-2005, 06:44 PM
Check out Milwaukee's airport (Mke): they have a wonderful "used" bookshop right in the terminal for your reading pleasure categorized by subject, etc. as well as a number of other shops (yes, Virginia, there is a Starbucks,\). Their restaurants are very good also. I failed to mention how easy the airport iis to traverse and they have enough screeners not to make your wait that long. Chicago is a hop, skip and jump away that can be reached by bus or train. There is an Amtrak station in close proximity to the airport with a free shuttle to and from the station. Can't get better than that. And if, per chance, you don't want to spend money on a taxi to get downtown, there is a city bus right outside of the door that will get you there for a minimum amount of money. And if you should have a long layover, there is a lot to see in MKE starting at Calatrava's Art Museum. Check it out. http://www.mam.org/

JM in California
09-06-2005, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by doubleos@Jul 25 2005, 03:54 PM
Ontario Airport* (Ontario, CA) is also a very nice small airport in the Southern Califronia market.* In fact it was used in the tv series "LAX" as LAX.* For good reason too, as I would list LAX is one of the worst airports.* It seems that anyone that can't get a job elsewhere is hired to work at LAX, exemplified by TSA.
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Despite the complaints of many people, LAX is the best for 2 things that matter most (I have +1 million miles flying in/out of LAX).

1) On-time departures: 90-95% of my outbound flights from LAX are on time, and I have NEVER waited on the tarmac more than 10 minutes for take-off, (compare that to PHL or EWR, in which it's NORMAL to wait 60+ minutes for taking off any given day at 5pm).

2) Ticket prices: airlines compete fiercely in LAX. You can fly to almost any destination for $400 or less (sometimes even Europe!)

Personally, I live 7 miles away from LAX and never have to deal with traffic to get to the airport, so I'm naturally biased! :D

Other airports I like: Chicago O'Hare. You can walk from the airplane to the Hilton and be in bed in 15 minutes after landing. Nashville: walk to/from your rental car and one of the best AA Admirals Club!

cruiser
09-07-2005, 12:30 AM
My favourite airport in the US is Seattle - it's the one we use to go on holiday, so it's to be the favourite. The next favourite is the destination airport for basically the same reason. he least favourite are usually the same on the return journey because it's back to work and the holiday is over. I don't fly for business so my preferences are simple.

Ned
09-07-2005, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by cruiser@Sep 7 2005, 01:30 AM
My favourite airport in the US is Seattle - it's the one we use to go on holiday, so it's to be the favourite...
8651

Question please. I've used the Seattle airport 6 times in the last couple of years and my experience, in a word, has been "horrible." If nothing else the luggage situation in Seattle is the worst I've ever experienced anywhere including my home, Philadelphia, which has had big big problems in the past. I've never been able to get my checked on luggage in under an hour in Seattle. This past August, it took 1 hr and 40 minutes to get our luggage. The carousel area was jammed with people waiting like we were. Plane load after plane load stacked up, waiting, making the baggage claim area temperature rise into the upper 80s despite the air conditioning. In talking to passengers waiting with us who live in Seattle we found this was close to the norm for the last few years.

What has your experience been in Seattle with baggage claim? Have you flown out of Seattle recently or have you gone out of Vancouver. My experience in Vancouver's airport has been good, although I can't say it's one of my favorite airports.

stephen_s
09-07-2005, 10:48 PM
PMFJI, but I went to Seattle from Burbank this past May (the Thursday before Memorial Day). I waited about 15 minutes (if that) for my luggage. I only had one, if that made a difference.

cruiser
09-09-2005, 02:05 AM
To answer Ned's question - the last time we were through Seattle was in January 05. We've waited as long for our luggage in other airports as we've had to do there. London Heathrow & Gatwick come to mind as well as Fort Lauderdale & Chicago. Chicago was worse because we had to claim luggage, clear customs (we were inbound from Ireland), re-check our luggage and get to our connecting flight which we just made.
It seems as if the luggage delays depend on which part of the airport is being renovated today. Some Vancouver waits have been just as long as some Seattle ones so I accept the fact that I'm in for a wait.
Plus, Seattle is my favourite when I'm outbound on holiday and least favourite when I'm returning from holiday.

