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Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:51 pm

If you had a choice to make a transit, which airport will be it be and which one u avoid the most. Why?

dont mind for transit
HKG - just like it
KUL - beautiful airport, forest in the airport
AMS - home airport
DXB - duty free
KIX - love the architecture

airport to avoid
FRA - worst
LHR - worst
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:21 pm

I'm only going to comment on those airports I have visited during a transfer connection.

Positive impressions

If you have to transfer within T1, this airport is actually a pretty nice place for connections.

Short walks, modern architecture and a pretty good retail and food outlet selection. Great apron views.

Well organized, good infrastructures and great viewing facilites to kill some time between flights.

Fairly short distances and an architectural pleasing new RJ terminal. The older terminals are kind of dull though.

Average impressions
The new Terminals 2E and 2F are modern, comfortable facilities and the transfer within and between these two terminals is pretty swift. However, the older modules 2A-D are fairly dated, and inter-terminal transfer is a mess.

Quick and efficient transfers, however not much going on inside and outside the terminal.

Boring retailing and food infrastructure, but unless you have to change between terminals, a relatively pain-free airport.

Bad impressions

Long walks, confusing layout, dated terminals (except the Puente Aerea one) and retail infrastructure worthy of communist Russia. Hardly any good apron views.

The older piers are just a dump, although walking distances can be fairly short.

DTW (before the new terminal)
A dump, just like large parts of the city. Heard it has become much better now with the opening of the new terminal.

Passing through immigration and transferring to a domestic terminal is a royal pain in the a$$.


I've visited quite a few other hub airports, but haven't transferred there, so I cannot comment from the transit perspective.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:22 pm

Seattle is my home airport, but thanks to the TSA, it has become the mecca of inept airport security staff. You'd get better service at the Burger King in the old Detroit terminal (for those of you who are familiar with DTW before NWA opened their new terminal and you had to rely on the food court there). Seattle used to be a lot of fun for me, but now I have started driving to Vancouver BC first, flying Air Canada, and avoiding the mess at SEA.
Amsterdam has great shopping inbetween terminals.
Narita is fun, lots of shopping too, plus you get to see all kinds of planes.LAX was a mess...
Houston IAH is pretty easy. Too many CO 737's though...
Tokyo Haneda was fun...first time I boarded a plane on the ramp that wasn't a Dash 8. Very busy place...first time I saw a 773.
Detroit, before the new terminal, was a disaster. With the NWA terminal, flying Northwest is easier. If you like service as drab as the old colors of NWA.
Minneapolis was not bad, just too many NWA flights.
Memphis was very confusing. Very confusing.
Chicago O'hare has too many terminals...
Chicago Midway is somewhat pleasant, if not, small.
Tampa...interesting. Only seen it at night though.
Orlando wasn't bad, loved the Disney store there.
Charlotte is pretty easy to get around in, if you're not flying US Airways.

And then my airport here, Fukuoka RJFF...lots of different stuff. Singapore, Phillipine, Korean Air, plus JAL, JAS, ANA, and flights from China. Good observation deck with lots of fun displays and some good airport views, a good time killer.

Airports that I have avoided...

San Francisco, New York (all three), Dallas, Miami...
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:18 pm

I have to disagree with TriStar500

I found MAD quite nice for Int'l arrivals/dept, EU arrivals/dept, and inter-Spain arrivals/dept.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:22 pm

My favorite airport for transfer is ZRH. Also, I like ATL, CVG and BRU.
Worst airports that I wont be going thru them anymore in my life are:
1. JFK
2. CDG
3. LHR

I don't mind if my final destination is JFK CDG or LHR but for connecting flights those airports are OUT.

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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:35 pm

the only mega-hub which I can think of which is great regardless of chaning airlines or not is ATL

some other big hubs are great as long as you stay on one airline/alliance (e.g., FRA, MUC, ORD for UA, LAX on UA, LHR within Terminal 4, SIN)

all terminal changes at big airports, espeically LHR, CDG, JFK, LAX, YYZ, NRT

I can highly recommend LUX (Luxembourg) - that is if you want to fly with a stop from, say, Stockholm to, say, Barcelona
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 4:19 am

Bad, especially if you are in transit to Ireland is LHR.

The "Flight Connection Centre" in T1 is in the wrong place, it often has horrendous queues to have bags scanned (All these passengers have already had their bags scanned at their departure airport, of course, but what the hell.) Then an incredibly long walk, much of it without any moving pavements, up and down corridors, up and down stairs, to arrive at gates with near zero facilities.

Now for fun, do this at a run, after the near routine holding delay that LHR often has in the morning, and your one hour connection time from the first flight of the day is now down from an hour to twenty minutes. What a start to your day.

Good is KUL, although having two separate terminal buildings is a disadvantage. Incredible Malaysian business lounge to wait in.

AMS is fair. well organised.
I wish they would put up some more departure screens, so that you do not have to walk down to one to then find out that your flight leaves from a gate in the other direction.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 4:41 am

I agree with TriStar500 about ZRH, ZRH is a great airport for transit, indeed its very organized, I like the terminal buildings and of course the viewing deck for a longer transit. Most hub-airports have a transit desk, but the ZRH transit desk was always helpful and friendly whenever I needed them - some other hubs have a transit desk hidden somewhere, with unfriendly staff, ZRH transit however was always great.

