767-332ER
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European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 10:46 am


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!!!
 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 10:51 am

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...
 
watewate
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 10:55 am

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.
 
JAT
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:00 am

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.
 
patroni
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:02 am

Hi,

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,

Thomas

 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:30 am

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!
Iain
 
DG_pilot
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 12:01 pm

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

-Dustin
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 12:04 pm

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
 
modesto2
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 12:37 pm

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.
 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 12:48 pm

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


Baec777xx  
 
gkirk
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 7:41 pm

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!
 
gibberish
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 8:18 pm

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.


gibberish
 
OO-VEG
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 8:51 pm

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.
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 9:26 pm

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,

LH747
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
SK A340
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 9:48 pm


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.
 
OO-AOG
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 10:38 pm

767-332

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
 
ZRH
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:08 pm

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.
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:15 pm

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.

DeltaSFO
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
patroni
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DeltaSFO

Tue Dec 26, 2000 11:52 pm

Hi!
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,

Thomas
 
Das Flugzeug
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:08 am

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.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:16 am

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.
 
Notarzt
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 2:40 am

RayChuang,

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.

Daniel
 
OH-LGA
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 2:53 am

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!

Moi,
Kai
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
 
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Plane Holland
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 3:21 am

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....

PH
 
Guest

Yea, But What You Gonna Do?

Wed Dec 27, 2000 4:00 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 4:11 am

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 give me a break!!! I love passing through the Iberia transit lounge in Miami... I think it's the only spot in the whole airport you can light one up. They've even taken out the carpet and everything.... But then again waiting for a 10 hour flight on an overbooked Iberia 747-200 you NEED a couple of stoggies.... Airports and I mean all airports are nice and clean in the mornings and at night but you can never keep one Heathrow or Frankfurt clean during rush hour, it's imposible.....

Regards: Sven
 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 5:11 am

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 CDG-OTP flight is at 9:50. In these 55 minutes, I have to literally cross CDG 2 from one corner to the other. I make it every time, and with time to spare.

Maybe you shouldn't stop to try and find problems with our airports, and just go staright to your flight.

Bon Voyage,
L'EspaceA340

 
mriihi
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 5:22 am

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 times out of 4 my flight was on time (one time AF had to change planes because of a tech. probl. Delay about 2 hrs). They never lost my luggage (extremly surpriced of that). Also terminals were very clean and salespersons overthere looked great  

I do not smoke myself (actually I hate the smell of cigarettes/smoking) but I was not bothered by the smoke at all because the only place I noticed smoke was in the cafeterias at both ends of the terminals. I visited terminals B and C, so I don't know about the other terminals.

IAD has also been OK for all 4 times. No problems. very clean and nice place.

BR M
 
Guest

RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 6:19 am

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 yours,and cleaner....Blah Blah bloody Blah!!
767etc,there is no domestic or international concourse at Charles de Gaulle;you have terminals dedicated to a region of the world.A reasonably intelligent person just needs to read his ticket on which his next flight's terminal is indicated,then come out,take one of the round trip shuttles to that terminal (happens at least every 15 mins).Sounds simple ,doesn't it?
As for the smoke,well lets say the worst offenders happen to be a few us tobacco companies and their adds.Sorry we haven't yet thought of a brick wall inside the terminal building to shoot the smokers against;that would really be the sign of ultimate cleanliness.
Wouldn't it?
 
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RayChuang
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 6:31 am

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 complained about the excessive second-hand smoke from cigarette/cigar smoking inside the terminal; eliminating most of that would definitely give a much-improved impression of the airport terminal.

That's why SFO's new International Terminal will stay reasonably clean because of the ban on public smoking.

I think designating certain areas of the terminal where you can smoke is such a good idea.

By the way, I really do think that LHR really need to start replacing all its terminals after Terminal 5 is completed circa 2006-2007. One thing I'd want LHR to do is designate one of the rebuilt older terminals for flights from US-based airlines ONLY. That way, AA, CO, DL, TW, and UA can have their own terminal area for flights from various cities in the USA. And dedicate another rebuilt LHR terminal to flights from Asian airlines ONLY (CI, CX, JL, KE, MS, AI, etc.).
 
ryanair
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Wed Dec 27, 2000 6:34 am

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 a nightmare because it's not well signposted and if your tierd/stressed you can easy get lost. Transfering between the two is horrid and slow.

LHR is OK, but hardly user friendly and I use STN whenever possible, although that's overcrowded airside at peak now.
 
767-332ER
Topic Author
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OO-AOG

Wed Dec 27, 2000 11:33 am

There are smoking lounges in the airports in the USA.
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
 
767-332ER
Topic Author
Posts: 1974
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2001 1:20 pm

To All Of You

Wed Dec 27, 2000 11:44 am

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 there is a yellow tint in the windows about .10inch from the smoke. Also I mean by rudeness is when you ask a question, people that work in the airport port authority ignore you and act like they don't speak english. I never said we didn't have bad airports in the US, but I am expressing my discust for the European airports and yes there are some nice aiports in the European continet. Try Sevilla SVQ in Spain, or Palma de Majorca, or Zurich Milano Malpensa is very nice. I am just saying about the key airports that I have listed.
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
 
The Ticketor
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RE: To All Of You

