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Coldrsx Nov 30, 2015 11:02 PM

Edmonton will eventually annex... nearish term, but it will be a mess.

SpongeG Dec 1, 2015 8:11 AM

an interesting read

Why do so many people hate US airports?

esquire Dec 1, 2015 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpongeG (Post 7253615)

In my experience, American airports tend to work reasonably well but they are usually unpleasant places. They all feel like overgrown bus terminals. The fact that most are built in stages with a bunch of small terminals doesn't help... you end up with something like ORD which is one of the world's biggest but basically feels like dozens of the old Winnipeg Airport laid end to end.

There are some US airports which are nicer than others, especially among the tier 2 ones like RDU. But the only large US airport I've been to that impressed me is DEN... which is basically a big new Asian airport that somehow landed in the US.

DrNest Dec 1, 2015 5:28 PM

I really like KDTW whenever I fly through there. Spacious, plenty of options for food and drink and some shopping to pass away the time if I have a long connection. KJFK and KLGA are dire in my opinion and I avoid those whenever I can.

esquire Dec 1, 2015 5:38 PM

^ EWR is not much better either. It's disgraceful how arguably the most important city in the world has such laughable airports.

Never been to DTW but I've heard and read good things.

MalcolmTucker Dec 1, 2015 5:48 PM

Dulles has the amazing check in hall and a relatively new train system to replace most of the buggies. Now they just need to rebuild the concourses. Unfortunately, the airport is in a price war with Reagan, and suffers from adverse selection.

Once the Washington Metro gets to Dulles (being built right now), they will have to decide whether to keep pushing capacity increases for Reagan, or try to re-emphasize Dulles.

hipster duck Dec 1, 2015 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 7253819)
In my experience, American airports tend to work reasonably well but they are usually unpleasant places. They all feel like overgrown bus terminals. The fact that most are built in stages with a bunch of small terminals doesn't help... you end up with something like ORD which is one of the world's biggest but basically feels like dozens of the old Winnipeg Airport laid end to end.

There are some US airports which are nicer than others, especially among the tier 2 ones like RDU. But the only large US airport I've been to that impressed me is DEN... which is basically a big new Asian airport that somehow landed in the US.

+1.

The Americans are capable of making things of impressive taste and beauty, and they are able to design user-friendly products like the iPhone, but they just suck at trying to give anything publicly-owned any kind of flair. Everything is just as utilitarian as possible.

This also infects a lot of their corporations' presentability - even to the customers who should matter. My friend joked about going to the United First Class Lounge at ORD and being presented with a plate of cheddar cheese with a few grapes on top like it was some low level business conference in 1995. Compare the layout and the substance of an American in-flight magazine with, say, Air Canada's enRoute, and you'll know what I mean.

PS: This isn't an "Anglo" thing, since I find that public infrastructure in the UK - airports, trains, buses, mailboxes, phone booths, the public realm - is some of the most attractive in the world.

PPS: other than Denver, Detroit is another Asian-quality airport in the middle of the US. That's ironic considering what kind of city Detroit is.

PPPS: The most international and cosmopolitan of US cities have the worst airports. All 3 of NY's airports are deplorable; LAX is embarassing and so is ORD - especially the AA terminal.

TorontoDrew Dec 1, 2015 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 7253819)
In my experience, American airports tend to work reasonably well but they are usually unpleasant places. They all feel like overgrown bus terminals. The fact that most are built in stages with a bunch of small terminals doesn't help... you end up with something like ORD which is one of the world's biggest but basically feels like dozens of the old Winnipeg Airport laid end to end.

There are some US airports which are nicer than others, especially among the tier 2 ones like RDU. But the only large US airport I've been to that impressed me is DEN... which is basically a big new Asian airport that somehow landed in the US.


Logan is by far the worst major American airport I've visited for everything you said in your first paragraph. Denver's scale impressed me but it seemed pretty sterile and unwelcoming. Don't even get me started on the messed up artwork they have in that airport. I'll be flying into Vegas in 12 days and picture it full of slot machines tourist info booths.

niwell Dec 1, 2015 6:19 PM

The worst North American airports I have been in by far are those in the NYC metro area. Truly terrible. Charlotte was also an... experience. Despite looking fairly decent.

