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No Fly Zone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    New Bitch On Top

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    Have we done a least/most favourite airport thread before? Even if we have, I think it's been awhile.

    Focus: What are your least/best airports in the world, AND WHY? (I.e. Don't just list five airports. No one wants to read that shit.)

    Alt Focus: Funny airport stories.


    Personally, my most favourites are:
    Heathrow - I know, but I've always had great luck there. Smooth transfers and it's directly attached to the Tube system in London.

    Singapore Changi - Most beautiful airport ever. Plus the entire city is basically paradise. Expensive, but paradise.

    Perth, Australia - I used to like this one more. Now it's expanded to a monstrosity of multiple locations and terminals, but in its day it was a great little mid-sized airport that ran well.

    Least Favourites:
    In North America - LAX. By a landslide. It's sprawling and filthy and badly laid out. The security lines are a nightmare, and this is the worst part: even if you're just passing through, you have to clear customs and immigrate. You can't just fucking change planes and fly to Toronto like in EVERY OTHER COUNTRY. Nope. Go ahead and get your bag (if it made it), then go ahead and wait in line for customs, then be released into the general public, then re-check your bag and re-submit to security screening. HOW IS THAT HELPFUL? I can't see how that much interaction thwarts terrorism or abuse. Every other country in the world will let you change planes without immigrating.

    In Canada - Calgary. Something ALWAYS goes wrong when I'm at Calgary International Airport.

    Worldwide - Oh, by a country mile...Gatwick. God bless I hate Gatwick airport. Like if I had it in a layover I would deliberately change where I was going. Talk about badly run, over crowded and a generally disorganized shithole. Never again.
     
  2. Durbanite

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    FOCUS: I despise travelling so all airports are in the minus column for me.

    But the worst is O.R Tambo International in Johannesburg. What.a.dump. The place has been a permanent construction site since 2004 with little to no visible progress to completion. As such, the entrances are always at least partially blocked by scaffolding. With it being South Africa, there are always fuck-all people on the scaffolding working, it just gets left in the way to annoy everyone.

    My only trip out of O.R. Tambo, in July 2005, the dumb fucks only had ONE baggage carousel working out of three. One was down for maintenance, the other was simply "broken". Of course, I had luggage to check as I had been in Johannesburg for a week, thus had too many clothes to fit in just a carry-on bag. This is an INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT that serves incoming flights from MANY countries including the U.S.A., U.K. and some of Europe and Asia, and, as a consequence, a massive amount of luggage is moving through the airport at any one time. How the fuck can you have only one carousel working?! I ended up flying back to Durban, getting back at like 6.30pm and only leaving the airport at around 11.30pm after being told I had to wait for my bag.

    As an aside, none of the major airports in South Africa are privately owned - if they were, there would be some accountability and heads rolling for that level of fuck-up which caused massive delays for thousands of commuters and made national news the next day. Last I heard, no action had been taken by the Airport Companies of South Africa, a Government-controlled institution.

    These are the same dipshits who fucked up the runway at Cape Town International a few years ago.

    ACSA: Go fuck yourselves.
     
  3. ODEN

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    FOCUS: I can't really think of any airports where I would say I enjoy myself while I am there. I do like Delta's terminal in DTW, it is one of the more updated terminals I have been through recently. I like TPA because it is user friendly and easy. Kansai in Osaka has a pretty nice view of the bay, as it is on an artificial island in the middle of the bay, but if you don't speak or read Japanese, good luck to you.

    Least favorite airports: it's a toss-up between Abha in KSA and Ambouli in Djibouti. Third world airports where everything sucks and everything about flying is high anxiety. I really question if there is any real air traffic control at these places. Customs is a complete joke, especially in Djibouti...nothing but a shakedown scheme. There are no real security protocols and in Abha's case, it is always rough air. Kabul wasn't all that much better but has been so long since I flew in and out of there and they have renovated, so it may be better now.
     
  4. bewildered

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    In my limited flying experience:

    Best:
    DFW Dallas airport. My god, it is like someone designed it. There is a monorail that encircles the whole complex so you can jump from terminal to terminal really fast, lots of moving sidewalks, and everything is very clearly labeled. I will spend extra money to fly through there. They even have pet rest areas.

    The airport itself had its ups and downs, but the red beans n rice and crawfish etouffee was superb and authentic at the New Orleans airport. Get some if you're flying through.

