Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best and the Worst of the Airports I've Seen

I'm a bit of a Road Warrior, so here are my unscientific choices for the best and worst things in the airports I've visited.

Best Shoeshine: Denver International Airport, Concourse B. They really know their stuff and there are a lot of shiners, so the wait is never very long.
Worst Shoeshine: Oakland International Airport, Terminal A. One guy with one chair and with two speeds--slow and stop. And when he's finished, you can hardly tell you got a shine at all.

Best Airport Massage: DFW Airport, Terminal A. They start you in a massaging recliner and move on from there. Best way to spend a Texas layover I know of.

Best Terminal Food Inside Security: San Francisco International Airport, International Terminal and Terminal 3. Who can argue with sourdough and clam chowder? And sushi, if you're in the mood.
Worst Terminal Food Inside Security: OHare Airport, Chicago. Come on, there's got to be more food choices than Chicago-style hot dogs!

Best Terminal Food Outside Security: Miami International Airport (this does NOT extend to the inside security restaurants).

Easiest Airport to Get To: San Francisco International Airport On BART
Hardest Airport to Get To: Washington Dulles Airport Mass Transit is practically non-existent. You would think they would extend the Metro out there.

Most Pleasing Airport Decor: Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City.
Least Pleasing Airport Decor: (Tie) San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 1 and Regan International Airport, Washington, DC, Terminal 1 and anywhere inside security. They all look more like prisons.

Worst Hub Airport to Fly Through: O'Hare Airport, Chicago Traffic and delays are just horrible.
Worst Hub Airport to Fly Through in the Winter: (Tie) O'Hare and Denver
Worst Hub Airport to Fly Through in the Summer: DFW The thunderstorms can be just amazing!

Fastest Baggage Handlers: Salt Lake International Airport I've never made it to the carousels before my bags did. These people really hustle!
Slowest Baggage Handlers: Oakland International Airport I've taken a potty break and stopped for a snack and still had to wait for the bags to come off the airplane. And the distance from the plane to the baggage area is a lot less than at Salt Lake--for both the passengers and the baggage handlers. Go figure.

Most Pleasant TSA Security Screeners: Medford Regional Airport, Oregon
Least Pleasant TSA Security Screeners: DFW Airport any station or terminal, except for Terminal A near Gate 1--those screeners are very good, for some reason

Longest concourses without moving walkways: Miami International Airport I started looking for a motel to check into in the middle of the concourse, it was so long.