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avi8
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Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:37 pm

I have always wondered which hub out of all the airlines and cities out there is the most profitable and efficient? By efficient I mean that it provides comfortable facilities for passengers, easy transfer, comfortable schedules with frequencies, a variety of destinations, and most importantly, profitability for the airline. I would like to hear (read in this case) all the different opinions out there. Feel free to post anything related to the topic.

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JU068
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:40 pm

I do not know about profitability but when it comes to Europe I would guess that Munich should rank very high. Efficient, clean, bright terminal that offers free coffee. Also, since it's Lufthansa's base I guess it's quite profitable.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:40 pm

HKG springs to mind.


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mickey90
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:07 pm

I don't know so much about profitability, but as a hub for passengers, HKG is the best IMO.
The Airport Express train makes it really easy to get to and from the airport and it's very comfortable with "in town check-in".
The facilities are clean and it's very efficient to connect with just one terminal(terminal 2 is check-in only). As a passenger you can also do a lot of shopping since almost every luxury brand is represented at the airport and you also get free WiFi which is very uncommon.
With almost every major carrier represented at the airport you get a lot of options to minimize stops and connections.
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Viscount724
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:11 pm

Quoting ju068 (Reply 1):
I do not know about profitability but when it comes to Europe I would guess that Munich should rank very high. Efficient, clean, bright terminal that offers free coffee. Also, since it's Lufthansa's base I guess it's quite profitable.

MUC is very good but I prefer AMS. I consider AMS the most efficient and user-friendly major hub in Europe.
 
Grid
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:19 pm

Good question and difficult to answer. So much happens behind the scenes that it's difficult to decide. I often fall asleep as soon as I'm seated so it's hard to know whether the taxi times are long or short, etc. From a pure passenger experience, I prefer ICN and HKG. DCA is extremely efficient and conveniently located too. I felt I had to walk forever at Frankfurt. Beijing is efficient with its trains and huge check-in area, but if you connect between terminals, it's a pain. And on and on.
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blast
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:51 pm

I'd say in Europe AMS would qualify for that distinction. The airport has a one-building set up, so it is big but easy to find your way around at the same time; there are plenty of shops, restaurants, etc, lots and lots of destinations and it also has a good train station.

[Edited 2011-12-21 15:52:33]
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:56 pm

AMS has too much walking to be efficient from a passenger perspective and the flights per hour isn't that hight WRT efficiency.

For pure efficiency, ATL can't be beat.

From a customer comfort POV, then HKG, SIN, or ICN.

Just my $.10
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:07 am

Profitable overall and efficient transfer hub are two totally different questions

For transfer hubs SLC has been consistantly profitable for Delta and has been extremely efficient and cheap. The airport has no debt and Delta dominates

Least efficient and comfortable probably JFK but alot of airlines probably make good money there since there alot of premium seats purchased and last minute business travel
 
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BasilFawlty
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:08 am

In Europe it's probably MUC. I also like OSL, but they only have a limited number of destinations.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
MUC is very good but I prefer AMS. I consider AMS the most efficient and user-friendly major hub in Europe.

Wait for the first snow and see why MUC is way better then AMS. AMS is only efficient if the weather is good, with bad weather they're almost as rubbish as LHR.  
Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 7):
AMS has too much walking to be efficient from a passenger perspective and the flights per hour isn't that hight WRT efficiency.

I agree. Arriving at pier B and departing from pier G for example is a 20 to 30 minute walk, pasport control and security not included.
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gabrielchew
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:09 am

I like connecting through Clermont Ferrand (CFE) in the middle of France. AF Regional used to have a hub there, with most connections being between 15-30 minutes in 4 waves a day. I flew LRH-CFE-LCY on a couple of Saab 2000s. There's basicall;y nothing left of the hub now, with a few Paris flights left.

I never tried it, but I guess Crossair in BSL used to be a nice easy hub.

In more recent times, I have to agree with others, MUC is pretty good, with FRA probably the worst! LHR T5 is fairly ok to transit through.
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IPFreely
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:46 am

In the US, Denver is excellent.
Minneapolis and Dallas/Ft. worth are pretty good.
Detroit and Phoenix are okay.
SFO, LAX, ORD, IAD and EWR -- all terrible.
 
atlprep1
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:06 am

Without a doubt...ATL is the best well oiled machine I have ever experienced. No one compares in the USA.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:13 am

Quoting atlprep1 (Reply 12):
Without a doubt...ATL is the best well oiled machine I have ever experienced. No one compares in the USA.