About BRU transit: I have connected at BRU two years ago, still in the very old terminal, which was indeed a joke, I hated the old terminal building. However the newer terminal buildings are much more convenient.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:10 am

I like ATL and AMS.
I don´t like JFK.
As for my home airport, Madrid-Barajas, I think it´s not bad, but it could be better. It has been expanded always against the clock...there has never been a good plan until now.
With the 2 new terminals, expected to be operational during the second half of 2004, Madrid´s airport will become the largest in Europe in terms of passenger terminals area, with about 1 million sq. meters...that´s a lot...about 10.8 million sq. feet. To be as accurate as possible, Madrid Barajas terminals complex will be even larger than ATL, JFK or maybe it will be world´s largest too. 5 billion Euro are being spent in this project.

I hope this will be a good airport for transit.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 6:30 am


FRA - been there quite a few times and I really like it. I have transferred both within T1 and from T1 to T2 (checking in again), never had any problems.

MUC - love it!

AMS has very good shopping, good connections to the city if the layover is long, and of course the lovely visitors' terrace. Really did not mind all the time I spent there waiting for my flight to KEF (several hours).

HKG is awesome, though I'd like to try SIN next year.

SYD I found to be very pleasant, both for international to domestic and international to international. Clearing customs takes its time but I had no problems of any sort.

I'm looking forward to visiting ZRH for the first time this October, transferring on to TXL.

I wouldn't be likely to transfer at

JFK, especially if international to domestic. OK if with the same airline/terminal (Delta preferably), but I try to avoid this airport.

LHR, used to always transfer there for longhauls (eg. VCE-LHR-JFK) but now that BA only flies from LGW to VCE I fly to Frankfurt. Having said that LHR is still cool because there's so much going on  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

CDG! The 2A/B/C/D halls are a disgrace, I'd transfer if both flights were at 2E/F though. I wonder if the staff in the new halls is frendlier than the others?

KEF - thought of it as a nice stopover between Europe and North America, but the thought of 6 hours on Icelandair sends shivers down my spine....



RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:01 am

A few American airports are set up in such eccentric ways that one must be re-examined by the TSA people when changing terminals, changing concourses, or changing gates. Two bad examples, off the top of my head, are MCI (Kansas City International) and GEG (Spokane International).

At MCI you are examined by TSA people at *each gate* -- even when changing planes with the same airline. The security people themselves seem to have adjusted to the rather odd airport infrastructure and seem bent on making the best of a bad situation. They seem organized, upbeat, pleasant, and (almost) cheerful.

On the other hand, at GEG where you are reexamined when you change concourses -- in my case from Horizon Airlines to Northwest Airlines -- the TSA people seem miserable, and they pass their misery on to the public. Security seems mean-spirited and insecure. They seem to mistrust everyone. No one smiles. One gets the impression that they would give everyone cavity searches if they could get away with it -- even the elderly -- some whom I saw reduced to tears by their TSA experience. I would not be surprised if brutality suits have been filed against the TSA in this airport. I would also not be surprised if passengers never returned to Spokane, ever, because of their experiences with the GEG security people. And personally I would not blame them.

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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 7:05 am

Hong Kong is a great airport for transit.

There are plenty of transit security points located throughout the arrivals. Provided you have your onward boarding pass, you can go through the checkpoint closest to your arrival gate, pass through a security screening and voila, you're on the departures level.

No fuss, no hassle, and leaving you with plenty of time to make your connection.
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:50 am

I Really Liked:

My Hometown Airport: MDW!


MCI, its a one floor "U" shaped airport, everything is outside security (even the toilets"
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:31 pm

For transferring I went through:


AMS (nice airport, very easy to find it's way around, also quite good if you have a longer stop)

MUC (nice airport, very easy to find it's way around)

FRA (good for a longer stop, very good spotting terrace and good facilities for shopping and so)

HKG (very good airport for shopping and looking around)

MAD (easy to find it's way around)


CDG (very dirty airport, very unfriendly staff)

FRA (very complicated to find it's way around, specially Terminal 1)

BKK (very long ways to go if you have to change planes and quite boring airport as well)

LHR (very complicated airport, makes a lot of stress if you need to change airplanes between the terminals)

fly Korean Air ....
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:17 am

From experience transfering in Europe


Didin't like LGW and FRA.

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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:23 am

Let's see... In the US I like:
ATL is my fave - the layout is nice, plenty to do in case of a long layover, and great people.

ORD is another that I like. The UAL terminals are open and clean and you can usually find some good action to watch, or someone to get some good food and beer if you have a longer wait.

I can stand CVG. I can also stand IAD for a short period of time.

Never really connected at any US airports that I hated.

I have connected only in CDG, T1, and I will NEVER, EVER connect there again. If I am ever forced to, I will just not go. Whatever it takes, avoid that place (especially if you have a 6 hour connection) at ALL COSTS! Dirty, ugly, nasty, and the people are fairly rude.

I spent some time in BKK and SIN, and would happily connect at either airport. They were clean and well laid out. I have heard complaints about BKK, but I had none, I liked it. SIN is of course SIN, what more is there to say? Even if you run out of things to do, you get to see the SIA cabin crews going to and from their flights.  Smile
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RE: Your Most Likely/unlikely Airport For Transit

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:30 am

Avoid EWR at all costs. Working for CO at YUL, its a mess. Ground holds, delays, congestion.. forget it.

The best:
ATL is fantastic
DTW is the best. Very efficient terminal, many runways, little congestion.
CVG isnt bad at all
YYZ is brutal
YUL is brutal for now


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