Gigs
09-09-2005, 07:04 AM
I've actually waited for over an hour at BWI for my luggage, but then again, it was 11:30pm and on Southwest. I think the shifts were just changing...

Kairho
09-09-2005, 07:57 AM
Does anyone else have terrible baggage waits at LAS? I only get there every 2 years on average and it is always a 45+ minute wait, from the time I reach the caroussel....

hwyman
10-19-2005, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by Kairho@Sep 9 2005, 08:57 AM
Does anyone else have terrible baggage waits at LAS?* I only get there every 2 years on average and it is always a 45+ minute wait, from the time I reach the caroussel....
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I was at LAS a couple of weeks ago and it did seem like it took a long time for my baggage to come out on the caroussel. However I do like the Wi-Fi at LAS.

I have to agree with those on here talking about Tampa and Orlando being some of the best airports. Those should be a model on how to build an airport.

Since I live in the Washington, DC area our best airport of the 3 is BWI by far. Reagan is too difficult for me to get to (crossing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, traffic in Old Town Alexandria) and I'm not crazy about Dulles since they've gone to the mid-field terminals, but are still using the old buses that used to take you to the plane to take you to the mid-field terminals.

nobody122
10-19-2005, 08:46 AM
I cannot believe that anybody can nominate Philly as a "good" airport--its always under construction, dirty, and generally unfriendly. I fly probably at least once or twice a month trans-atalantic/trans-pacific and usually go through Philly (US Air is the only Star Alliance member serving our local airport) and each time I go I debate whether or not to drive several hours just to avoid Philly.

My vote goes to DTW, simple, clean, and although not a lot of different shops/activites it is extremely efficient and easy to navigate for a first time flyer.

Ned
10-19-2005, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by nobody122@Oct 19 2005, 09:46 AM
I cannot believe that anybody can nominate Philly as a "good" airport--its always under construction, dirty, and generally unfriendly...

My vote goes to DTW, simple, clean, and although not a lot of different shops/activites it is extremely efficient and easy to navigate for a first time flyer...
11592

So to not seem to be hiding anything, I will tell you I live in Phila. and have traveled through DTW all too often. Philadelphia essentially completed its current construction by the beginning of the year, although they are planning new construction (new runways mostly) and considering renovations in some of the concourses which are now somewhat worse for the wear. I'm not sure what part of DTW you've been using, but they've been going through major construction themselves, which when complete will make them into a darn good airport. (I haven't been to DTW this year.) During the construction the signage has been awful and the airport has been understandably dirty. Up until recently, at least, if you've had a long layover in DTW you'll be bored to tears if you haven't brought things to do. Frankly, I don't know how a first time flyer can really get lost in either airport.

While I don't think Phila is necessarily the world's best airport, it has a lot to offer the traveler in the way of shops and restaurants and is not dirty. Some of the US Air concourses need fresh wall paper and paint and some of the cushions need replacing (like many airports today), but the new International Terminal sparkles and most people I talk to think the airport is friendly.

The one thing in PHL which needs improving is the signage directing domestic travelers to baggage claim if their plane gates in the International terminal, because other gates are full or if their plane will be used for an international flight once they disembark. It doesn't happen often, but if it does, it's really hard to figure out you have to go to the baggage claim in the next concourse over, and how to get there without going outside.

But nominating PHL as a good airport... you betcha.

bkstar
10-20-2005, 09:26 AM
I am out of Austin and do like ABIA - small but easy to get in and out.

Kudos to Orlando & DTW. I thought Palm Springs was cool too.

Bkstar

travel
10-20-2005, 10:05 AM
Well, I certainly wish I had read this before booking flights to visit a friend in Long Beach. I scheduled flights into LAX because they had more frequent flier ticket options, but after seeing so many compliments of the Long Beach airport, wish I had flown in there.

I spend so much time in airports that they all blend together. For amenities, my home airport (XNA) isn't great, but I LOVE the fact that if I'm not checking bags, I can get there 20-30 minutes prior to departure and still make the plane. You can't say that many places anymore.

