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Your LEAST favourite airport

Chet

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With the upcoming holiday weekend here in the US of A, I thought it fitting to share.

Mine is a tie:

Newark, and Detroit.
 

Repo Man

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Detroit..probbaly because I am always stopping there en route to other destinations.

I do agree that Newark sucks too and I am not too fond of Atlanta either.
 

NHPlanner

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Only been there twice....but Detroit by far.
 

Tranplanner

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Heathrow, UK - way too big and difficult to find your way around. Gatwick was my preferred London gateway, but even that was pretty crappy last time through.

Toronto's airport isn't that great either - we had a nice 20 minute walk from the arrival gate to passport control when we landed last weekend. Took well over an hour to go from plane to parking lot. Hopefully the new "megaterminal" will solve some of the problems.

My fav - Glasgow! We were off the plane and at the rental car kiosk in about 20 minutes. That's great for an international airport.
 

donk

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No real least favourite (ones i've been in Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax, Montreal - Dorval, Montreal - Mirabelle, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor, Bruselles, Newark, Buffalo) Dorval is always a pain, as my flight leaves from as far away from the main entrance as you can get and still be in Montreal. I also always seem to be there at dinner hour and am typically hungover.

Funny story about Fredericton. The computer was down and they were having trouble printing boarding passes. The guy at the ticket booth checked my reservation, wrote my name and seat on a piece of paper, signed it and gave it to me. That was my boarding pass. Then again the agent that gives you your pass at the ticket counter is the same agent that takes it at the plane's door.
 
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The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Mainly because it's owned by the City of New Orleans but located in the city of Kenner and parts of St. Charles Parish. The airport desperately needs to expand but cannot do so without the support of Kenner and St. Charles Parish, neither of which are willing to do so because of the potential impacts their jurisdictions would face due to the expansion. It's physically and politically land-locked.

In terms of cheese factor, San Diego and Chicago-Midway are pretty high up on my list.
 

Queen B

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I was shocked at the lack of security at Ronald Reagan in DC.
I got clear though to the gate without ID and then the person at the gate did not even stop long enough to look at it, just that I had one. I thought we as a traveling public had been assured that our airports are more secure. Guess 9/11 didn't teach them much.
 

nerudite

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I avoid LAX like the plague. It's just too big, too much traffic, and the delays on the tarmac are god-awful! Burbank, Ontario, John Wayne... I'll give anything a go before flying into LAX.
 

H

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Least Favorite: ATL, because there are sooooooooooo many people and the new security makes lines take forever and it out of control.

Favorite: Memphis, because it is architecturally designed to look like martini glasses to give people a more ‘relaxed’ feeling. Mmmmmmmmmmm gin and sweet sweet vermouth!!!
 

BKM

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I hate SFO (San Francisco) less because of the airport itself (which is kinda neat) than because of the hassle of getting there (central Bay Area traffic-yuck). I try to fly out of Sacramento whenever possible-a great, simple, easy airport only 35 miles from home.

My home town's airport "Fort Wayne International" reminds me of a third world country. One of the disadvantages of the hub-and-spoke system-smaller airports dying on the vine.
 

biscuit

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Atlanta would have to rank as my least favorite - Not for it's design or anything but because it's always so crowded. I haven't flown into any really bad airports before, just smaller ones. However, my parents were in New England last fall and I remember them expressing their dislike of Boston-Logan.

Pittsburgh would have to rank as my as one of my favorites in the US. I have a high school friend who pilots for USAirways and she said PIT is one of the best airports that she's been through.
 
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Greenescapist

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I've always hated Miami. The made me go through security twice in March just to go in between terminals. Plus, it's humid and smells like mothballs. The Washington Dulles one is a pain, too, in the middle of nowhere and you have to ride that stupid people mover to get to the gates. I love that San Francisco has art in the the terminal. Boston's is hard to get around, but it's home for me.
 

PlannerGirl

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Washington Dulles airport sucks hinny
LaGuardia is la trash dont get stuck here no matter what you do. they dont work if it rains


I like National airport-easy for me to get to and the folks are atleast friendly and its CLEAN-Dulles and laGuardia are not.

ATL is easy for me i have used it all my life

LAX seemed nice inside
 

Dan

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Least favorite - El Paso. You can park close to the terminal building, which is convenient when you're dropping off or picking up friends. However, there are very limited amenities, and the atmosphere has a vaugely third-world ... uhh, I mean "developing nation" feel about it. That's because the El Paso airport also serves the function as the Juarez airport.

For some reason, on every flight I've ever been on out of El Paso, there was at least one passenger trying to carry a small engine or some other large car part on board. You'll encounter far more crying niños and niñas on an El Paso-bound or departing flight than any other arrival or departure city. Long before 9-11, I was on an outbound flight rom El Paso, where a campenseno bought an old car battery on board. Hello ... security? I was waiting for the day when someone would bring a caged chicken on board, or have someone in a bee costume as my seatmate.