Actually as a passenger I like DFW the best. I can't speak for AA's financial performance there, but it's a slick place to transfer. I've had almost all very smooth experiences there.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:16 am

ATL and DFW in the US.

AMS and HEL in Europe.

ICN and HKG in Asia.
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N62NA
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:35 am

Certainly not EWR.

I would give DFW my vote.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:42 am

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 9):
Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 7):
AMS has too much walking to be efficient from a passenger perspective.
I agree. Arriving at pier B and departing from pier G for example is a 20 to 30 minute walk, passport control and security not included.

I much prefer the AMS single-terminal concept even with rather long walks (with many moving sidewalks) to any multi-terminal hub. And most passengers aren't connecting between the most distant ends of the terminal, e.g. pier B to G. Many airports could learn lessons about clear signage from AMS. It's almost impossible to get lost. And even when it's busy it never seems overcrowded.

Of European hubs I regularly use I would rank them in this order from best to worst:

1. AMS
2. MUC
3. ZRH
4. BRU
5. FRA
6. CDG
7. LHR
 
indiansbucs
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:45 am

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 14):
ATL and DFW in the US.

AMS and HEL in Europe.

ICN and HKG in Asia.

I agree on each and everyone... good call!
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Alitalia744
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:57 am

from my perspective, nothing beats....

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
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BasilFawlty
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:27 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
And even when it's busy it never seems overcrowded.

Try the check-in areas or pier H/M when it's very busy.  
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
 
avi8
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:02 am

Isn't ATL overly crowded and gets a lot of delays? What about IAH? Barley any delays, lots of destinations, comfortable facilities, decent amount of schedules.
avi8
 
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LOWS
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:07 am

IAH in the US is pretty nice, I just wish it wasn't so far south.

In Europe, MUC is good. FRA, quite the opposite of good.
 
ben175
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:12 am

I think SIN would have to be way up there - I transfer there 4-5 times a year and I've NEVER had a problem. Flights have always been on time, easy access to each terminal and between them, fantastic facilities, lots to do and see - it's almost like a mini-city.
 
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coronado
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:17 am

ATL is in a class by itself as a hub airport by handling an absolutely ridiculous number of flights and connecting flight banks for Delta and Airtran, Nothing comes close to ATL: 2500 flight movements per day on average is stunning.

As a passenger I think HKG, AMS and DTW (McNamara) are fantastic connecting hubs, but ATL is awe inspiring not just in sheer size, but particularly how well it does work.
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UALFAson
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:23 am

I second the comment about most efficient not being the same as most profitable.

Before DL's pulldown, I would have voted CVG. Small terminal, few delays, friendly staff, a decent food court. Not world-class shopping, but if I was just making a quick connection, I tried fro CVG as much as I could.

I will assume the votes for DFW are now that the Sky TrAAin or whatever it's called has opened. I lived in Texas for 4 years and absolutely despised that airport. One time I had to connect from C39 to A0--literally one end of the airport to the other. Guess who missed the doors closing cutoff by 3 minutes and got to talk to the world's most unsympathetic gate AAgent? This guy!

*gets off soapbox*
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TSS
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:38 am

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 24):
I will assume the votes for DFW are now that the Sky TrAAin or whatever it's called has opened.

Absolutely. The Skylink train at DFW makes all the difference. Before Skylink opened, the walking distances at DFW were absurd.
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DocGATTACA
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:17 am

SIN and HKG without a doubt.

MUC in Europe is a pleasure to use.

CLT in the US is actually very nice. The big problem with US hubs is that if you are making international to domestic connections it can be an absolute nightmare (ORD springs to mind here).

[Edited 2011-12-21 21:21:22]
 
dumbell2424
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:18 am

Quoting avi8 (Reply 20):
Isn't ATL overly crowded and gets a lot of delays?

I remember reading once on Flyertalk that with Delta's schedule the way it is, if every single craft is on time, no delays anywhere in the system, by 11AM, 15 planes won't have a gate. If this is true, not very efficient.
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:29 am

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 27):


It is not true.

A lot of people on boards such as a.net and flyertalk like to make up their own facts.
 
ATL
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:40 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 11):
SFO, LAX, ORD, IAD and EWR -- all terrible.

What's wrong with SFO?
 
mcg
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:49 am

I think DEN works really well. The (soon to be corrected) lack of a train to Denver doesn't matter to connecting passengers. It's a very easy airport to transit.

In Europe I really like ZRH. Spotlessly clean, efficient in all respects and a really pleasant place to change planes. And they've got a Sprungli shop!
 