Probably not a popular sentiment, but I really like Chicago O'Hare. Of course I fly through there so much that I know where all the good places are to grab a bite to eat, get a book, shop for someone I forgot to buy something for, or just kill some time. DFW is generally a pain in the you-know-what, but same thing...I know where to get everything I need.

I hate hate hate hate hate flying into Atlanta. Did I say I hate it? I cannot put my finger on it, but just the thought of going in there makes me cranky.

Richard Cisak
10-20-2005, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Jul 28 2005, 10:21 AM
(toured with a famous comedy basketball team)

Not naming names or anything...LOL
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The WORST airport is Newark. Every time I fly into Newark, the flight is delayed at least an hour. And flying out of Newark, most of the terminals have nowhere decent to eat past security. I use Terminal A a lot, and the Continental wing doesn't even have a McDonald's! The dining choices are the bar and a Starbucks.

Gigs
10-20-2005, 12:17 PM
I have traveled to all 50 states and to nearly 50 countries (toured with a famous comedy basketball team)...

You toured with the Atlanta Hawks???

Betty Sandbeck
10-20-2005, 01:03 PM
Washington Reagan National...easy to get to, good restaurants, airline clubs, generally short security lines...and very close to my house (5 miles).

hwyman
10-20-2005, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Betty Sandbeck@Oct 20 2005, 02:03 PM
Washington Reagan National...easy to get to, good restaurants, airline clubs, generally short security lines...and very close to my house (5 miles).
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Reagan is nice if you live close like you do, but if you have to drive there, it's a disaster! Thank God for BWI!

Cat Lady
10-20-2005, 03:01 PM
I've found Columbia SC to be an enjoyable experience. Also like Charlotte and Baton Rouge.

angelmizanchan
11-21-2005, 11:25 AM
Has anyone ever flown into/out of Lindbergh Field here in San Diego? As a local, I may be a bit biased, but I think Lindbergh's a nice airport for its size.

The best time to be there is mid to late-afternoon when the sun starts to set. The windows let in so much light, plus they give a nice view of the bay at sunset.

If you don't want to fight the crowds when flying, and you have time to kill, take one of the turboprops out of the Commuter Terminal. It's a separate terminal, and it's almost NEVER crowded. There's even a nice snackbar with drinks and small snacks while you wait.

I know some people say Lindbergh's too small, but does anyone really want to live near an LAX? Not knocking LAX, it's a neat airport, but for me, it's just too big!

hwyman
11-21-2005, 11:33 AM
I was just there at the end of September and I found it to be a very nice airport. It was my first visit to San Diego and, for a first time visitor, I was quite impressed by how quickly I was able to retreive my luggage.

Ned
11-21-2005, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by angelmizanchan@Nov 21 2005, 01:25 PM
Has anyone ever flown into/out of Lindbergh Field here in San Diego?* As a local, I may be a bit biased, but I think Lindbergh's a nice airport for its size.

The best time to be there is mid to late-afternoon when the sun starts to set.* The windows let in so much light, plus they give a nice view of the bay at sunset.

If you don't want to fight the crowds when flying, and you have time to kill, take one of the turboprops out of the Commuter Terminal.* It's a separate terminal, and it's almost NEVER crowded.* There's even a nice snackbar with drinks and small snacks while you wait.

I know some people say Lindbergh's too small, but does anyone really want to live near an LAX?* Not knocking LAX, it's a neat airport, but for me, it's just too big!
14049

I fly into LAX 4-6 times per year on US Air. I don't know about the rest of the terminals at LAX, but the one US Air uses is awful. There's almost nothing to do when you're waiting for your flight and the food in that terminal is at best lousy. But...I'll continue going there, as once I get my luggage it's only a 15 minute ride down Sepulveda and then a couple of blocks further to visit my older son and daughter in law.