I think things might have changed now, with the abundance of low-cost El Paso-to-everywhere-in-the-US bus services catering to Mexican nationals.

Favorites - Las Vegas, Orlando, (both big not not overwhelming, with plenty of amenities), and Denver (big, but logically laid out, lots of amenities, clean, and on-time arrivals and departues).

Airports I've been to, but really have no horribly strong opinion about: Buffalo Niagara (wonderful architecture), Chicago O'Hare (great for people-watching), Colorado Springs, San Diego, Phoenix, Houston Intercontinental (big 1970s concrete-ish feel), Dallas-Fort Worth (big 1970s brutalist feel again), Dallas-Love Field, Acapulco, New York-Laguardia, Philadelphia (a bit old), Pittsburgh (kinda' neat), Charlotte, Greensboro-Winston Salem, Raleigh-Durham, Tampa-St. Pete, Sarasota-Bradenton, Cleveland (kinda' old), Columbus, St. Louis (kinda' old), Kansas City, Atlanta, and Boston (chaotic, but not as bad as El Paso).
 

Jessie-J

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The St. Louis Airport needs to be redone. It's old and not well retro-fitted for the new security requirements. The corridoors are LOOOOONG and uninteresting. Remember the older cartoons when the character was running or driving and the background scenery would repeat itself- that's the St. Louis Airport.

In addition, due to the lack of competence and organizational skills of the employees, I was forced to spend 14 hours there one day (I could have driven to my destinantion in that time) and it had NOTHING to do with weather or congestion.

On the other hand, it has some really neat architecture (Eero Saaranin -also built the arch) but it's falling apart and needs a little help....
 

pete-rock

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My least favorite by far is Detroit Metro. My hometown has the most depressing looking airport, and the most godawful view when driving downtown. Philly's look is similar, but they've taken better care of it.

My two oddest are Phoenix and Las Vegas. I don't know if Phoenix has been updated (I was there in '95), but it looked then like the set for a "Brady Bunch Goes to the Valley of the Sun" episode -- it was full of the orange and avocado colors of the '70s. And Vegas' airport was pretty much like the rest of Vegas -- part entertainment, part money drain.
 

H

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Of course we also need to probably talk about airports not in the US:

Munich, Germany = machine guns… scary (the whole Nazi thing was in my head).

Lima, Peru = 8 million cab drivers trying to “carry” or take your luggage from you.

I’ve been to others, but these two stand out as very “un-fun” places.
 

biscuit

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Huston said:
Munich, Germany = machine guns… scary (the whole Nazi thing was in my head).
I know what you mean. I remember seeing the same thing at Frankfurt. It's a nice airport but all the heavily armed German soldiers made me the most tense and nervous I've ever been at an airport - Well, excluding going through the customs check when I got to Atlanta, but that's a whole other story.

Another airport I forgot to mention that I like is Greenville-Spartanburg, SC Int. It's not that nice (The terminal is very early 1980's) and it has very few aminities. I like it because it's a small airport with direct flights to large cities. The last I went from standing at the ticket counter there to driving home from PIT in under 1.5 hours. Can't beat that over a 10.5 hour drive.
 

jresta

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JFK, LAX, Dulles, Heathrow, Roissy.

I hate every minute of all of them.

I use to not like Newark but ever since they built the monorail connection to the train getting there and getting around is so much easier. It's probably one of my fav. airports now.

Philly is easy - none of the gates are more than a 5 minute walk from baggage claim and the train runs right through the middle of the place.

Barcelona was real easy like that too.

BWI is nice as well and for small airports - Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach and Columbia, SC are all calm, easy going places.
 

NHPlanner

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If we're talking nice airports, I'll give a plug for the London....I mean Manchester Airport here in NH (70% of the Airport is in Londonderry.....but I digress). Quickly becoming the preferred alternative to Logan in Boston for Northern New England....

http://www.flymanchester.com
 

DecaturHawk

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Commuter Facilities

Since I have to fly from small airports, I am concerned about how the larger hub airports handle commuter travel. Detroit's new terminal, while not perfect, at least has a concourse dedicated to commuter flights. The gates are designed for access to commuter planes, so you don't have to walk down three flights of stairs to get to the tarmac. Of course, when I was there last October there were no seats in the concourse, no services, no phones, etc. I attribute this partially to the fact that the concourse was still only a few months old and partially to the fact that the airports and airlines don't really give a crap about short trip fliers.

At O'Hare, it takes hours to get from commuter terminals to connecting flights. It has to be over a mile from the commuter concourses to the main United gates. St. Louis, while dated, is at least fairly easy to get around in.

