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744lover
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US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 5:29 pm

Hi,

http://www.boston.com/community/blog...he_decline_fall_of_us_commerc.html

After living in the US for more than two years I couldn't agree more. Of course other variables are playing their role in this subject but lets face the facts: connecting in the US is a pain, the traveller is considered a nuisance (try taking a picture inside a plane for your own collection - because 99% of us here are aviation enthusiats), rude flight attendants (I travel around 80 domestics legs a year + 4 international).


BR,
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flyby519
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 5:37 pm

The US government has limited our country to O&D only in terms of air travel. On the worldwide scale we are the equivalent of LGA. Important destination, crappy facilities, not practical if youre connecting anywhere else.
 
avek00
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 5:53 pm

The article is garbage, objectively speaking our major air carriers have never been stronger.
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flyby519
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 5:56 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 2):
The article is garbage, objectively speaking our major air carriers have never been stronger.

I dont see this article as an attack against the carriers, but against the general infrastructure, government policies/taxes, and CBP/immigration
 
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afterburner33
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Transiting through US airports certainly is tedious compared to those in Asia. I'm lucky in that when I travel between the UK and New Zealand, I can choose to go either way. And there's really no comparision between somewhere like HKG (probably my favourite airport) and a US port such as LAX (probably my least favourite).

Shame that LAX is the only option on NZ these days. But there's plenty of other options.

It's a shame because once outside the airports, I love visiting the USA.
 
SPREE34
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:03 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 3):
I dont see this article as an attack against the carriers, but against the general infrastructure, government policies/taxes, and CBP/immigration

Spot on assesment, flyby.

I've just come back from 3 weeks in various EU countries. We leave a lot to be desired here in the US.
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jfklganyc
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:26 pm

First thoughts, a lot of issues.

1. The US has been and is the center of aviation since inception. Airports like JFK and LAX were operating before Dubai was part of an independent country. (1971)

2. They talked about Emirates and capacity...but they didn't mention passengers flown. Big difference

3. 9/11 was a bad thing for US Airport aviation. I dont agree with a lot of measures implemented since then, however, I would like to see how the UAE would react if foreigners flew multiple planes into their huge skyscraper causing it to collapse killing thousands of people. 9.12 dawned a different aviation world.

4. The US doesnt like taxes or government. A lot of the countries listed do. You want gleaming airports, then we will tax 50% of your income like countries in France do. Then you will have money to do it. We depend on private investment to build many of our hub terminals.
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flyguy89
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:35 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
4. The US doesnt like taxes or government. A lot of the countries listed do. You want gleaming airports, then we will tax 50% of your income like countries in France do.

I don't disagree with your characterization, but I've always found it odd how private ownership of airports in Europe is so common place while here in the US, where we supposedly don't like as much government and taxes as EU countries, all are government-owned...well, except for BKG I guess.
 
Flighty
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:44 pm

I'm inclined to think the US aviation system per se is extremely effective.

But our government is huge and dysfunctional. Everything it does is slow, unsatisfying and is the world's most expensive.
 
PanHAM
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:45 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
ax 50% of your income like countries in France do. Then you will have money to do it. We depend on private investment to build many of our hub terminals

I agree that taxes are too high in many European countries, but the mega hubs are financed out of their own strenght, that goes for CDG as well as LHR or FRA. We just go through a 7 billion e plus expansion program which is handled without a single tax e, instead tha places are generating taxes in the billions.

50% of the revenue of many European airports is generated by retail. Transit passengers from all over the world leave money here while in transit. That is done so in the mE and the Far east, onl North America is the exception. I was once delayed in ORD and BA gave me a meal voucher as they did not even have some decent stiff to eat in the Club Lounge. I went across the corner to the food place, had a look went back to the lounge and gave the voucher back to the lady.

One could say that most US airports are a quarry of missed opportunities to make money from the passengers.

He, I did not even rant about TSA and CBP who do such a fine job keeping tourists and business people away from the country. But as afterburner33 said, once you're outside the airport it is a wonderful place. .
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BMI727
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:51 pm

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 3):
I dont see this article as an attack against the carriers, but against the general infrastructure, government policies/taxes, and CBP/immigration

  

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 7):
I don't disagree with your characterization, but I've always found it odd how private ownership of airports in Europe is so common place while here in the US, where we supposedly don't like as much government and taxes as EU countries

Exactly. There is no way that all infrastructure could be privatized, but the US needs to privatize more infrastructure projects and not just airports either. Being able to wipe some expensive projects off the budget is a good thing.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
I was once delayed in ORD and BA gave me a meal voucher as they did not even have some decent stiff to eat in the Club Lounge. I went across the corner to the food place, had a look went back to the lounge and gave the voucher back to the lady.