I have flown into Lindbergh Field a few times in the last five years. It's a nice airport. The problem with it is that with only a single runway for commercial jets and now more than 16 million passengers annually, quite a few flights are late, and that's happened to me on every flight in and out of Lindbergh. The line-up was so long one morning I thought I was at home in line at PHL which has one of, if not the worst, on-time records of all major US airports. I know they're considering relocating San Diego International to alleviate the growing problem. It will be interesting to see what happens to that "nice airport". While they're not going to move PHL they are looking into a major runway expansion program.

angelmizanchan
11-21-2005, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by Ned@Nov 21 2005, 10:53 AM
I have flown into Lindbergh Field a few times in the last five years.* It's a nice airport.* The problem with it is that with only a single runway for commercial jets and now more than 16 million passengers annually, quite a few flights are late, and that's happened to me on every flight in and out of Lindbergh.* The line-up was so long one morning I thought I was at home in line at PHL which has one of, if not the worst, on-time records of all major US airports.* I know they're considering relocating San Diego International to alleviate the growing problem.* It will be interesting to see what happens to that "nice airport".* While they're not going to move PHL they are looking into a major runway expansion program.
14062


Yeah, they are talking about moving it. Last I heard they're trying to get the military to give them one of the bases here (either MCAS Miramar or NAS North Island) for either exclusive use or sharing airspace with military craft.

The location's part of the problem. The airport's pretty well landlocked, so there's nowhere to expand. I think it'll be interesting to see where it all goes from here.

GatorPal
11-22-2005, 12:09 PM
I mostly fly the east coast thus my experiences are somewhat limited. That said:
MCO - Orlando (good lay out, family friendly, multiple food choices)
JAX - Jacksonville (small friendly, good remodeling prior to Super Bowl XXXIX)
BWI - Baltimore (great SW connections and pricing -- should be even better after renovations)
ATL - Atlanta (yes, believe it or not, I like this place; big but not difficult to manuever)

Happy flying everyone. Stay safe and enjoy your Thanksgiving. I am going NOWHERE!

Love2snorkel
11-22-2005, 09:32 PM
<<Has anyone ever flown into/out of Lindbergh Field here in San Diego? As a local, I may be a bit biased, but I think Lindbergh's a nice airport for its size.>>

Lindbergh Field sucks because of the one runway factor. Several years back they were going to move it to MCAS at Miramar, but the hotel people somehow got that axed, and had another parking structure built instead. The Southwest terminal is still a zoo, but it sure beats Smell-A (LAX!)

My favorite airport is the Honolulu International Airport. It is open, so you can feel the cool trade winds, and the smokers can't complain because they get to smoke within the secure area. Then, there's the scent of fresh flowers is in the air from the many lei stands. On busy days you can hear live music with hula dancers....the tiki torches are lit at night around the Japanese styled garden ponds..... But the best thing? The kalua port sandwiches served up fresh at the Gate 12 bar. Ummmmm um good. And you can accompany it with a nice cold mai tai or tropical lava flow. Now if that doesn't beat the other airports, I don't know what will! :D

angelmizanchan
11-23-2005, 12:11 PM
I have yet to go to Hawaii, so I can't say for sure. However, considering how many people come in to the B&N where I work and buy travel guides for their impending trips to Hawaii, I'd say it must be beautiful!

As for Lindbergh, I think the military was the one who got the move axed. A few weeks ago, the airport commission was trying to get NAS North Island to share its military airspace with civilian aircraft. I can't help but feel a bit hesitant at that.

People say something needs to be done. Short of building an airport offshore, I'm really not sure if anything can be done.

jfrenaye
11-23-2005, 12:19 PM
Off topic: A friend of mine is the chief muckety muck for B&N loss prevention. What do you think is the most stolen item/title in the chain? Remember many sell CDs and so forth!

angelmizanchan
11-23-2005, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by jfrenaye@Nov 23 2005, 10:19 AM
Off topic:* A friend of mine is the chief muckety muck for B&N loss prevention. What do you think is the most stolen item/title in the chain?* Remember many sell CDs and so forth!
14261


Wow, good question. And honestly, I'm not entirely sure, since I personally don't see much theft go on. Then again, I work at the cash registers, so that may have something to do with it. :) What I do tend to see a lot are sets that have missing/damaged parts, mainly from people opening them to see what's inside.

As for Music/DVD, a few of my co-workers have found that people seem to enjoy giving themselves the ol' 10-finger discount on the boxed TV season sets, especially when it's busier there. They'll take the packages over to the one corner of the section where the camera can't see them, and they'll either hide the item in that area or they'll rip the tags off and walk off with it.