As to small airports, Bloomington/Normal in Illinois has a nice new terminal that serves short and long trip fliers very well. Cedar Rapids, Iowa has a nice facility. Madison, WI has recently updated their terminal. Springfield IL's airport is dated and uncomfortable.
 

Richmond Jake

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I agreed that San Francisco is bad but not because of vehicle traffic rather every flight, both arrivals & departures, seems to be delayed. I don't like San Diego either with planes seemingly landing & taking off between buildings--white knuckles here. Regarding Detriot, I went thru the Northwest terminal last summer and thought it was just fine...
 

Chet

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NHPlanner said:
If we're talking nice airports, I'll give a plug for the London....I mean Manchester Airport here in NH (70% of the Airport is in Londonderry.....but I digress). Quickly becoming the preferred alternative to Logan in Boston for Northern New England....

http://www.flymanchester.com
I'll buy that for a dollar. But for flying to the south side of Boston, I always go into Providence. I can get infaster, cheaper, rent a car cheaper, and be out to the Foxboro area faster.
 

Greenescapist

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Chet said:
I'll buy that for a dollar. But for flying to the south side of Boston, I always go into Providence. I can get infaster, cheaper, rent a car cheaper, and be out to the Foxboro area faster.
You know, I used to feel that same way, but after 9-11, whenever I fly it is just as cheap to fly out of Boston than it is the smaller regional airports- Manchester and Providence. I think it must be a combination of reduced flight schedules (it's less of a hassle to check-in at Logan) and reduced prices (the airlines are doing anything to preserve business). I wonder if this is true with other cities and their regional competitors? I just don't see the savings anymore of driving 50 miles - unless I plan to leave my car there for more than a week. With our slick new turnpike tunnel extenstion, Logan is easier than ever to get to.
 

NHPlanner

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Greenescapist said:
You know, I used to feel that same way, but after 9-11, whenever I fly it is just as cheap to fly out of Boston than it is the smaller regional airports- Manchester and Providence. I think it must be a combination of reduced flight schedules (it's less of a hassle to check-in at Logan) and reduced prices (the airlines are doing anything to preserve business). I wonder if this is true with other cities and their regional competitors? I just don't see the savings anymore of driving 50 miles - unless I plan to leave my car there for more than a week. With our slick new turnpike tunnel extenstion, Logan is easier than ever to get to.
I agree that for those living in MA, Manchester isn't really much of an alternative....but for those in NH, ME, and VT it's becoming preferred. Coupled to the fact that the runways are being extended and more non-stop service is going to be available, they're projecting growth from about 3 million passengers now to about 7 million passengers in 2009.

Parking and rental cars are vastly cheaper in Manchester than Logan.
 

SkeLeton

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Pichoy (Valdivia) Is disgusting, specially when it rains... and that is like 3/4ths of the year... What sleeve? just run down the stairs on to the tarmac and run into the building and try to get the least wet posible. And the landings are quite turbulent on rain days.. happened to me once... (plus the pilot dropped quite violently the plane on the runway)
Well there isn't much traffic (like 2 flights per day) so there is no need for a bigger airport...

And not necesarily airport related, but more airline related... Try to explain to a 8 year old that his chewing gum pack went to the garbage in the mid stop in Miami when they cleaned the airplane :( (happened when I was comming back to Chile :p)
 

Cardinal

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My least favorite is Kansas City (sorry, KC-area planners). The airport has a dated design that is even more of a problem with post 9-11 security measures. There is nothing in the airport to keep you entertained or even comfortable during a long wait.

I usually fly out of Madison or Milwaukee. Neither is very big or intereting, but they are well laid out and easy to move through. Most of my flights pass through Chicago, where I usually have twenty minutes to make it through the psychadelic tunnel in an attempt to make the next gate. If I am stuck, however, I can find plenty of bars and restaurants, or just comfortable places to hang out. Denver is nice but a half hour of taxiing to the runway is too much.
 

nerudite

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RichmondJake said:
I agreed that San Francisco is bad but not because of vehicle traffic rather every flight, both arrivals & departures, seems to be delayed.
That and every time I fly into SFO I feel like I'm going to have a crash landing in the Bay. The runway is mere feet from the water, which is just freaky when all you see is water when you look out the window and no runway.
 

nerudite

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SkeLeton said:
What sleeve? just run down the stairs on to the tarmac and run into the building and try to get the least wet posible.
Burbank airport is like this too... I loved it. I would always try to get a seat near the end of the plane because I knew that they open both the front and the back door for exiting onto the tarmac. This is especially good if you fly Southwest into Burbank, because everyone jockeys for the front seats and the back are almost empty.

Of course it rarely ever rains in Burbank. Exiting onto the tarmac isn't as much fun in Seattle (the hoppers from Portland exit onto the tarmac), and apparently Valdivia.
 

biscuit

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nerudite said:
The runway is mere feet from the water, which is just freaky when all you see is water when you look out the window and no runway.
I felt the same way the first time I flew into National Airport. It was raining, the plane was coming in at what felt like more than a 90 degree angle on it's approach and all I could see from my window was the Potomac.

