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European Airports, Uhhhh!  
User currently offline767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 9
Posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

Recently I flew in Paris CDG airport and let me tell you, it was a mess!! Many people often complain about the airports here in the USA, but I believe that we have better airports in the USA than they do in Europe. For examples:
Madrid Barajas--Stinks, very dirty, feels like you are about to get emphazhema as soon as you step of the plane.
Paris CDG--Discusting, a great deal of smoke in the facilities, overcrowded, etc, etc.
London Heathrow--Overcrowded, too many people and very disorgnanized, don't know where to go.
Rome FCO-->Very dirty. Only one jetway for Delta, United and American. Very similar to how they treat Americans.
Amsterdam Schipol--Can see the concept, but there again, it looks like it was planned and everything was added piece by piece, not as one single structure.
Frankfurt Am Main--Dirty, unorganized.

What is looks like to me is that all these airports are filthy and people have to get in there and clean them up!! Stop smoking in the airport and also rearrange the terminals, etc. It took me 1:25mins to get from a domestic flight to the international concourse in CDG!! Unacceptable. The most time I have ever spent from a domestic connection to an int'l was about 55 mins in JFK and JFK is very crowded. What do you guys think??

Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineTheCroupier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1990 times:

well, the Europeans are going to let you have it. I hope you are prepared.

First we squared off on the A380, now its their airports...

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1982 times:

There are lots of airports in US that need fixing up, too. Have you been to DTW and MSP? JFK isn't exactly the most organized airport either. It seems like we all expect brand new airports like SFO and KIX in our back yards. IMO, if I don't miss my connection, I'm a happy flyer.

User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1973 times:

I agree and disagree. Frankfurt main is truly unorganized and instead of having no smoking signs they actually have pictures of cigarettes circled in green encouraging you to smoke. Heathrow on the other hand is extreamly easy to get around in. One of my favourites. The best airport in my opinion is Vienna Schwehart, very clean, classy and just plain nice.

User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1970 times:


first, I can't understand your critizism about AMS Schiphol, which is always voted by frequent travellers to be one of the best and most convenient airports worldwide (and I as a KLM frequent flyer can just confirm that from my own experiences). Second : What's so dirty at Frankfurt airport? The new Terminal 2 is clean like a hospital and Terminal 1 is under refurbishment, these Areas which are finished are very well, the others are in a transition phase.

Now third : Before you start writing about European airports, enjoy the international arrival at New York JFK : Not only looks the airport similar to Ellis Islands in the 1910's, but it takes you also ages through long winded corridors until you reach small bagage belts where you have to wait again until you get through a dirty immigration area... Checkin is the same mess at JFK's international Terminal. The old International building at SFO was not better... I also have quite bad memories of the arrival in Tucson/AZ coming on an Aeromexico flight from Los Mochis.....

I never was at Paris CDG, so I can't judge how long a flight connection takes there, but at Frankfurt I usually have 45minutes and at AMS about 35 minutes, which is not so bad in my eyes....

Best regards,


User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1953 times:

It is very tough to compare your local airport to others. I can find my way around LAX no problem but many people get lost as they have not been there as many times as me, and find the lay out tough. It gets even worse when you do not speak to language.
Airports have there clean and dirty times, it all depends when you travel, go to LHR term 3 between 11-2 and ofcourse it is busy as all the trans Atlantic flights are going out, but any other time it is not bad!

User currently offlineDG_pilot From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 856 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1936 times:

I thought the new one at Milan was nice. I also thought AMS wasn't bad either. Athens was decent, it was ok with me.

Haven't been to any others in Europe. I have heard many many horror stories about CDG.

As far as the American airports--I really haven't had a problem with any of them either.

Only a minor problem at MSP a couple years ago. Me and a friend went to go get our luggage after arriving at the Northwest gate. Afterall, it wouldn't take long and we could retrieve it before my grandparents arrived. After picking up our bags, we found out that the escalators we came downstairs on did not go back upstairs because all them only moved in the down direction. The workers/attendents at the bottom of them would absolutely not let us walk up them in reverse. Then they informed us we would have to go all the way back around the terminal to get back upstairs, WHILE CARRYING our bags. All they had to do was kindly let us walk up them since it wasn't even busy at all, or atleast switch one of the stairs to go upward. Getting back upstairs took forever.....

767-332ER: You better don your 'flame-suit'. I'll let you borrow mine. You might need it.     It holds up pretty well... lol


User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4652 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1929 times:

The doughnut terminal (thats 1, right?) at CDG reminded me of a rabit warren. It is also, as far as my memeory serves me, the only time I have had to go to the bottom level to get out of an underground carpark...!

Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué?!

"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1921 times:

The one thing I don't miss about European airports is the cigarette smoke. I don't want to offend any smokers, but this filthy habit really detracts from an otherwise enjoyable flying experience. At CDG, it was difficult to wander around the terminal because I always encountered smoke. Additionally, the decor left much to be desired. LHR seemed rather cramped and stuffy, but then again, that's how most major airports are! But one thing I WILL miss...the variety of aircraft and airlines. Nothing compares with the major european airports...except maybe JFK or LAX.

User currently offlineBaec777xx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1915 times:

I hopes London Gatwick is pretty !!, and so is Brussels National... heheheheh  


User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 25347 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Next time you go to the UK, travel through MAN or STN. CPH is also a very good airport.

When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineGibberish From Switzerland, joined Sep 2000, 424 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Not all European airports are like the ones you listed. Go to Zurich, it's probably the nicest airport in Europe. So next time you go to Europe, fly Swissair and connect through Zurich. You can then realize how nice travelling can be.


User currently offlineOO-VEG From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 1234 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

What is wrong with Schiphol???? Not one single structure???? Well that airport is more single structured than 99% of all american airports.
I have been in Paris Charles de Gaulle and I must admit that is very overcrowed when I was there.
And if you start complaining about that airport you'd better start about the road system on the airport. It takes at least 1 hour to figure out how you get at the terminals.

Baec777: Brussels National is a very good airport, spacious very clean and you know hot to find your way. But LGW is a little mess. Especially the south terminal looks like if it is designed by 100 different architects. But that makes the airport nice to walk through.

User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

What's wrong with Schiphol or Frankfurt Main??? Schiphol is very easy to get around, clean and nice. Also Frankfurt is very nice in my opinion, especially the Lufthansa terminal. FRA used to be awful a couple of years ago before the refurbishment. Also Copenhagen and Helsinki are clean and nice.

How about JFK terminal 4 of SFO old international terminal??? True nightmares for travellers...

Just my opinion,


Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineSK A340 From Germany, joined Mar 2000, 845 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1867 times:

I can agree with you that some of the European airport stinks, but the best airport I've visited is in Europe. The airports in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm are just great. They are light, clean and it's easy to "navigate" at them.

User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1854 times:


Let me tell you that the only connecting flight I ever missed was in USA because of your unacceptable immigration prodecures. I hate to fly to the US just because of that. I think USA should keep airports smoking (I mean smoking corners of course) and, as an example, to be in transit in IAD between 2 long hauls without any place to smoke is unacceptable as well.
Gosh I love our friendly airports here in Europe.

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 32
Reply 16, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1845 times:

I boy, the worst airport have ever been is in the US: JFK international!
Interesting, in passengers polls European airports are always in the top ten (e.g. AMS, CPG, ZRH etc.) but no US airport.

User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1846 times:

Our airports are nicer than your airports...

No, ours are nicer than yours.

Blah, blah, blah....

My airport is now nicer than all of yours.


It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

Since you are obviously speaking of the new SFO terminal : Is there a website showing it somewhere?
I was in SFO last month but that was a) before the opening of the new international building and b) I didn't go through the passenger terminal at all as I arrived on a domestic cargo flight.

I heard many praising voices about the new SFO terminal, so I'm really curious to see it!

Best regards,


User currently offlineDas Flugzeug From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 161 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1833 times:

Both continents have some very nice, clean airports as well as some messy, illogical nightmares. That being said, MUC is probably the cleanest, most modern looking airport I have encountered in my travels.

User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8364 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1826 times:

Well, MUC -better- be a nice airport because it just opened only a few years ago!  

I do agree that many European airports need to emulate the really nice facilities like Singapore Changi, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok, the upcoming Seoul Inchon, etc.

This is why once London Heathrow's Terminal 5 opens they start the process of completely rebuilding T1 to T4 by 2017.

It appears that that airports in Scandinavia and the Basel and Zurich airports in Switzerland have figured out good, clean terminal design.

User currently offlineNotarzt From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1807 times:


Considering that MUC just opened in the 1990's, it's one of the less sophisiticated big new airports I have ever seen. You have got to walk (really WALK) miles when arriving from a national flight... not that kind of "passenger convenient" I would expect.

On the other hand, it's difficult to compare those real big-grown airports (e.g. Heathrow) to the big-new ones (e.g. Denver). In Europe, I prefer Amsterdam, also Gatwick is a good choice. Madrid-Barajas and Heathrow have somehow grown too big (just remember T4 in LHR), but they are also nice ones. Zurich is okay as well, Frankfurt is better than many people say... but Charles de Gaulle in Paris is the most disgusting big airport I've ever seen.

