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Thread: Best & Worst Airports

  1. #16
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    In my experience:

    Worst - Newark - way overbooked, hard to take off or land. Car rental is a nightmare. Getting around is confusing.

    Best - Cincinnati .... at least there's a few things to do during a wait.
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  3. #17
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Minor thing that annoys me when I'm in airports now: many of the shops/ restaurants are outside of the gate areas. With the added security, it sucks.

    Hey TSA ....... it's a cup of coffee ....... it's only going to kill me!
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  4. #18
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Worst: Philadelphia - Rude, unhelpful staff are everywhere you turn, which reflects poorly on the city. Dirty and poorly designed.
    Best: Palm Springs - Great efficient little airport - very Hollywood, with orange trees and Palms everywhere. Open and sunny.

  5. #19
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    Worst: Philadelphia - Rude, unhelpful staff are everywhere you turn, which reflects poorly on the city. Dirty and poorly designed.
    Yep, pretty much sums up the entire city
    Last edited by mole44; 01-22-2007 at 07:59 PM.

  6. #20
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I have to defend PHL.

    If you fly Southwest Airlines, it's probably one of the best airports around. I've had nothing but great experiences flying SWA in and out of PHL. I've probably made close to 30 trips in and out of PHL, 26 SWA and 4 US Airways and all of my PHL experiences have been smooth sailing compared to CVG, ORD, ATL or DFW. The beauty about SWA is you can check in 24 Hours in advance, so you literally just walk up, drop off your bag, and then go play with TSA and you're all set. It's that easy.

    I guess you just have to be in the know about the ins and outs of PHL to make it a great experience. Granted, it doesn't have some of the upscale shopping and or food and drink of some of the other airports nationwide, but last time I checked, I choose airports on proximity and reliability.

  7. #21
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I've flown in and out of Philly once each on Southwest, and I didn't have any major problems either way. Now dealing with Phillies fans in Citizens Bank Park is an entirely different story, but I won't head toward that tangent.

    Anyhow, the only minor problem I experienced with Philly was the outgoing flight being delayed about 10-15 minutes since we had to exit the plane after originally boarding due to a security concern, although I will add this flight was in mid-August just days after that liquid explosive fiasco in Europe. TSA checked everyone's bags again at the gate before allowing people to board again, but it only took about 10 minutes so it wasn't too bad. I didn't even have any carry-on items except what was in my pockets so I had it easy compared to others.

    The rest was pretty much as Highlifeman described it: checked in the night before online, dropped off the bags, then had fun with TSA. The lines were rather long for both baggage check and getting through security, but there was a ton of help there so the lines actually moved fairly quickly.

    I don't fly too often, maybe about three roundtrips per year or so, but all my recent airport experiences have been fine in airports such as Cincy, Columbus, Las Vegas, Tampa, and Philly. Nothing great, but nothing lousy either. As long as they don't take my music away from me while waiting in the terminal, I'm pretty easy to please since I'll just grab a seat and listen to some tunes while waiting to board the plane.
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  8. #22
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I guess I'm in the minority here, I love O'Hare. The first time I ever flew into O'Hare I had been awake for 56 straight hours and I walked off the plane into this clean, beautiful world playing soft non-airport music...and then I walked through that hall of lights. i felt like I was tripping. I feel like O'Hare was renovated before a lot of the other recent airports so it stands out in my mind. Midway, by contrast, is horrendous. Poorly marked and nobody who works there seems to have any clue what's going on.

    Newark has gotten a lot better since it's been renovated and added the airtrain into the city. At least the people who work there know what they're doing, and it's pretty efficient. LaGuardia is my favorite NY airport though, incredibly efficient and well laid-out.

    I have bad memories of Detroit because I got stuck there over Christmas during the blizzard a couple of years ago and it was a nightmare. I was in some dinky wing of the airport with no chairs and they refused to tell us that our flight was canceled (which, of course, it was) because they didn't want to refund our tickets.