Now I consider National to be one of my favorites. The Metro stop makes it way to easy to where you need to be.
 

JNL

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I don't like the Palmerston North airport - it's very old-fashioned, with threadbare carpet, it's small, you have to pay a departure tax to fly domestically, you have to walk out onto the tarmac to board the aircraft directly, and the planes are mostly small propellor aircraft! Security - what security?

I just checked out their website which made me laugh - they call themselves The Premiere Provincial International Airport in New Zealand. It's hardly international - you can only fly to Australia, which is our west island anyway! (He he, I don't know if there are any Aussies active on the boards at the moment, but I'm sure to find out...)
 
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Detroit is just butt ugly, period. Almost everything about SE Michigan is butt ugly, sorry :/

The STL airport really needs a makeover. And while Memphis is easy, it ALWAYS smells like the a/c has gone bad in the summertime... plus the airport employees are some of the surliest I've seen anywhere.
 

Mud Princess

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Tranplanner said:
Toronto's airport isn't that great either - we had a nice 20 minute walk from the arrival gate to passport control when we landed last weekend. Took well over an hour to go from plane to parking lot. Hopefully the new "megaterminal" will solve some of the problems.
Returning from vacation in Nova Scotia this weekend, we had less than an hour to make our connecting flight in Toronto. The whole process was very time consuming, not helped by the fact that we had to walk about a mile (or so it seemed) from the arrival gate to U.S. customs.

Once we cleared customs and security, it was another loooooong walk to the boarding gate. Every so often, there were signs to indicate how many minutes it would take to reach the gate! Good thing I was wearing hiking boots. I don't know what I'd do if I had problems walking. No wonder my in-laws don't like to fly anymore.
 

spitfly79

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LAX....I hated it...felt like I was in a foreign country..too big...dirty...wires hanging out ceilings and It looked out of date...
Also Logan in Boston is not too fun either considering all of the road work and its one of the busiest...
 

OhioPlanner

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Kansas City. they have the security checkpoint at each individual gate. You have to wait for someone to setup the gate with security before you can sit down.

It's just annoying because if you arrive at the airport too early you can't veg out.
 

bocian

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Luxembourg, in Luxembourg. Unfriendly, snobby(but) small airport surrounded by golf courses and $1 million mansions. Please don'y fly out of there!
Oh, and why be so cruel on Detroit? Atlanta - that's a pain. Oh, and what aboy taking that long bus ride in London's Heathrow? It takes about an hour just to get from one part of the airport to another one there.
Yes, so I have got 3 of the worst:
Luxembourg
Atlanta
London

Oh, and what's up with Zurich and smoking allowed INSIDE the airport? The whole place stinks!!

But I LOVE Iceland's Reykjavik's airport (although located so far away from the actual city...). Beatiful art everywhere, pastel colors, it's like a nice (although crowded at times) living room almost...wow!

Come to think about it, I'll just ride my bike...
 

Suburb Repairman

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They need to bulldoze the Detroit Airport and start over! I've flown into Detroit several times and have had a terrible experience every time. My advice: fly into Toledo Express instead.

Nobody has mentioned San Antonio. It's in a constant state of renovation, yet it never seems to improve. Amenities are substandard for a city of 1.2 million. Parking is decent though.

I love Austin and Las Vegas.
 

Nero

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Oh, now..... sooooo much hatred for the airports.... my, my, my. We all want to fly but we want the perfect setting AND no people around. TRY THER TRAIN! Its relaxing, not much need for heavy security and there is lots of room!

Face it Airports are the simply nothing more than really big bus stations so why are we demanding anything more from them?

My wife is from Valencia Venezuela, city of about 2 mill. but has a very small airport, about the size of a small city here in the US. When the plane parks they come out to get the luggage with a wagon drawn by a mule, and then you get the once over by the military. But hey it's their country! They can do anything they deem is right, they do not have to accomidate the all mighty american.

How do you tell the american in a foriegn airport? Hes the one with the mullet haircut, the NASCAR Tee shirt, a big comb in his back pocket, and is really over weight.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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Jessie-J said:


In addition, due to the lack of competence and organizational skills of the employees, I was forced to spend 14 hours there one day (I could have driven to my destinantion in that time) and it had NOTHING to do with weather or congestion.
YIKES!!!!!
 

mendelman

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Detroit is the worst!!

Even with the construction of the new Midfeild terminal about 2 years ago, it still sucked rocks! I guess a new look cannot hide terrible management.

My favorite so far has been Midway in Chicago. I really liked it and with the Orange Line El running to downtown its perfect. One of Chicago airports' great assests is the public transpo. accessiblity.
 
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