Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My airport wish list

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?

(image via)

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