EWRkid1990
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:52 am

I recently made a connection through CLT on US. Every airline is under one roof, plenty of large security checkpoints, a giant area with plenty of seating and excellent selections of food, plus they have those giant windows and rocking chairs. the ground staff for US there did an incredible job during my 3 hour connection.

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PI767
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:01 am

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 24):
Before DL's pulldown, I would have voted CVG. Small terminal, few delays, friendly staff, a decent food court. Not world-class shopping, but if I was just making a quick connection, I tried fro CVG as much as I could.

While CVG, before the massive Delta downsizing, was a very nice facility and a very convenient and efficient hub as long as you were staying on mainline Delta, there was the also, during Delta's hey dey, the dreaded Concourse C for Comair.

Connections to/from Delta Connection/Comair flights required a bus ride to/from Concourse C and the bus-terminal-like, unattractive, and amenity-lacking Concourse C.
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globetrekker
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:13 am

HEL was easy-breezy for me. I also like AMS. CDG is by far the worst I've ever experienced.

[Edited 2011-12-21 22:14:39]
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JU068
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:30 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 4):
MUC is very good but I prefer AMS. I consider AMS the most efficient and user-friendly major hub in Europe.
Quoting Blast (Reply 6):
I'd say in Europe AMS would qualify for that distinction. The airport has a one-building set up, so it is big but easy to find your way around at the same time; there are plenty of shops, restaurants, etc, lots and lots of destinations and it also has a good train station.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
And even when it's busy it never seems overcrowded.

I actually really do not like AMS. Of course the only good part about it is the terrace on top where you can watch planes. It always seems too overcrowded and it reminds me of a massive shopping mall. Also, from an architectural point of view it's quite ugly (on the inside).
I found the staff at AMS to be quite unpleasant...

Quoting LOWS (Reply 21):
FRA, quite the opposite of good.

I agree that FRA is nothing spectacular and that on the inside it tends to look like a glorified bus station, but somehow it is my favorite airport and I tend to like connecting there...

On the other hand, there are two other European airport which I like and which are so easy to use. Athens (16 million passengers) is quite simple, nice on the inside, has a good link with the city, a lot of shops and connecting is sooo easy there. Only stupidity at ATH is their internet where they give you 45 minutes free and then you can't buy more.

Other one is Warsaw (9 million passengers). It's a nice airport, quite modern, good shops and it seems quite efficient to me.
 
jeffreyklm
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:03 am

Quoting ju068 (Reply 34):
Of course the only good part about it is the terrace on top where you can watch planes. It always seems too overcrowded and it reminds me of a massive shopping mall

The terrace is that overcrowded because everybody likes it, like even you all the way from Serbia! So that's a reason that it's so busy. The non-airside part of the Airport actually IS a shopping mall and the airside part is a partial a shopping mall partial lounge area. The shopping centre is very popular with a major part of the passengers. Perhaps the interior is getting older. It really has a Dutch 1980's style...

Personally for me, the only good airports besides AMS where I've been are: YVR, SEA, DXB and FRA.
And I really hated LAX, JFK, DEN and FCO.

Jeffrey Schäfer.
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MD-90
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:41 am

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 27):
I remember reading once on Flyertalk that with Delta's schedule the way it is, if every single craft is on time, no delays anywhere in the system, by 11AM, 15 planes won't have a gate. If this is true, not very efficient.

When will there ever, EVER be a day with no delays throughout Delta's system feeding into Atlanta? No aircraft needing a tire change, no airport closed due to fog, etc. Never gonna happen. That said, I have no idea if that statement is true or not, although I suspect it's just a rumor.

Having connected through ATL many times I definitely agree that it could certainly be the most efficiently run airport in the USA.
 
r2rho
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:16 am

In Europe, definitely MUC, followed by AMS, then probably MAD T4. Also I'd like to throw out LYS in there, while just a secondary regional hub it's a pleasure to transfer through and it's a pity AF doesn't utilize it more - beats CDG hands-down for intra-EU transfers.
 
srqmuc
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:50 am

MUC in Europe
ATL in the US
HKG in Asia (altough I've never used SIN which, I guess, should rank verry well, too!)
 
Burkhard
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:39 pm

Quoting Ben175 (Reply 22):
I think SIN would have to be way up there - I transfer there 4-5 times a year and I've NEVER had a problem. Flights have always been on time, easy access to each terminal and between them, fantastic facilities, lots to do and see - it's almost like a mini-city.