Many international terminals have poor food choices. They aren't attractive to vendors because they usually have a very uneven traffic cycle.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
One could say that most US airports are a quarry of missed opportunities to make money from the passengers.

   It's a symptom of not treating something that should largely be a business as a business.
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flyingalex
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
Different rules, different results. Remember that when you compare!

It was my impression that what the article was taking issue with was the rules in the US (like the rule that direct airside transfers are not permitted on international-international connections).

And I agree, that is a major drawback to connecting in the US. Especially for those nationalities that require a visa to enter (and thus also just to connect in) the US.
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 7:01 pm

I remember when the USA was proud of its airports. LAX (1984 redo), DFW, IAD, and DEN are all airports that stuck out where we could improve things.

Now... The US airport experience does not compare with most international airports (at least the ones I travel to). There is always a comparison on every round trip...

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 1):
The US government has limited our country to O&D only in terms of air travel. On the worldwide scale we are the equivalent of LGA.

   We're not quite there yet. But we do need to improve.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
50% of the revenue of many European airports is generated by retail.

There is the huge missed opportunity. Terminal D at DFW is better. While I haven't been to DXB, the shopping there is a thousand times better than LAX... and the dining... (which is shopping).

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
It's a symptom of not treating something that should largely be a business as a business.

Agreed.

Lightsaber
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Bobloblaw
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 7:09 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
4. The US doesnt like taxes or government. A lot of the countries listed do. You want gleaming airports, then we will tax 50% of your income like countries in France do. Then you will have money to do it. We depend on private investment to build many of our hub terminals.

Most Asian countries have lower tax rates than does the USA and they have great airports. Given Hollande's 25% approval rating copying France seems like a bad idea. Plus wasnt CDG falling apart back in the late 2000s?

Two problems:
Federal gov:t We have a horrible ATC system and lack of infrastructure. The Fed govt in the past has used the airport trust fund to cover the size of the budget deficit and refused to fully spend it. ATC should be privatized. Those argument against it based on safety and how profit motive for ATC would be dangerous are invalid. Using that logic all private run airlines should be run by the state for safety reasons. You should prefer Air India to JetAirways or Aeroflot to Southwest.

Local Govt: Airports are owned by local govts and are subject to all sorts of corruption and patronage. Dumping grounds for hacks and friends of the mayor.
 
Planesmart
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 7:31 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 13):

High French taxes are spent on education, health, superannuation and servicing debt, not airports. If the US invested as much in the young, sick and elderly, it would be a better place.

There are worse airports in the third world, but for a country which posters claim is the centre of the civil aviation World, airports in the USA are consistently bad. Asode from the airport experience, the USA is a great place. It's just that every visit is tainted by the first and last experience, which are not good.

I'm not a fan of privatisation for the sake of it, but where airports are involved, it's definitely the way to go.

Would be interesting to hear from senior managers in US-based airlines that have been involved in negotiating with say European and US airport management.

Like other posters, I used to travel to Europe via the USA. Now, I only visit the USA when working there, though some small grandchildren are pressing for a Disney visit.
 
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cjg225
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 7:34 pm

Unfortunately, while we generally say that we're a capitalistic society in the US, the public is often terrified of the idea of private business being allowed to operate various "critical" things. With the political climate the way it is now, you'd think privatization would be a popular topic, but instead all people would talk about is how much safety would suffer, endangering people, and how the smallest markets would lose access to the greater industry.

I can't say that private business is perfect, because it's not, but the fear-mongering that goes on in the US whenever the word "privatization" (or related concepts) is brought up is mind-boggling.
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Flighty
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 7:44 pm

Quoting planesmart (Reply 14):
If the US invested as much in the young, sick and elderly, it would be a better place.

LOL, our healthcare spending roughly equals rest-of-Earth's combined. But just taxing people or spending money itself doesn't guarrantee a good result.

About airports, they work better than many things in American life. Also, worth pointing out that CBP problems do not affect Americans so much. It is our relation with our international guests that is in question here. Our airports are, as a native, good. Like our airlines, these airports are for transportation -- not for glossy foreign investment ads in the Economist. Different priorities, perhaps. At least compared to, say, Dubai.
 
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:17 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 9):
50% of the revenue of many European airports is generated by retail.