As for CDs, pretty much anything popular. I've noticed B&N's CD prices are a bit on the high side compared to, say, Wal-Mart or Sam Goody.

Arizona Road Warrior
11-27-2005, 07:57 PM
As business traveler, I think the Portland, OR (PDX) airport is the best airport. First, the airport has free WiFi. In addition to airline clubs that are located in the airport, there are ‘business’ sections that they have desks in cubicles, telephones, copiers and etc. that you can work at. The aisles are very wide down the concourse so you are not walking over the other passengers. The areas at the gates are large and have plenty of seats; therefore, there is no over spilling of passengers from the neighboring gates. The prices at the stores are the same prices outside of the airport. It is very clean. Within ten minutes, I can be sitting in my rental car after arriving at the gate (Concourse A). The have an express lane for elite airline passengers. The bottom line is that you can get in or get out very quickly and if you have to wait, it is enjoyable and comfortable.

Ned
11-27-2005, 09:19 PM
Portland works for me as one of the best. It's been a terrific airport each time I've used it. What I really like about Portland was by the time I got to baggage claim, after each flight, it was only a few minutes before the luggage was rolling out.

tech_ed
11-29-2005, 01:22 PM
Of course, I'm biased because I almost grew up there, but I have a special affection for Dulles International Airport. I like it because it is so unique. The architecture is so one of a kind, local businesses use it's distinctive shape in advertising literature!
Even with the recent expansion, it's still a "smaller" airport. I don't care much for those huge airports that require you to take a train between terminals, or walk miles to get to where you need to go.
I really enjoy the Mobile Lounges that take you back to an era in air travel when people dressed for the occasion!
I do miss that the mobile lounges no longer take you directly to the airplane though...and the midfield terminal is a bad idea made worse by the fact that gates are in the main terminal. Before 9-11, you could accompany the traveler to the midfield terminal and have a quick snack at one of the many restaurants and bars there....Now non-travelers are no longer allowed at the midfield terminal. That's unfortunate...
Ed

hwyman
11-29-2005, 05:57 PM
I, too, remembe the good old days of Dulles. I actually used to enjoy flying out of it, back in the 70s and early 80s. The mid-field terminals put an end to that. They are getting the subways to take you to the mid-field terminals now, a-la Hartsfield. The main terminal is one of the most beautiful terminals I have seen.

pezmanffx
11-29-2005, 07:13 PM
How about JHW. It has free parking. The walk to the only gate from the ticket counter is only 10 feet. The person who checkes your luggage is also the one that loads it onto the plane. The resturant has good home cooked meals.

hwyman
11-29-2005, 07:26 PM
SOunds about like the one time I flew into Jacksonville, NC. At the time (back in 2001) they only had 3 gates and one plane that went back and forth between there and Charlotte!

Ned
12-01-2005, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Jul 22 2005, 10:23 AM
I prefer small airports.* Two of my favorite California Airports (since I live in CA):
5160

Hi Stephen,
Why do you prefer small airports? I normally prefer the small ones only upon arrivals because I get out of the airport faster than at large airports. I normally prefer large airports for departures because there's more to do and see when you get bored waiting for the plane. They usually have a better variety of food as well.

stephen_s
12-02-2005, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by Ned@Dec 1 2005, 09:31 PM
Hi Stephen,
Why do you prefer small airports?* I normally prefer the small ones only upon arrivals because I get out of the airport faster than at large airports.* I normally prefer large airports for departures because there's more to do and see when you get bored waiting for the plane.* They usually have a better variety of food as well.
14744


I just like the fact that it's not so crowded and busy. I try to fly out of Bob Hope and Long Beach if the fare is the same as or cheaper than LAX. They tend to be friendlier too, I think. I remember, before 9/11 and before TSA, I flew out of Bob Hope Airport (then known as Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport). I put my laptop through and the security agent said hello and thank you.

I never encountered that at LAX.

Ned
12-02-2005, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by stephen_s@Dec 2 2005, 09:50 AM
I just like the fact that it's not so crowded and busy.* I try to fly out of Bob Hope and Long Beach if the fare is the same as or cheaper than LAX. They tend to be friendlier too, I think.* I remember, before 9/11 and before TSA, I flew out of Bob Hope Airport (then known as Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport).* I put my laptop through and the security agent said hello and thank you.

