PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7654 posts, RR: 18 Posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2704 times:
Name says it all. I know there have been threads in the past on this but times- and airports-change. Some for the better, some for the worst.
My latest "poll," if we'll call it that, is simply this- if you must avoid connecting in any airport at all, which ones do you avoid your connections in?
In other words- which airports have the most frustrating connection experience, in your opinion?
Here's my top 5 worst, worst being number 1-
1) ATL- TOO overcrowded, often times waiting for gates to open, having to run everywhere to catch my connection on DL in a completely opposite concourse, the staff are not nice and not friendly, and the restaurants- except in concourses E and F- are not really any good.
2) LAX- Again, overcrowded, People from L.A. annoy me a lot, looooooong taxi times, long lines in restaurants, but this again all depends on the concourse. I flew out of the DL terminals 5 and 6 before and it was not a pleasant experience for me. From what I heard, TBIT was a good experience. I'll have to try that.
3) SLC- DL connection on the opposite side of the airfield from where I always flew in, nothing good to eat there (maybe I haven't been looking around enough), the facilities are kinda dated, but at least the people are nice. Kinda hard to find a decent bar though (mormons?) but you know maybe I haven't looked around enough.
4) ORD- where to start? Taxi times are hours on end feels like, weather always screws things up, the people there are a-holes to me whenever they see my PHX Coyotes shirt (lol), long lines again
5) JFK- going through customs takes hours, but at least if I miss my flight they're accommodating, Lines for food are about 30 minutes each, restroom lines are also long...and IMHO DL needs to really remodel the Pan Am Worldport or just rebuild it already. It seems enormously cramped there.
Surprisingly, I have no issues with connecting through DTW, SEA, LGA, or MSP. In fact, I always choose MSP for my travel plans back to the tri-state.
Now what are your least favorite hubs to connect in? (can be domestic or international!)
Roseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9661 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2684 times:
I try to avoid SFO, ORD, EWR, LHR and FRA. I try to avoid them because of the propensity for delays and missed connections. FRA is moreso because it is confusing and does not function smoothly in my opinion and in the groggy state that I arrive in after a redeye from the US, I never can figure out where to go. I also tend to maintain a personal grudge against all airports that I have missed connections in before.
If possible I always try avoiding connecting at any airports in India, although some of the newer ones like BLR are fine for Domestic – International connections. Dubai is to be avoided if connecting from any airline other than Emirates to Emirates. Similarly, LAX is not fun to switch carriers at either, but not as bad.
As for airports that I like, are DEN, SLC, PHX, DFW, MSP, DTW, IAD, SEA, NRT, ICN, SIN, HKG. Aesthetics are nice, but I prefer functionality and ontime performance which is why I think IAD is the best east coast airport even though it is old, dark and drab.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
PI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 681 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2679 times:
Ranked worst/least desirable/avoid if at all possible:
and throw BOM in the mix if you are transferring from a domestic to an international flight the same day. I plan to NEVER repeat that experience.
I have no problems in ATL and I transited through there 47 times last year, including 3 international connections.
WROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 957 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2658 times:
1.FRA - you waste hours on the bus to the termnal and from the terminal,
2.CDG - staff rude when you speak French and extra rude when you do not,
3.JFK - always a nightmare
4.DFW - endless escalators up and down....
5.LHR and LAX - not as bad when connecting within the same terminal, otherwise a mess,
Cubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23086 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2653 times:
Many airports have good and bad sides. JFK isn't bad on AA or B6, but it's awful for DL. PHL isn't bad for US mainline, but connections to Express are a pain. IAH isn't bad on mainline, but the Express facilities are awful. For all around bad experiences, I'd probably list ATL, CDG, MSP (so spread out) and LAX.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
dc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2650 times:
ORD (no thanks, delays everywhere due to the massive # of regional jets scheduled to operate here... it's worse than it used to be and it wasn't pretty)
JFK and EWR (same reputation as ORD... depends on the terminal/concourse I suppose)
CDG (it's not as bad as it used to be now that AF is in 2E/2F/2G... the bus rides were horrible; the people there are still rude/uninterested)
FCO (it can be a pain, if the security queues are long and not moving as I've had happen)
LAX (long queues, unhelpful/rude people)
OP: The people at ORD aren't assholes to you because of your shirt--they're assholes in general. Trust me, I live in Chicago
teo747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2642 times:
Mainly I don't like overcrowded airports where you can't find anywhere to relax (LAX, ORD) and heavily delay-prone airports (SFO). MSP is absolutely my favorite airport to connect in BECAUSE it is so spread out - a nice long layover with a couple hours walking around and visiting the observation deck is pretty awesome! Fortunately the only time I have ever had to make a tight connection there due to a delay, my outbound flight left one gate over from my inbound arrival gate. DEN and SEA are also fun, as is PDX mainly due to the Rogue Ales bar/restaurant! SLC is ok, but a bit small and I hate hate hate the CRJ area in Concourse E.