Hence the awesomeness that is AMS.
 
jayunited
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:19 pm

I find this article to be one sided and biases. He points out that while international airports in other countries don't make passengers claim their luggage if they are transit customers he fails to realize that most other countries are not the size of the United States. And that while most people who are using an international gateway are transit customers most of them are transferring to a domestic flight so where exactly should they clear customs with their bags? And if you had transit customers clear customs at their final destination who would be in charge of tell the government who is a domestic passenger and who connected to the domestic flight from an international flight? Having all international passengers clear customs with their bags at the first point of entry into the U.S. is the best way to go because of the shear number of domestic flights that take place within the U.S. Also if we are talking about international passengers who are connecting to another international flight where would we hold these people while they wait for their next international flight? Lets take for instance here in Chicago passengers come in off UA 882 from NRT and are connecting to UA 845 to GRU, 882 NRT is scheduled to arrive at 1420 and GRU 845 is scheduled to leave at 2130. Where do you hold the connecting passengers off 882 going onto 845? I like the idea of being able to leave the airport hope on public transit and go into the city for a few hours it fun and it passes the time really fast. I personally don't like being stuck in an airport when I have a long connection time at an international airport but that is just me personally.

And while he does make a good point about the lines to clear customs and immigration being extremely long those line are no longer than the lines that I have faced at LHR, CDG, NRT, and many other airports but the one thing he forgot to high light is that at U.S. airports all departing international passengers go through departure custom procedures at the gate while at most not all but most other international airports international passengers in addition to having to go through security they also have to go thru customs at departure. So that is 2 long lines you have to stand in just to board an international flight at most international airports outside the U.S. So while entering the U.S. may be a hassle at least at most U.S. airports if show up 1 hour 10 minutes before your international departure you probably will make your flight, try showing up 1:10 before your departure at an airport outside of the U.S. and I'm almost sure that you would make your departure except if an airline employee escorted you to the front of both lines you will have to stand in.

The only statement that I totally agree with in this article is that MOST U.S. international airports are outdated and while some airports like DFW, IAH, DEN and others are either land locked so they can't build any new terminals without first closing and demolishing the old terminal or be they don't have the money to pay for a brand new terminals to begin with.
 
dfambro
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:22 pm

I always have a chuckle at these "US airports are horrible, and elsewhere they are great" threads. Having spent more than my share of time in FRA, HKG, NRT and SIN, yea they are kinda spiffy but what's most memorable is how far I have to walk! And how far they are from the city they serve. There's a joke around my office that goes "don't forget to book the flight from NRT/HKG to Tokyo/Hong Kong!". Shanghai certainly qualifies for that joke, too. I'll take the convenience of my regular US airports - BOS, SFO, and LAX, after all I'm only passing through. And SFO Int'l is pretty spiffy in it's own right.

But regarding the customs/immigration/TSA stuff, I agree it's really lousy in the US.
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:27 pm

Quoting planesmart (Reply 14):
High French taxes are spent on education, health, superannuation and servicing debt, not airports. If the US invested as much in the young, sick and elderly, it would be a better place.

Actually the USA invests more than any other country. It just gets back less. I see youre from Oz. Ill hazard a guess than thanks to Social Security and Medicare the average senior in the USA is better off than in Oz. Though Ill admit that anyone who bought a home in Sydney or Brisbane in the 1960s or 70s for $20,000 AUD is probably a millionaire today.
 
tortugamon
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:30 pm

Some quotes from the article and some comments:

'They have the best airports and the fastest-growing airlines, and they offer the most convenience for travelers.'
Yes, aviation in the US is mature compared to Asia. US airports were built decades ago and catered to very different aircraft and traveler.

'Some of their success is owed to simple geography.'
Actually, I would say more than 'some'. What percentage of DXB traffic is O&D? Of course they have a better system for international transfers, that is their business. 4 of the top 10 and 12 of the top 30 busiest airports in the world are in the US. No other country has more than 3, median is 1. By definition these airports will be catering to international transfers. DEN is the 13th busiest airport in the world and does not even have a direct flight to Asia and only two to Europe even though its less than 5knm. US traffic is domestic. Draw a circle 1,800nm around HKG and you can count about 30 countries, do the same to LAX and you get three. Geography has a lot to do with why the US is not set up well for international transfers.

'The book value of the planes Emirates has on order - to say nothing of the 200 widebody jets it already operates - exceeds the value of the entire US airline industry!'
This is not surprising. Emirates itself is not worth a fraction of the book value of the jets it has on order. Emirates posted a well received 12 month profit of $620 million in 2012/2013 - or the equivalent of list prices for 1.6 of their 90 A380s or almost 2 of their 120 777s.