    But the worst airport on the face of the earth is Charles de Gaulle. Every single time I fly in and out of the airport somebody tries to blow up a plane on the same day. Ok, it's happened twice, but that's still a pretty horrific track record. It's dirty, it's crowded, it's loud, and no matter where you're going within the airport it invariably takes you four hours, nine hundred miles, and sixteen shuttle buses to get there. However, in contrast to the popular misconception about French customer service, the people who work there are generally amazing. Well, they have to be in order to lift that airport out of hell in any way. I would say that Atlanta is a close second.

    edit: I should point out that I have notoriously bad luck flying. I was born under a black flying storm cloud and it's never let up my whole life. i could write a book on my experiences, they're so unbelievable; I've considered doing so, in fact.
    Last edited by vaticanplum; 01-22-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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  9. #23
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I used to fly all the time, but I haven't had much opportunity since 9/11 (just coincidental change in careers). I would have to say that Kansas City was the best to fly into, but the worst to fly out of. Each gate had its own separate security, so once you went to your gate, you were separated from food, drink, restrooms, etc. If you had a few carry-ons, you would just suffer rather than have to go through the security each time you wanted to do something. Some gates would get extremely cramped because everyone was corralled into the gate by the security stations. On the other hand, when you flew into KC, you were practically off your plane and onto the curb to wait for the rental shuttle.

    Chicago Midway was like a 3rd World country's airport until they renovated it. After the renovations I actually preferred flying into Midway to flying into O'Hare. However, O'Hare does have a Billy Goat Tavern in one its terminals. I hate the American terminal though, but mainly because I'm no fan of American Airlines.

    Cleveland is not bad, but if you get put out in Concourse D, you have a hike ahead of you.

    I only had one experience with Minneapolis/St. Paul and it was bad. I just remember landing at one end and having to run to the other.

    I have odd feelings toward Newark. The airport itself was dirty, but since I've only been there on my way to Europe, I've always been excited hanging out, waiting for my flight.

    The Munich Airport is cool. You can get a nice Weissbier and Wiesswurst combo at one of the airport cafes.
    Last edited by Yachtzee; 01-22-2007 at 08:30 PM.
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  10. #24
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    The easiest airports to fly out of is Ft. Myers, and Lexington.

    The best looking airport is Big Sky Montana. The inside of the terminal looks like a huge log cabin. It's awesome.

    Denver is a horrible airport to fly in and out of, and one of the most expensive as well:thumbdown
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  11. #25
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I like Milwaukee's Billy Mitchel Airport. Small, quick security, nice food and shops. Plus a little airport museum that helps pass the time. The airport in Providence RI is always busy but never chaotic and the check in/security stations are quick and painless.

    I've had good luck in Denver but the rental car lots are on the other side of the planet. It's a little confusing but not too bad. I've only been to LAX once but it didn't impress me at all. LaGordia seemed kinda dumpy. I like OHare but if you don't enjoy flying I can see why it might be overwhelming.

    Dayton, Dulles, National, Fort Lauderdale, Detroit and Atlanta all pretty much fall into the run-of-the-mill category.

    I've got conflicting opinions on Cincinnati. The Delta security checkpoint is always understaffed and overwhelmed. I often fly Comair so that means the bus ride to the Comair terminal. The Comair bording areas are big cattle pens and are rather cramped. My baggage is often sent to the wrong carasell or takes 45 minutes to be sent up the ramp. OTOH check in is quick and effecient. There are lots of shops and resturants and there are great views from the terminals so you can watch airplanes to pass the time.

    I also liked Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. Well laid out, big, clean, effecient. Customs and security was quick and effecient. Looking forward to getting back there sometime.
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  12. #26
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    I'm a bit surprised about the love Denver is getting. The airport is in the middle of nowhere, getting a rental car takes forever (including waiting outside in the 'weather" for a bus). Can be VERY busy and there is always the possibility of getting snowed in.

    There are some amenities in the main terminal, but the concourses have few options.
    You've summed up the problem that I have with this thread. People are answering "best airports" in terms of "best place to have a layover." Yes, Denver has some restaurants. Yes, Denver is architecturally unique. Yes, Denver offers nice views of the mountains on a clear day.