    Worst:
    Phoenix. I don't know if it is just the one I had to change to, or if they are all like this...but their terminals have their own entrances. I had to catch a mother flipping bus to the other terminal that was on the other side of the world, and THEN since they all have their own entrances, I had to stand in line and go through security again, even though I flew into Phoenix. I very nearly missed my flight, and I did everything right. God help you if you miss the bus.

    Paris was pretty bad, too. Crazy long lines, lots of warning that no axes are allowed. My father was practically strip searched not once, not twice....but three times out in plain view. He almost missed the little tram that we seemingly randomly at the last minute had to pile onto to be driven out onto the tarmac to our plane. There was some issue that would not allow the plane up to the gate, but that was awhile back and I don't remember the circumstances around that one.
     
  5. Tim

    Tim
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    Fuck Logan airport. Every time I've been there I've been delayed. The worst was a during a series of storms so that every flight was overbooked and I wasn't going to get out until the morning. In fact it was so bad all the nearby hotels were booked so I ended up sleeping in the airport so I wouldn't be late catching my flight in the morning.

    Semi pro tip: when sleeping in the airport look for handicapped seats, they usually don't have those horrid arm rests. I've never had the good fortune of being delayed in an airport with rocking chairs.
     
  6. archer

    archer
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    Location:
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    Best:
    - Ill second Changi airport. Hands down the best airport I've ever been to. Clean, efficient, lots of food and shopping options and great facilities (i mean come on it has a fucking pool!)
    - Tokyo, Haneda is great as well. Not quite as great as Changi in terms of food options (although what you get is amazing), shopping and traveler facilities but still pretty great. Staff are amazing (but really anywhere in Japan the staff will bend over backwards to help you)

    Worst:
    - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The Sultan certainly isn't spending his money on airports. This place is a fucking dump (or was, its apparently undergoing a renovation at the moment). When i was there there was a coffee shop (which was shut for the entire 4 hour layover in the middle of the day), a small airport shop that inexplicably stocked none of the things you would think to find in an airport shop (just useless trinkets/junk) aaaand thats about it. It felt like what i imagine a Soviet era airport at the height of the cold war would be like. Id willingly pay a higher fare just to avoid a layover here.
    - On the other end of the spectrum is Dubai. This should be a top airport, they've obviously spent the money on it, but perhaps they went too big? Staff are rude and unhelpful. Its always been super crowded every time ive passed through. There is good shopping and decent food options though.

    I think the Wife and I really lucked out on all our airports in the US. We traveled through LAX, Denver, DFW, SAT, Louis Armstrong, Logan and O'Hare and never really had any issues at all. All our flights were on time (in winter), no delays or lost luggage and with the sole exception of LAX (when we left to head back to Australia) the security lines weren't bad at all. I was a bit stunned because wherever we were if someone asked us where we were going next and how we were getting there they'd invariably say something like:

    Semi pro-tip: Travel with a power-board and an international adapter in your carry-on. You'll make friends.
     
  7. toddamus

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    I've been fortunate that I've avoided the eastern seaboard. Most every horror story I've heard is somewhere in the Boston-DC stretch. I had a friend who was stuck on the tarmac for 4 hours for a half hour flight from DC-Philly.

    Best: If an airport is functional, expedient, and there's an empty bar, I'm pleased. I don't really rank them, for me if they work great, I'm happy.

    Worst: Ill second to LAX and Phoenix. Phoenix is old, its the old style terminal with the different arms so if you have to change plans good luck getting across. Landing there in the summer is naturally bumpy and terminal itself feels like its from the 70's and hanging on by a thread. LAX is just a shit show. Crowded, noisy, hard to figure out, the best traits an airport can have. I'll also add Cleveland to the worst. I was there a few weeks before the RNC and I had a hard time getting out to the curb to meet my friend because the signage was so bad. Horrible airport. It shouldn't be hard to figure out how to get to the curb from the terminal but there it was.

    My biggest pet peeve for airports is poor signage. It should be a simple thing but a lot of airports fuck it up. WIth the signs I should be basically guided by hand to wherever I need to go, I shouldn't have to feel like I'm walking through a maze and trying to guess where I'm going. In that regard, Denver and Midway do a good job. Phoenix and LAX once again suck.

    San Diego sucks in terms of bars. Its like a bad college bar trying to get a drink in the Southwest terminal.
     
  8. Juice

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    I think Singapore Changi takes the cake for me as well. Nicest, cleanest airport Ive ever been to. Incheon in Korea is pretty dope also. Bradley International Airport in CT is pretty terrible.

    Boston Logan is hit or miss. Sometimes everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Other times the runway is a complete cluster fuck and everything is delayed. Its a major airport with a 5 minute drive from my apartment and super easy to get to, so I usually excuse the other issues.
     