B747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2620 times:
The one most confusing connection I have had was at FRA. Arriving early in the morning from IAD (connected there from LAX) and trying to navigate through FRA to my ARN flight was bad. I dont know what happened, but somehow I ended up in the same area as passengers checking in at FRA, and the security check point was in a small hallway. On top of that, they dragged my through the A terminal to another security point in order to check my camera lens. Apparently they only had the right equipment for that at only one of the security points.
dc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2540 times:
Quoting B747forever (Reply 12): Dude, why do you take it so hard that I ask another member about his opinion?
That was an answer to your question from my part (only masked as a criticism)!
LA was where that kinda language was born. It's associated with ditzy and annoying human specimens, particularly of the female gender, but not restricted as such. Yep, LA has the ugliest 'slang' of the country.
SRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2537 times:
1. CDG (T2 may look nice but the airport layout is terrible for connections)
2. FCO (low ceilings, feels cramped, dirty and feels just plain old. Also, hard to make short connections there)
3. IAD (international to domestic - queues at immigration are awful!)
Those are the only airports I've connected at and had a real bad experience.
Best airport, IMO, is BOS hands down. Also MCT is pretty good.
jporterfi From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2525 times:
1) BOM- international-domestic transfers require a 30-minute bus ride, and then a wait at the domestic terminal entails hours of misery and mosquitos
2) EWR- Long waits for bags to arrive when connecting international-domestic
3) ORD- not fun when you need to run between flights
4) CDG- it's been a while since i've connected here, but there's nothing to really do in the airport while you wait
1) DFW- SkyLink is very fast and efficient at getting you between terminals
aklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 945 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2520 times:
I'd put SFO at the top of the list to avoid for connections. The likelihood of arriving at SFO on time from anywhere in the Western US is poor, resulting in missed connections. You could give yourself an extra 2-3 hours for the connection, but why not just connect somewhere else?
I feel the same about FRA, not so much because of weather delays but because you may need a lot of time to get from one gate to another. Sometimes (when a bus or two is involved plus passport control) it can take well over an hour. I'd always give myself two hours at FRA. Have they ever done anything about that horrible tunnel between two of the terminals? It is ugly, frequently has moving sidewalks that don't move, and a nasty staircase at either end. An escalator or two would be nice. I haven't used the tunnel for a few years so maybe it was fixed.
LHR is horrid if you have to switch terminals, OK if you don't. Same with JFK. Even SYD is a pain switching from international to domestic.
I can see why you might want to avoid any big airport for connections if you can, but since airports often grow big because of connections, that is usually not possible. AA has done a lot to make DFW better, but it is still huge. Same problem in ATL. Back in the days when Reno AIr was flying, RNO made a great hub. The airport is relatively tiny. Regardless of services, if you only have to walk past 3 or 4 gates, the experience is tolerable.
I don't have the kind of animosity for LAX you often see here. LAX is primarily an O&D airport. Except for those transferring to an international flight there is little traffic between terminals. That seems to be the principal complaint. If you know LAX well there are shortcuts available that reduce the problems. Projects are in progress to reduce many of the connection complications and to allow more domestic passengers to stay within security. Most already do. For me, I'll put up with a lot to use an airport that operates on time most days. I can usually find a reasonable place to sit and use the (now) free internet while I'm waiting. There are decent restaurants, but you have to look for them. If you have a few hours, there is always the possibility of the free parking shuttle to In-n-Out.
On sunny, warm days (which is most days) I enjoy a few minutes walking outside between terminals at LAX. Do your walking on the upper (departures level) and it can be very pleasant. I also don't understand the complaint about rude people at LAX. I think it compares very favorably with CDG and FCO except for a few TSA employees. Even the TSA is getting better at LAX.
My favorite giant airport for connections is HKG. MUC is better than FRA but you still need to allow a lot more time than the minimum. DEN is really easy for UA connections. Flying in the South Pacific AKL is easy for international connections but they need to move the domestic terminal closer to international for inernational-domestic connections.
One more to avoid: TN's connections in Papeete. All their flights interconnect at Papeete in the evening. The airport isn't big enough and the air conditioning isn't up to the task.
And as such it sucks, big time. Having said that I recently did a UA to UA domestic to international connection in LAX and it was a dream, almost but not quite as good as a KE to KE international connection in ICN.
As I prefer to use Amtrak in the USA I avoid US domestic airlines if at all possible, so I have only done point to point within the USA. My connections tend to be in SIN, HKG NRT DXB or now ICN, All of which are usually quite good. Same for Europe, I tend to do only point to point by air, so my connections tend to be in those same places. I guess I'll see more of DXB after 31/3, will be interesting to see how good the QF/EK connection will be.