Yes, Changi is the most comfortable airport I ever was. ATL is outstanding in the sense it is the only major US airport I ever visited that wasn't a complete torture.
 
EWRandMDW
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:46 pm

Even though it is a small airport when compared to ORD and the like, I vote for MDW -- it IS quite efficient and spacious and works like a charm given its physical constraints.
 
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turk223
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:36 pm

I think that PTY has been one of the most convenient hubs I've used; short conection times, short distances to walk, competitive airfares, and a comprehensive network. Now, the airport has a lot to improve upon; very crowded, few amenities, and not very "attractive". But, the new concourses are being added... We'll see!

HEL is great in Europe. DFW is sweet IF - and only if - you are connecting in terminal D... MIA is great (now) if it is AA to AA.

[Edited 2011-12-22 05:40:48]
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:44 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 39):
Yes, Changi is the most comfortable airport I ever was.

  

Last year I passed through both HKG and SIN in one trip......I found HKS to be good overall, but quite crowded at times......SIN on the other hand, is a very pleasant and calming experience, with wide spaces inside the terminal....you never feel crowded....there are free internet terminals, inter-terminal transport is easily available, cleanliness and maintenance is excellent, finding your gate is easy, pleanty of shops/restaurants.......

My vote goes to SIN for the Asian region.
 
trijetsonly
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:05 pm

I can't see any chance of listing an US airport here for non-US-citizens. As a foreigner you need more than 5x the time to proceed than those people being citizens. We loose hours and hours at passport controls and security checks while non of them seem to be efficient. This is why I like European airports. In AMS, MUC, FRA and even LHR you need 10mins maximum for passport and security check on an intercontinental flight. That is efficiency for me.
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N62NA
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:14 pm

Quoting ATL (Reply 29):
What's wrong with SFO?

Probably weather delays due to fog.
 
JU068
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:20 pm

Quoting Trijetsonly (Reply 43):
I can't see any chance of listing an US airport here for non-US-citizens. As a foreigner you need more than 5x the time to proceed than those people being citizens. We loose hours and hours at passport controls and security checks while non of them seem to be efficient.

Exactly, last time in the US I waited 1 hour 30 minutes in the passport line. It was absolutely the worst experience ever!


One rather efficient airport, at least for me, is KEF.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:37 pm

I find that AMS is the best airport for transit. I think it is easy to get around in and there are lots of things to do at the airport while waiting for a connecting flight. Earlier this year I spent the night at the "Yotel" at AMS and got to really explore the place.

When I travel to Europe I always try to connect at AMS. I have also connected at CDG, MUC, and CDG and AMS tops those. MUC was a close second in my opinion.

My home airport is DTW so I never have transited there, but it looks like it would be good.
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turk223
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:38 pm

Quoting Trijetsonly (Reply 43):
I can't see any chance of listing an US airport here for non-US-citizens. As a foreigner you need more than 5x the time to proceed than those people being citizens. We loose hours and hours at passport controls and security checks while non of them seem to be efficient.

That's a good point; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) procedures are complicated for non-U.S. passport holders- regardless of the hub at which it is done. Even if a non-U.S. passport holder is connecting "international-to-international", going through ICE is still a process that takes time. I feel it was complicated even pre-9/11...

My connections at HEL and PTY were seemless for international-to-international connections; never had to clear passport control at either airport. I just don't think any U.S. airport is set up for something similar?
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Surprisingly no one brought up the Japanese airports... NRT might not be the newest but still runs like clockwork

Of course, HKG and ICN and SIN T-3 looks more glam and shiny next to NRT.

AMS may be efficient runway-and-slot-wise but I don't like the part they clear x-ray at each gate ... wouldn't that require the security personnel to move all over the terminal to whichever flight is departing? quite some overhead if you ask me.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Which Is The Most Efficient Hub?

Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting avi8 (Reply 20):

True on all counts but to an *extent*. All large hub operations face delays and conjestion. My last flight into IAH about a year ago it took us exactly 50 minutes to get a gate because we came in at a time when the real estate is at a premium. I've noticed this problem had spiked in Atlanta AND Detroit during summer 2010 or the summer from hell as some of us called it. It was not uncommon to have an a/c boarding at say C50, another one on thr ground waiting to park as soon as they pushed and another in range...

Let's not kid ourselves though, in the grand scheme of things, Atlanta is a well oiled machine and no other facility does what they do consistently since 2005 (the year DL closed DFW and departures surged past 1000/day for DL.
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