Over time I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of different airports. It’s always interesting to have to go through an unfamiliar airport. Where is everything located? Where are the buses/subway/trains? Where are the shops? What kind of food does it have?
I don’t mind going through unfamiliar airports. Okay, maybe I almost had a mild panic attack my first time in Montreal because I had very little time to make a connection and I had no idea where I was going or how long it would take me to get there. I had to ask for directions twice, and basically ran from one end of the airport to the other (from the domestic terminal to the international).
Travel Tip: If you’re making a quick connection and you have to go through customs, see if they have a separate line for people making connections. The guy ahead of me went into the regular line, but a helpful airport worker asked me if I was making a connection and led me to the connection line, which was a lot shorter.
My worst experiences usually revolve around those damn back-scatter machines. I don’t like going through them – don’t ask me why, it just makes me anxious. So I opt out. This isn’t usually a problem outside of the US.
My 3 Least Favourite Airports:
Honourable Mention: Frankfurt Hahn Airport. From what I remember, it’s basically one room. Quite boring.
3) Cardiff Airport. It’s nothing personal against the airport at all, but having to spend 4 hours in such a small airport was painful. It was also where I experienced my first cancelled flight. It’s not close enough to Cardiff for a person to easily move back and forth. If I ever go there again I might have flashbacks.
2) Philadelphia Airport. It doesn’t seem to be able to handle the amount of traffic going through it. The security line up was crazy long, they kept running out of buckets for people to put their belongings in, and it took almost 25 minutes for someone to come over and do a pat-down instead of me having to go through the back-scatter machine. At least the majority of the staff were really nice.
1) LaGuardia Airport. This one’s all about the people. When I asked for a pat-down I got nothing but attitude. She told me it would be a while and then stood there. In Philadelphia they paged someone right away and it just took a while for them to get there. This woman did nothing. Then, when she decided to finally call out for someone, another woman came over right away. And then there was the terrible service at one of the airport restaurants. If someone serves me and does a great job, I’ll tip great; if they serve me and it’s nothing special but it’s okay, I’ll tip good – it’s very rare that I don’t tip at all.
My 3 Most Favourite Airports:
Honourable Mention: Newark Airport. It’s pretty chill there, and it’s easy to get into Manhattan using the trains. Also, so far it’s my favourite of all the US airports.
3) Halifax Stanfield International Airport. My first experience in this airport involved a 5 hours layover, most of which was spent in the bar, but it’s grown on me. I know this airport now and we’ve sort-of become friends. Plus, whenever I go there it means that I’m leaving Halifax and going somewhere awesome.
2) Frankfurt Airport. My initial terror about this airport left me when I finally arrived there and realized how easy it was to navigate. It proved that as long as you have your stuff together you can maneuver an airport pretty easily. It’s efficient and it’s got the joy of being foreign to me and having good food.
1) Gatwick Airport. It’s in London – ’nuff said. it’s simpler than Heathrow, but still has interesting shops – and the Gatwick Express takes you right from the Airport to Victoria Station.