My two cents worth.


User currently offlineOH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

Patroni: You can see some photos at http://www.flysfo.com and click on about sfo > media information > photos.

The new International Terminal is very nice, in fact I'm travelling to SFO for the third time in 2 months on Wednesday... I'm bringing my dad's 35mm Canon camera instead of my APS camera (which I'm planning to sell as I'm reverting back to 35mm) to take nice clear pictures with it.

My personal favorite airpotr would have to be Helsinki-Vantaa. It's just one building, and I've heard the new check-in area at the Gateway Terminal is very nice. Transfer times can be as low as 15 min. as well, that's a nice plus!


Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
User currently offlinePlane holland From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1790 times:

American airports , uhhhhhh....if you want to get a bigger headache after your transatlantic flight land on an American airport...just kidding....I have to say Amsterdam Airport is one of the best in the world , one terminal and ...well just look at their site http://www.schiphol.nl says it all, the only thing missing is a swimming pool..go to Changi if you want that. When I'm at an American airport they let me walk and walk..that's the worst thing you can do to a traveller after of before a long flight. Plus the space..where is it. It's all crowded..and i can go on and on but I don't want to ..there are some 'filthy'? european airports but I think you should look around better in America if you want to be the judge....


User currently offlineJ. S. Pearson From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1785 times:

Face reality, people. No where's going to be completely efficient and productive. There is also room for improvement and advancement. Perhaps we shouldn't be comparing them negatively, rather positively, and indentifying potential ways to improve the situation.

25 Gyro : As a smoker and drimker I must say that American Airports have taken it to the extreme. I can understand no smoking on a flight, but at the airport gi
26 L'EspaceA3 : 767-332ER, I don't know about your navigational skills, but I fly through CDG yearly. My YYZ-CDG flight lands at 8:55. The final boarding call for my
27 Post contains images Mriihi : I have flown twice from HEL to IAD via GDC and back and can tell you this. GDC looks messy but I never during my 4 visits in there had any problems. 3
28 Skyhooked : Another bit of french bashing,why not? In terms of reasoning capability,my three year old nephew can do better than that."My airport is bigger than yo
29 RayChuang : I think what the world's airports need to do is to keep most of the enclosed public spaces strictly NO SMOKING. Note that the original poster complain
30 Ryanair : From my experience CDG2 is easy enough to get around, althogh a nice design the older parts look their age. CDG1 (the round terminal) can be a bit of
31 767-332ER : There are smoking lounges in the airports in the USA.
32 767-332ER : I was just expressing my disgust with the airports in the USA. Yes, what I mean by filth is when you walk up the windows to look at an aircraft and th
33 The Ticketor : 767-332ER, I agree with you to a certain extent, but you have made the same mistake that Americans often make; You seem to think that Europe is one bi
34 Varig md-11 : hi as a CDG1 employee I agree our terminal (the oldest) is a shame:overcrowded,old,dirty... but ,to answer 767-332ER,if throughout europe people ignor
35 DatamanA340 : Most of European airports are much more organized as if they are built on one plan. When you say even Schipol is unorganized, that means you have at l
36 VirginA340 : I've had no problems with AMS, CPH, LHR, and Milan I've ha qurie a few problems with CDG staff but the airport itself is quite nice if it is CDG 2 CDG
37 VirginA340 : I've had no problems with AMS, CPH, LHR, and Milan I've had quite a few problems with CDG staff but the airport itself is quite nice if it is CDG 2 CD
38 Jfidler : This year alone, I've been to a number of airports in Africa, Europe, and the U.S. AMS was very good, though the signs near the train entrance are sli
39 Post contains images LOT767-300ER : I cant complain about WAW my original hometown airport. It's Terminal is brand new so everybody is happy, although its a bit small
40 Tripple7 : Nag nag nag....... No airport in the world is perfect, there are just a few good ones, and compared to those the rest stinks. To say it very simple Al
41 G-KIRAN : American Airports, Uhhhh!Sure no airport is perfect but before you go blasting european airports perhaps you should have a look own airports.Tripple 7
42 Scand_flyer : From previour flights into JFK, I remember it as being very grey. And I didn't enjoy the looooong walk to the custom area. However, this September my
43 RayChuang : Fortunately, help is on the way for DTW. I know that NW is helping the design and construction of that new 21-gate terminal there that will dramatical
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