KGRB From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 716 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2502 times:
Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter): DL connection on the opposite side of the airfield from where I always flew in
This can happen anywhere you fly, if you're going from a regional jet to a mainline narrowbody, or a widebody-to-narrowbody, etc. You can't hold this one against SLC.
Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter): 2) LAX- Again, overcrowded, People from L.A. annoy me a lot, looooooong taxi times, long lines in restaurants, but this again all depends on the concourse. I flew out of the DL terminals 5 and 6 before and it was not a pleasant experience for me. From what I heard, TBIT was a good experience. I'll have to try that.
LAX is great if you're staying on the same airline for your connection - your connecting flight is not that far away. If you're switching airlines, then it can be a huge hassle. I also don't understand your complaints about T5 & T6. Terminal 5 is small and easy-to-use and Terminal 6 has just been remodeled. It is quite nice.
The only airport I don't like connecting in is MSP, simply because of the layout. It is a nice airport amenity-wise and I love the observation deck there, but running through MSP on a tight connection is no fun.
AirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 724 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2499 times:
I'm from Los Angeles and my personal experience goes something like this:
Me: "Hi! Where are you from?" (smiley) (I'm always chatty)
Tourist: "How do YOU know I'm not from here?" (snippy)
Me: "You have a camera around your neck." (I'm thinking, 'idiot')
Tourist: "OH! HA HA! I'm visiting from ______." (friendly, now)
Me: "Oh I really love that city!!!" (enthusiastically with a smile)
Tourist: "WOW! L.A. people (yes, literally, "L.A. people") can be nice." (or something along those lines)
Me: "I take it you've seen the film, 'Pretty Woman,' huh?" (smiling)
Tourist: "Yes." (laughing)
NOW, in reference to the thread starter:
I hate connecting in Salt Lake City, Cleveland, and Dallas/Fort Worth for layout, concessions, and overall aesthetics.
LAX isn't so bad if you have good sense of direction, read your airport maps, plan your connecting times wisely (plan for weather/delays/etc.), and like to stretch out those legs and exercise. You may want to smile and be friendly when asking questions at LAX. You get what you give.
mesaflyguy From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 3160 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2493 times:
I hate connecting in ATL. Mainly because it is too big. Couple that with long(ish) taxi times and it become pretty inconvenient. Having said that, try connecting fron a flight that arrives into terminal A to a flight out of terminal F at PHL. It's annoying, between the long walks and the lines for the bus, oh yeah, and the bus.
\________(---)________/ :) World's most beautiful aircraft: 757-200, MD-88/90, E-190, A321
B747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2477 times:
Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 14): Best airport, IMO, is BOS hands down. Also MCT is pretty good.
I have connected at BOS from international to domestic all on DL and found it really bad. Quite a distance to walk from the international terminal to terminal A, and on top of that my gate was in the A satellite building. Not something I would want to repeat.
PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7654 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2464 times:
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11): Well you're moving to Japan, aren't you? No more rude people for you, for months at a time! Hahaha.
Precisely! And I know some people have NRT on the list here, I never connected through NRT but I know that if you have a long connection and am able to go outside to the malls of terminal 1, it is totally worth it. Especially with the overlook and those restaurants
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11): I was culture-shocked coming in to LA even after 6 days in East Asia...
Same when I got back from Japan and connected in Seattle. I was chatting in Japanese to some tourists in line at Burger King and I felt hungry, so I ordered a medium, and got some huge ass cup, and i blurted out in Japanese これはメヂオじゃねよ！(This is NOT a medium!!)....to the result of laughing Japanese tourists and a clearly stunned, African-American airport clerk.... took me until I reached SLC to finish that drink
Yeah that's half of it. Also as a libertarian, I naturally come to odds with any so-calian who is not from Orange County
Quoting jporterfi (Reply 15): 4) CDG- it's been a while since i've connected here, but there's nothing to really do in the airport while you wait
I blasted "America, F*** Yeah!" on my buddy's laptop and visited the duty free while I was waiting for my connection to BCN a few years back. The croissant shop was also pretty good.....but I have no idea how I got through those terminals at CDG.
我思うゆえに我あり。(Jap. 'I think, therefore I am.')
: I really only have three airports I absolutely refuse to connect through: CDG, JFK, EWR Absolutely horrendous rude staff. I will go out if my way and
: Well, if you guys are starting adding 'bests' to your list, I will as well: AMS Schiphol (Really easy to use--too bad about security at the gate for n
: I guess I'll add my bests as well. 1) MSP 2) DTW 3) SEA 4) PHX 5) NRT. I never "connected" through NRT for an onward destination but the "connection"
: MEX! Last time I connected there I had to to walk a lot, also when I wanted to buy in the dutyfree I couldn't because I was flying domestically.
: London Heathrow is my home airport but a few months ago I flew from MIA to MXP on BA and had a 90 min connection at LHR. Dear god it was awful - we la
: As much as LHR is designed to be, both of those airports definitely are not built well enough to handle connections. I always hear stories about the