Okay I work for an airline, and I’d say I fly anywhere from 6-10 times in a month. Most of the time that’s standby so I do a LOT of airport waiting.
You’d think airports might take into consideration that travellers are often tired, and possibly stressed or irate because of flight delays, cancellations, etc.
Right now I’m sitting at the Buffalo International Airport, thanking the good Lord that I found an unused plug and can just work with my headphones on. Why? Apparently someone decided it would be a good idea to have ALL the carts that have to drive through the terminal have a constant “BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEP”, like a reverse indicator. Really, wouldn’t a horn suffice? Just use it as needed.
Here is my list of airport “must-haves” and the airports that succeed in that area (of course, these are just airports I’ve visited):
For heaven’s sake, why ANY terminal wouldn’t have WiFi is beyond me. Such a huge percent of air travellers are flying for business, so why not make it easy to work while you’re waiting for your flight?
Airports that do this well: Calgary (YYC), Winnipeg (YWG), Toronto (YYZ Terminal 3 – although they didn’t get it until late last year!), Buffalo (BUF)
Maybe a pipe dream. Okay, probably a pipe dream. Why would any company give up changing for a service with such a huge return on investment?
Airports that do this well: None that I know of!
When I started commuting from Winnipeg to Calgary every week, I made use of the lounge in the Winnipeg Airport. For just $15, I have access to a nice quiet area, uber-comfy couches and chairs, plus for my laptop, free continental breakfast and best of all complementary WiFi!! WestJet has lounges in three other cities – Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa – but none have the bang for your buck that Winnipeg does. Sure, there’s no hot buffet like Vancouver… no great view like Calgary… but it’s cheaper and you get the Internet. And that’s what does it for me. Actually, Vancouver has WiFi too. But it costs more. Oh how working for a low-cost airline has been driven into my head.
Airports that do this well: Winnipeg (YWG), Vancouver (YVR)
So you don’t want to hang out in the lounge. Fair enough, you could miss important pages about your flight, since those pages aren’t heard in the lounges. But do you really want to sit and wait on a plastic bench with a little padding? No. Wouldn’t you like something not so hard on your back? I sure do. And that’s why when I’m at Calgary’s airport, I stalk the nice comfy leather chairs that some gates have… waiting for one to open up and I grab it. Calgary’s the only airport I know of that has a comfortable seating option that’s open to anyone, just not special assistance guests.
Airports that do this well: Calgary (YYC)
Well I think my long lost flight to New York City has arrived so I will be logging off now. Any comments or suggestions for my list, let me know!