'Our airports are substandard across a number of fronts; our air traffic control system is underfunded; Customs and Border Protection facilities are understaffed; airline passengers are groped, taxed, and hassled, '
No argument there. TSA has pushed boundaries on our personal freedoms, no doubt about it. Customs and immigration lines can be ridiculous for non-US passporters.

'For those traveling between Australia and Europe, for example, or between Asia and South America, the US makes - or should make - a logical transfer point.'
Huh? I would like to hear from Aussies on this point. It is at least 2 hours shorter to fly to LHR via DXB than any US airport and the closer your European destination is to DXB that transfer only improves. I can see Asia to South America but not Australia to Europe. Is there a return on investment associated with changing the structure of an airport, customs, etc to get these few passengers? I agree that it would be nice but I just do not see much of a market.

'US taxpayers are, in fact, subsidizing the growth of carriers that compete directly with our own. Ex-Im's assistance is helpful to Boeing'
Very true. Government subsidizing is a well intentioned but dirty business. Same thing is happening in Europe, just with different tools.

tortugamon
 
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LAXintl
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:55 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 18):
fails to realize that most other countries are not the size of the United States. And that while most people who are using an international gateway are transit customers most of them are transferring to a domestic flight so where exactly should they clear customs with their bags?

  

The US is a massive domestic air travel market (~730mil annual enplanements), and our airport designs reflect this.
Something like 94% of US enplanement are wholly domestic trips.

Even top US gateways markets like Los Angeles, only have 18% of enplanements have anything to do with international travel, and of those virtually entirety are for the US origin or destined traffic.

It simply makes no sense to build massively expensive airport infrastructure to permit international-international connectivity when even in a best case scenario such flow would be tiny compared to overall travel volume at these airports.

At the end of the day, the US is not like other nations with smaller home markets that gear their airports to capture transit passengers.

(and this is all before speaking about US immigration and security policies which could preclude the whole thing anyhow).
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workhorse
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:57 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 13):
You should prefer Air India to JetAirways or Aeroflot to Southwest.

With all due respect, I can hardly imagine anyone who would prefer Southwest over Aeroflot after having flown both!  

[Edited 2013-05-16 13:57:57]
 
Planesmart
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 8:59 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
LOL, our healthcare spending roughly equals rest-of-Earth's combined. But just taxing people or spending money itself doesn't guarrantee a good result.

Dollars in / quality out.

Of course US health spending will be higher in total. Who has the larger population?

French, and most European taxes are higher than the USA, and the range of free medical care is far more wide-ranging.

The US way is lower taxes, and let the people choose. Nothing wrong with that, providing there is a safety net, set at a good standard for the young, elderly and poor. The French model is higher taxes, and free medical care for all.

Apologies - off topic.
 
goosebayguy
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 9:00 pm

I will never forget the queue at LAX which snaked out of the terminal and took nearly 2 hours to reach the counter. How Southwest manage to operate like that beats me. Certainly puts me off flying through the States. Give me Kuala Lumpur any day.
 
Planesmart
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 9:06 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 21):
Emirates posted a well received 12 month profit of $620 million in 2012/2013 - or the equivalent of list prices for 1.6 of their 90 A380s or almost 2 of their 120 777s.

That level of disclosed profitability isn't unexpected in an airline (or any other business) growing rapidly.

Many legacy US and EU airlines are achieving that level of profitability, or less, with near static growth (or retrenching), operating aged, fully written down aircraft and facilities.
 
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mercure1
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 9:06 pm

Many nations only have single or maybe a couple gateway airports where folks transit on international flights.

In the US there are several dozen airports which could potentially handle such flow, which makes it a logistical nightmare trying to redesign facilities to segregate passengers. Imagine doing that at LAX with 8 terminals, or JFK with also large number of separate terminals.

This simply does not seem practical, let alone economic investment for America to make.
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tortugamon
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 9:19 pm

Quoting planesmart (Reply 26):
That level of disclosed profitability isn't unexpected in an airline (or any other business) growing rapidly.

Right. I should have made my point more clear. There is a gulf between the level of airline's income (and ultimately value of an airline) and the book value of an aircraft that it finances over multiple decades. The article was implying that they were directly tied.

tortugamon
 
Planesmart
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 9:26 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 20):
I see youre from Oz.

I'm actually from the UK. Formative years and more spent in London developing specialised funding. Now reside in NZ, but still work for UK-based employer.
 
Gemuser
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 10:12 pm

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 20):
Quoting planesmart (Reply 14):
High French taxes are spent on education, health, superannuation and servicing debt, not airports. If the US invested as much in the young, sick and elderly, it would be a better place.