I never encountered that at LAX.
14773

Makes sense. Thanks for your reply. You're right about LAX, no one is ever friendly there.

safetymom
12-09-2005, 05:04 PM
PIT (Pittsburgh) used to be my home airport. Used to love before 9/11 going out to the airport for lunch and shopping.

Still think it is a great airport. Orlando is my favorite now. Plenty to see and shops to visit.

Ned
12-14-2005, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by safetymom@Dec 9 2005, 07:04 PM
PIT (Pittsburgh) used to be my home airport.* Used to love before 9/11 going out to the airport for lunch and shopping.

Still think it is a great airport.* Orlando is my favorite now.* Plenty to see and shops to visit.
15312

I used to fly in and out of PIT weekly. The airport isn't bad, but I hate the drive to and from downtown Pittsburgh and PIT. Traffic always seemed crazy when I need to travel between the two.

I once had a near disaster at PIT. I was flying Allegheny (now you know how long ago this tale occurred) and in the midst of take-off. The nose wheel had just lifted off the runway. At that moment we heard a strange noise pitch from the engines, then silence for a moment then the loudest screech of brakes you've ever heard, followed by loud popping sounds (tires blowing out) along with all cabin lights going dark. Fortunately for us the plane stopped at the very edge of the runway (wheels under the wings anyway) (thank goodness for that old upsloped runway at PIT) with the nose wheel in the grass. The pilot explained that the plane lost all electrical power. We didn't use slides to get out of the plane as they brought out the portable stairs and busses took us back to the terminal. They had another plane for those who were willing to fly that night about two hours later. About half of us took it. It took them about an hour to tow the plane off the end of the runway.

deangreenhoe
01-09-2006, 02:53 PM
As for airports offering ease of arrival/departure, you can't beat the smaller ones. Palm Springs is my favorite. You can practically spit on your rental car in the lot from the baggage carrousel. (But I don't recommend it. They frown on that sort of behaviour in "The Springs." :P ) But the whole atomosphere is civil and unhurried.

Reno/Tahoe is a close second for many of the same reasons.

Anybody else miss Reno Air?

Jason's Storm
04-20-2006, 09:52 PM
I guess I'll bump this up. I like MSP because it is very technology advanced (moving walk ways, trams), and it has excellent food beyond the gates (TGI Fridays for one). Only problem is that it has a big monkey sitting on it, with about 75 % of the gates. Oh and John, what was the answer to you question.;)

~JS

kreativelywise
04-27-2006, 10:45 AM
Originally posted by john225@Jul 22 2005, 09:29 AM
I recently had to fly on NW, and went through both of their major hubs, MSP and DTW.* I was impressed with both of them, although DTW won out because there is a smoking area within the secure area.

For ease of use, though, I have to go with my 2 local airports, BTR and MSY.
5161


It's all about YYZ for me. I know its not American but Toronto is clean friendly and the new additions are amazing.

K

Caseyorourke
10-10-2007, 10:27 AM
As business traveler, I think the Portland, OR (PDX) airport is the best airport. First, the airport has free WiFi. In addition to airline clubs that are located in the airport, there are ‘business’ sections that they have desks in cubicles, telephones, copiers and etc. that you can work at. The aisles are very wide down the concourse so you are not walking over the other passengers. The areas at the gates are large and have plenty of seats; therefore, there is no over spilling of passengers from the neighboring gates. The prices at the stores are the same prices outside of the airport. It is very clean. Within ten minutes, I can be sitting in my rental car after arriving at the gate (Concourse A). The have an express lane for elite airline passengers. The bottom line is that you can get in or get out very quickly and if you have to wait, it is enjoyable and comfortable.

