Back in Boston after a week in Seattle -- I am looking forward to putting up my pictures from that trip soon! I've been thinking about airports, since I've been spending a bit of time in them lately, and came up with a list of a few things airports could do to make the flying experience more comfortable for everyone. I would love to see your ideas in the comments!
-Airports need to have restroom doors that swing out, not in -- have you even tried to fit a bag in there with you?
-They need to offer healthful food! And by healthful, I don't mean raw vegetables and salad. Especially if you don't eat meat, there is very little in a typical airport that is both filling and good for you!
-Lower prices. I spent $18 yesterday at Sea-Tac on 2 magazines, a bottle of water, and a chocolate bar. $16 for two small vegan snacks. $12 on two magazines and water at Logan. It is absurd, and it is exploitative, and airports need to stop seeing passengers as cash cows -- often we are just tired, hungry, and trapped!
-Transfer passengers should be treated well. Don't make them claim their bag only to re-check it (Halifax), go through a 2nd security check (Heathrow), or make then sit for 6 hours in a "holding area" with no food, letting them out so close to their flight (and making them go through security again...) that they are running onto the tarmac (Delhi. A true horror story).
-Have enough seats at the gate for the number of passengers on the plane.
-More power outlets, and not all at floor level.
-Free wifi -- is this still an issue? I'm talking to you, Heathrow!
-Friendly TSA agents (US-specific). I got lucky this trip (and not in a gropey way)!
-Elimination of self-serve ticketing kiosks and bag drops. This is one for debate, because there are times when it may well speed up service. However, I really like having an agent look over my boarding pass, and be able to tell me in person that my bag will make it to my final destination (if I am transferring). Also, it makes travel feel more like a friendly, personal service and less like a conveyor belt of confusion.
-For all passport checks in international arrivals, the guard should be friendly (what a bummer if it's your first time in a new country and the immigration folks are surly). And, if you are returning home, it is my favorite thing when the guard says "Welcome home" to me. A little thing, but I always notice it.
-Lastly, my personal dream: Ditch the security theater.
What ideas could you add to this list? And is there any was we could campaign for some of these changes to actually happen?