  9. Currer Bell

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    I couldn't say which one is the best. Theone I really dislike is the Kansas City MO airport, which I've been to a handful of times because my parents live in that area. The way it is set up is that instead of one big security area where you go through and then have access to shops and food and restrooms, every gate has it's own security and then once you go through you are isolated in your gate. If you want to go to the restroom or whatever, you'd have to go through security again.
     
  10. Kubla Kahn

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    Best:
    Honk Kong's airport. Clean, open, no complaints.

    Worst:
    Greatr Cincinnati: Fucking place is the pits. Small dingy hallways covered in drab 80's industrial carpet. Fares are notoriously high so everyone just goes to Indy/dayton/Columbus to find reasonable flights.
     
  11. billy_2005

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    I absolutely despise O'Hare. It's insanely crowded, poorly signed, tons of delays and I always seem to have connections that have gates the absolute furthest distance away from each other. I hate everything about it. I've made a vow never to fly through Chicago again.

    I enjoy San Fransisco and Denver for how easy it is to get around the terminals.

    Munich airport is pretty great. Clean, modern, great facilities. Even when the lines are long, they move surprisingly quickly and it's connected right to the S-bahn.

    The airport in Iceland is kind of weird. Even if you're just on a connecting flight, you have to wait in this giant line and get your passport physically stamped, which I would understand if you were staying in the country, but just flying through on your way to somewhere else in 2 hours?
     
  12. Aetius

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    I've been forced to spend the night in the terminal at O'Hare both times I've had a connecting flight there. Fuck that poorly insulated, 4 degree Farenheit, no-WiFi having piece of shit. They're so used to fucking up people's travel plans that they lay out cots for stranded travelers... that they kick you out of at 4 fucking AM. What a hellhole.
     
  13. JWags

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    Flying out of ORD as an United flier is usually painless and easy. Security has gotten very smooth, I have little complaint as my home airport. I know people that love Midway, but the security before I got pre-check was a poorly designed clusterfuck and the food options are trash unless you go to Miller's Pub. Sure its small so its easy to navigate, but thats it. And its usually rated worse or on par with ORD for delays.

    San Francisco's airport is modern and gorgeous but my god its spread out. I had a connection there last night, 12 gates apart and it took me like 15 min, all in the same terminal. Unreal.

    Except for the fact that, since they don't trust shitty Asian airlines and other security, you have to go through a second screen as you board your flight. Bought a bottle of water in the concourse after security? Tough shit. Throw it out. And have them root through your bag yet again as you are walking down the jetway. Otherwise its a pleasure to fly out of.

    Mumbai's airport is actually similar. Large, well laid out, spacious, modern and new. They don't have a great lounge situation, but otherwise its very much the opposite of India in terms of convenience and infrastructure.
     
  14. tweetybird

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    So many airports depend on which airline you're flying. SFO, my home airport, is absolutely world class for international, United, American, and Virgin America. Everything else is dumped into the hellhole that is Terminal 1 - no good food, not even any good coffee, shit for seating, no outlets. It's the worst. Ditto Newark NJ: I had to fly in and out of there for college in the early 2000's and it was a sad pit with no food after security. Then United decided to pull out of JFK and use Newark as their hub, and their new terminal is AWESOME. So much good food and booze, a lot of which you can order from permanently installed iPads instead of having to talk to someone when you feel like shit. Same for Heathrow: Star Alliance just took over Terminal 5, which is majestic as fuck, and Terminal 4 where they were before wasn't so bad either, but one time we flew into Terminal 3 with apparently the world's unwashed masses and the customs line was a thing of horror. I've been to some funky places, and that experience stands out for its awfulness. How is your 21st century airport horribly overheated in April in the UK??

    Best: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. Gorgeous, modern, everything you could ever want. Frankfurt is the capital of layovers and structured accordingly, it isn't sexy but it's really fucking useful and efficient. Las Vegas just got a facelift within the past few years and is pretty good for its size, plus you can't beat the quick cab ride to the Strip. I've spent a lot of time in the Denver airport over the years and still have a soft spot although it doesn't seem as awesome as it used to after the upgrades at other airports I end up in - would it kill them to get some non fast food chain food in there?

    Worst: Paris CDG needs to be torched to the ground and rebuilt. I loathe JFK. Miami is the 8th circle of hell and LAX the 9th. Honorable mention to Buenos Aires, because they have two separate airports, one for international and one for domestic, an hour apart from each other. They do not exactly make this clear. And the domestic one is a classic clusterfuck.