For major airports the best was probably Denver. I really liked terminal 2 at SFO but heard the rest weren't as nice. Never had a huge issue at some of the smaller airports, and they seem to have better food and drink options than their Canadian counterparts. New Orleans was dead easy, as is Chicago Midway (plus you can get drinks to go at both!).

SkahHigh Dec 1, 2015 6:22 PM

Logan was not a good experience to me... O'Hare was good when we arrived but bad when we left.

esquire Dec 1, 2015 7:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7254037)
This also infects a lot of their corporations' presentability - even to the customers who should matter. My friend joked about going to the United First Class Lounge at ORD and being presented with a plate of cheddar cheese with a few grapes on top like it was some low level business conference in 1995. Compare the layout and the substance of an American in-flight magazine with, say, Air Canada's enRoute, and you'll know what I mean.

Yes, I've had a few Miller Lite, cheese and cracker lunches in United Clubs :haha:

Your buddy will be pleased to know that they now serve soup and a couple of food offerings...things are looking up!

But so true though, as much as I think that Canadian airport authorities have gone a little too far with building new terminals with reckless abandon, I'm grateful that ours are pretty nice places compared to the dives that are so many American airports.

Nicko999 Dec 1, 2015 7:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niwell (Post 7254060)
The worst North American airports I have been in by far are those in the NYC metro area. Truly terrible. Charlotte was also an... experience. Despite looking fairly decent.

I concur. Laguardia is the worst airport I've been to.

OTSkyline Dec 1, 2015 7:51 PM

It's true most American airports aren't typically "nice".. They tend to be dark, old carpeting, dirty, poor food options, very little US airports offer complimentary wifi and/or plug-ins for electronics, flat screen TV's, etc...
Compare them to the likes of YYZ or YOW and you can definitely see the difference and how flying out of Canadian airports is (somewhat) enjoyable because our airports are so nice...

With that being said, flying in the US is cheap and they can keep those costs low... Who is paying for all of our airport upgrades and niceties? travelers. with all of those tacked-on "airport improvement fees" and such. So as much as it's nice, we are paying for it and hurts our travel budgets.

Procrastinational Dec 1, 2015 9:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TorontoDrew (Post 7254048)
Logan is by far the worst major American airport I've visited for everything you said in your first paragraph.

Logan's newest, terminal A, is actually quite nice, and E (international) is passable. That doesn't make up for the fact that B and C are utterly miserable though.

American airports generally aren't nice places to spend time, but they are almost always pretty functional, which is what matters in the end.

SkahHigh Dec 1, 2015 9:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Procrastinational (Post 7254381)
Logan's newest, terminal A, is actually quite nice, and E (international) is passable. That doesn't make up for the fact that B and C are utterly miserable though.

American airports generally aren't nice places to spend time, but they are almost always pretty functional, which is what matters in the end.

I waited 3 hours in a small room where all Air Canada flights depart from at Logan. No restaurant, just a room with seats.

Klazu Dec 1, 2015 9:57 PM

I have to agree with everything said on this page.

Few things to add are that the TSA officers in the US are much more intimidating and rude than our own CBSA agents. Well, the same goes also with American police officers vs. Canadian Mounties, but there is absolutely no joking around with the officers in the US.

Most US airport also seem to be built to be destinations rather than transit points. Transiting on many US airports requires changing between terminals and is not very ideal. I also hate it how only few US airports have frequent Downtown rail connection to the airport, and most of them seem to be built for people traveling with cars.

Coldrsx Dec 1, 2015 9:58 PM

LAX bad but not awful

Newark a bit ghetto, some decent areas, stupid runway+delays due to winds

Logan, AWFUL

Minny - fantastic

Denver - fantastic

S.F - fantastic

SpongeG Dec 1, 2015 10:19 PM

all the us airports i have stopped over in or used in the past few years, have pay to use wifi which sucks when you are trying not to use your data

Procrastinational Dec 1, 2015 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkahHigh (Post 7254404)
I waited 3 hours in a small room where all Air Canada flights depart from at Logan. No restaurant, just a room with seats.

Yup. Air Canada used to fly out of a tiny section of terminal C that had nothing but seats, washrooms, and a couple gates. If I recall correctly, there was a Starbucks and a gift shop just outside of the secure area.

Fortunately they've since moved into terminal B. Not a lot better, but still an improvement.

Coldrsx Dec 1, 2015 10:28 PM

Don't forget that one pop machine and one vending machine...

awful


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