I agree about Portland being one of the top airports. I like the free wireless internet. Most other airports I have been in either require you to purchase a monthly plan or 24 hour plan through the airports ISP or just don't have any wireless at all. The prices in the stores and restaurants are the same there as they are in the same places outside of the airport, which I like because I don't need to eat before going to the airport, then worry about whether or not I might get hungry in case the flight is delayed or I need to change travel plans. If a rental car is not an option for you, but you want reliable transportation to the city, Portland has their MAXTRAIN
which travels to the downtown transit center where other transportation options are available. All the TSA personnel I encountered were courteous and efficent.
What really sells it for me is the fact that Oregon does not have a sales tax, so the prices marked are the prices you pay.

Brooks
10-14-2007, 06:29 AM
I have 2 favorite small airports.

Santa Barbara-- the terminal is a small hacienda style -- really cute with an upstairs lounge. When you arrive, if you have carry on- you can just walk thru the chain link fence to the cab stand. It is really neat.

Bozeman, Montana: The terminal looks like a mountain lodge, carpeted with wood vaulted ceilings (very high ceilings) -- very quite, almost like a gift store. Has a great upstairs restaurant/lounge with slot machines. Lots of fun for an airport.
I agree with you about SBA. Everyone is friendly there, even the TSA folks.

The baggage claim there is very efficient since they drive the baggage from the plane to the open air claim area and place it by hand onto the baggage claim rack. No machines. No carousel.

msnovtue
10-15-2007, 08:25 AM
Okay, just for the heck of it, here's my $0.02:

Charlotte-- very nice, lots of comfy spaces and food options if you're stuck on a layover.

Sarasota(SRQ)-- Small airport, very friendly service (including the TSA!!!):eek:, everything is very close and the parking is cheap. Plus, there's a huge aquarium full of oceanic fish on the main floor that I can watch for hours.... (yes, I am *very* easily amused....)

Chicago Midway---Lots of cool historica displays, and very unconfusing layout.

Hartsfield-Jackson, Atlanta-- Yeah, it's big. And busy. But there's lots of food options, the service, while not stellar, is still pretty good, and there's a fair amount of options for when you're stuck on a layover. The layout is pretty simple, too, which is a kinda a big deal to me. (Think about it-- you're tired and you've been stuck on a plane for God knows how long. Do you really want to have to spend another 15 minutes trying to figure out the dang airport???)

And, a somewhat sentimental vote for my hometown of Indianapolis. We're kind of a medium-sized airport. The currrent terminal is older and on schedule to be replaced in the next few years, and it's had to adjust to a lot of changes. But it's got reasonably good food & shopping options, it's pretty "user-friendly", parking's not bad, and service-wise, everybody tries to make an effort. Plus, we host a few pretty big events here a few times a year, and while there's always backups, everybody out there seems to always step up and handle things well. Bags get out reasonably fast, and for all the years I've been flying in & out of Indy on various airlines, they've never lost a bag yet. Works for me. :o)

Love2snorkel
07-26-2008, 08:20 PM
interesting

JBM
07-27-2008, 09:16 PM
I used to fly in and out of PIT weekly. The airport isn't bad, but I hate the drive to and from downtown Pittsburgh and PIT. Traffic always seemed crazy when I need to travel between the two...

I would have thought that extending the "T" (light-rail) from downtown to PIT would have been an obvious second phase, but apparently not. The Parkway West is an absolute nightmare, although the traffic is pretty light after 8 p.m.; coming from the airport to downtown, once you pop through the Fort Pitt Tunnels the view of the nighttime skyline and the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines overlooking the city is something to behold.

JBM
07-27-2008, 09:18 PM
...What really sells it for me is the fact that Oregon does not have a sales tax, so the prices marked are the prices you pay.

Yeah, but Oregonians get zonked by high income taxes. Anyone who works in the "underground" economy really gets away with it in OR. And now, the city of Portland is talking about instituting a 5 to 20 fee (tax) for a plastic or paper shopping bag...!!!

JBM
07-27-2008, 09:22 PM
One really good thing for travellers and guests at PDX is that there are great options for dining on either side of security. On the public side, there's a great food court and shops. On the secure side, there are some of the same shops (Brookstone, for one) and some neat local restaurants such as Gustav's. After 9/11, one could not get from one side of the airport to the other without crossing/reentering security, which almost caused the demise of a few places, but PDX started running a shuttle van to take you between the two terminals, and I understand there is now a walkway.