    It's completely unpractical to the vast majority of people who start or end their trip in Denver.

    Let me offer an anology to Cincinnati geography. Imagine if the CVG airport were an additional 20 minutes into Kentucky. Then, imagine that once you got to the airport, you had to park your car an additional 10 minute walk or bus ride away. Then imagine, you had to spend an additional 20-45 minutes getting through security, onto the subway-style train and to your gate.

    Back when they were telling the country to get to the airport 2 hours before a domestic flight, they were telling us in Denver to allow 3.

    The footprint for the Denver airport, IIRC, is 8 miles by 7 miles (56 square miles). IIRC, That's way bigger than any any airport in North America besides Mexico City or LAX. So why did they find it necessary to pump so much money and real estate into a mid-size city airport?

    1. They think metro Denver is going to grow in population (it is; but not like Mexico City)

    2. They wanted to make an airport that was relatively weatherproof. The old airport, closer to Downtown, used to leave travelers stranded all the time.

    Mother nature played a mean trick on the airport in December. Even once they were able to get the runways plowed, the airport was so far out in the middle of nowhere that passengers and employees couldn't get there!

    It may have been a necessary evil to have all these excesses (tourism, weatherproofing, etc), but in no way is Denver an easy airport.

    To me, a "good" airport means easy in, and easy out, and flights are not bloody likely to get cancelled. Some of the ones mentioned above as bad, I've found to be great:

    - Sarasota/Bradenton
    - Colorado Springs
    - Portland, Maine
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  13. #27
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Hit the Southwest connection b/w Louisville and Midway. Midway is essentially completely brand new. Very nice all around. Efficient, and easy in and out driving and on the El. Louisville not bad, doesn't hurt that you can get a cocktail from BBC right outside my gate. Ohare, uggghhhhhh. Terrible. Perpetual construction everywhere. The on time rating is horrible for the airport and their main airlines. Hate going out of there.
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  14. #28
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    I'd rather have a root canal than go to Philly's airport. And don't fall for that "City of Brotherly Love" bs. The four times I've been there, apparently every single person in there found out: their dog just died; their spouse was having an affair; they were being audited by the IRS; and they were having a colonoscopy the next morning.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  15. #29
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    To me, a "good" airport means easy in, and easy out, and flights are not bloody likely to get cancelled.
    I'm with you. Ideally I don't want any layover. I certainly don't want to spend any excess time in an airport.

    Logan sucks when you're inside of it, but it's crazy accessible by public transit. I actually once got from Park St. to Logan in 12 mintues (caught everything perfectly).

    Reagan National is pretty well situated. The L goes out to Chicago Midway and O'Hare. The BART goes straight to San Francisco International. Philly International is awfully easy to get to both by car and by the SEPTA R-1 line (stops at every terminal). Yes, the local attitude sucks, but that's got nothing to do with the airport. The two times I've been to Sea-Tac it's been easy in and out. San Diego and Vegas are also fairly easy to get to from the downtown areas.

    For me, the worst airport in the U.S. is LaGuardia. Traffic's awful. Getting into Manhattan from it is a misery. It's also on the dirty side, it lacks amenities and flights are constantly delayed or cancelled. I take the Acela into New York whenever I've got business down there. It's actually faster when you figure terminal and transit times into the equation and it's way more comfortable.
    Last edited by M2; 01-22-2007 at 11:02 PM.
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  16. #30
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Best & Worst Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    You've summed up the problem that I have with this thread. People are answering "best airports" in terms of "best place to have a layover."
    You judge airports differently depending on if you are connecting through them or they are your normal starting/ending point. So "best layover" make make total sense if you are....well..only layingover there.

    Frankly, I like Gerald Ford International in Grand Rapids and I've never flown into or out of it in my life. But they have the best drive in observation area bar-none of any airport I've visited.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 01-23-2007 at 06:36 AM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


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