Wed Dec 27, 2000 7:02 pm

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 big country. Well, it isn't, even with the EU. Try to be a little bit more specific the next time. Norway, where I live, is very different from Spain, which is very different from the UK, which is very different from Italy, and so on. Just because you've been to Europe, you do NOT know everything about European countries or their airports. I'm not flaming you or anything, I'm just making a comment on a reoccuring typical American mistake.
 
varig md-11
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RE: To All Of You

Thu Dec 28, 2000 1:49 am

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 ignores you when you ask a question and do as if they didn't speak english,it's maybe because you "forgot" to behave politely....I'm not attacking you personnally but it's a habit many americans have (many others are nice too) that could explain some haughty behavior towards you....and don't tell me that's our job to be at your service because that's the exact reaction that would generate supreme ignorance
AF TW AA NW DL UA CO BA U2 TP UX LH SK AZ MP KL SN VY HV LS SS TK SQ PC RG IW SE LI TN
 
DatamanA340
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Thu Dec 28, 2000 10:02 pm

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 least one of these: Ignorance or prejudice. (In fact I disagree to most of your experience; except for Heathrow. Paris CDG taught me an international flight process can be done within 8 minutes. Well, CDG2 is much better than 1.)
 
VirginA340
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Fri Dec 29, 2000 1:06 am

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 one was a hell hole to get around. FRA was a little hellish considering that sign posting was confusing and the staff weren't too helpful. But Munich is much better which is why I fly through there instead of FRA when going through Germany. FRA was even worse for connecting flights for Lufthansa to India.
"FUIMUS"
 
VirginA340
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Fri Dec 29, 2000 1:07 am

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 CDG one was a hell hole to get around. FRA was a little hellish considering that sign posting was confusing and the staff weren't too helpful. But Munich is much better which is why I fly through there instead of FRA when going through Germany. FRA was even worse for connecting flights for Lufthansa to India.
"FUIMUS"
 
jfidler
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Fri Dec 29, 2000 8:16 am

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 slightly misleading. Otherwise great.

VIE (Austria) was ok. I had a long layover, so I exited out of the terminal and walked around the surrounding area. On the way back, I was running a little late. The immigration booths I went to were all closed. I finally asked someone at information, and they told me they should be open, but if they're not, go through the duty-free store and there's another set just past that. This was in the middle of the day, so I'd call that poor planning or something. I was flying Austrian (OS) and they have a 3-stage boarding, and all the major flights board from adjacent gates, so the lines were very long and circuitous.

LHR seems very well organized. Sure you have to take those buses around (only during construction?) between terminals, but the signage was good. My only complaint is they had too many smoking sections (often the only available seat was in smoking), but it's Europe so I understand.

FRA seemed very well organized. I like how they numbered all the check-in desks. Sometimes it' s a long walk, but signage was good.

WAW (Warsaw) has good signage, but the check-in desks for LOT get way crowded.

Vilnius, Lithuania (LIT, I think) is poorly laid out in terms of entering it. It's two levels, and the signage is misleading in terms of which level leads to what.

Ok, my fingers are tired.. No more reports from me..

justin
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Sat Dec 30, 2000 4:16 am

I cant complain about WAW my original hometown airport. It's Terminal is brand new so everybody is happy, although its a bit small
 
 
tripple7
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Sat Dec 30, 2000 9:58 pm

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 All major US aiports stink.

Newark: It is the most ugly and grey airport I have ever seen, like the monorail though.
JFK: Hate the whole structure and immigration system
Boston: One big mess
Dulles: The most stupid airport I have ever seen. With those small cars driving from the main terminal to the other ones.
Detroit: The second most ugliest airport I have ever seen. Way to overcrowded
Minneapolis: The third most ugliest aiport I have ever seen. Very low ceilings, small waiting areas
O'hare: My favorite US aiport I actually love it.
Atlanta: So big that it has to be one big mess
SFO: You all the old int'l terminal. I want to see the new one.
Denver: Pretty good
LA int'l: The strangest airport I have seen. I always get lost over there
Orlando: nice aiport love it.

But I like the European more. Great variety of airlines and cultures walking around those airports.
 
G-KIRAN
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Sat Dec 30, 2000 10:27 pm

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 is bang on target but I would just like to add some more:
1.JFK has a homeless population of 150!
2.Detroit was voted one of the worlds worst by readers of the Conde Nest magazine.The mag later described DTW as "our own gates of hell"
 
Scand_Flyer
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Sat Dec 30, 2000 10:36 pm

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 flight came in at terminal 7, which seemed to be quite new! (Correct me if I'm wrong). I flew Icelandair, but the terminal seemed to be operated by BA. Anyway, the terminal looked good, was not overcrowded, check-in was quick, singns were good. No problems whatsoever.

I never had any problems at SFO either when I flew there in February.

But I agree with with previous posts that it doesn't make much sence to make general comments about European airports. As already stated, Europe is not a country. I think the new Oslo airport (my home airport), which is only 2 years old, turned our great. Very light, great architecture. Copenhagen is also a great airport. Frankfurt made me a little dizzy because of its enormous size, but if you pay a little attention to the signs it's no problem.

It's a funny discussion really. "My airport, your airport, our airports". Of course there's good and bad on both sides of the pond!
 
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RayChuang
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RE: European Airports, Uhhhh!

Sat Dec 30, 2000 11:25 pm

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 dramatically improve terminal acess at that airport.

That's why I really like the new International Terminal at SFO--it is FAR, FAR roomier than the old International Terminal, which will be converted to Concourse D in about 18-24 months or so (most likely tenant being AA).

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