Actually the USA invests more than any other country. It just gets back less. I see youre from Oz

Careful there Bob. Those are fighting words! Go and look at his flag again, carefully!
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cxb744
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 10:14 pm

3 points.

1) Airlines pay for the privilege of using US ATC, which is going through a MAJOR upgrade. (20 years late).

2) Everyone complaining about CBP, next time you book an international ticket, please look at the breakdown of what goes into your ticket. CBP gets pennies on the dollar from your ticket. Want faster/better service from them, maybe they should take up a collection as you enter.

3) Nobody wants to pay more than they have to for an air ticket, especially in the US. Airfares have not risen at the same rate as what it's takes to fly (I.e. fuel, salaries, maintenance, etc.) Want better service, more amenities, pay more for your airfare. Part of most tickets go to the airports your flying through. (And you wonder why Economy isn't what it used to be.)
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WesternA318
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 10:45 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 18):
The only statement that I totally agree with in this article is that MOST U.S. international airports are outdated and while some airports like DFW, IAH, DEN and others are either land locked so they can't build any new terminals without first closing and demolishing the old terminal or be they don't have the money to pay for a brand new terminals to begin with.

I think there might be a few acres of Nebraska and Kansas left for DEN's expansion ideas, lol.

[Edited 2013-05-16 15:56:55]
 
mjoelnir
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 10:51 pm

I think the article has quite a few valid points. Some of this points are difficult for travelers from the USA to understand. The article is written out of the view of an international traveler not the typical US O&D.

Few citizen of the USA are able to imagine the sheer hassle it is entering and exiting the USA for foreign travelers, it makes planing to catch a connecting flight nearly impossible. And I am from Iceland being included in the visa waiver program.
So if you do not have to you do not connect trough the USA.
Going to South America from Iceland for example, I would rather go through MAD or LIS than trying for an US airport and a connection there.

Transit.
If you look at the airports in the Schengen area in Europe you can watch how it is possible to manage different streams of passengers with ease, a thing airport planers in the USA seem to think an impossible task.
Schengen includes all EU countries with the exception of the UK, Ireland, Romania and Bulgaria, but includes Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Swiss. You find all big European airports in Schengen apart from the UK airports.
The different passenger streams are: international outside Schengen, international inside Schengen and domestic.
If you come to for example to FRA from HKG and go on JFK you never leave the International Area if you go on inside Schengen for example AMS you have to go through immigration but clear customs in AMS. And than you have domestic passengers. That means three different groups of passengers.

It is of course not possible to compare different situations one to one but it should be possible to manage transit passengers in the US if there would be a will to do it. If you have to move transit passengers from the international area of one terminal to another terminal they often use in Europe dedicated buses only used for that traffic.
Also in LHR (not in Schengen) they keep international transit travelers apart, moving them from international area of one terminal to the international area of another terminal with ease.

If you want to keep the different type of passengers apart you can do it, it is done in airports all over the world.
 
Arrow
Posts: 2325
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:44 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 11:09 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 33):

If you want to keep the different type of passengers apart you can do it, it is done in airports all over the world.

Case in point:

We recently did a YVR-MEL trip connecting through AKL. Checked the bags in Vancouver through to Melbourne; got off the plane in AKL and waited in the transit terminal -- not opulent but certainly not shabby. No NZ customs. Got on the flight to MEL and went through customs in Australia. Same procedure coming home.

Had we connected through any US airport -- Honolulu would be the most likely -- we would have deplaned a HNL, gone through US Customs, picked up the checked bags (also through US customs), Checked them back in again, back through security and back to the plane.

Correct me if I'm wrong -- but that was the procedure a few years ago when we did the same route. I don't know if they've streamlined it in any way, but I won't take the chance. If I'm going from Canada to somewhere else, I will not do it through a US airport unless there's no other way (and that's not usually the case). I recall coming back from the Caymans a couple of years ago through Houston, and I think the bags went right through -- but we still had to go through US customs.

AC in recent years has bumped up its South America service from YYZ in part to cater to Europeans who don't want to connect through the US system. If you are a citizen of a country with no visa waiver from the US it's even worse. You have to get a US visa even if you are just transiting.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
tortugamon
Posts: 6795
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:14 pm

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 11:38 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 33):
If you want to keep the different type of passengers apart you can do it, it is done in airports all over the world.

Because airports all over the world have to do it that way in order to function. US airports do not deal international transfers well because there is not a significant need and when it does come up it does not affect Americans so why spend the money to 'fix' the system?

Even if there was traffic (I don't think so), and if the airport had room in their budget (they don't) I do not think any of the agencies are motivated to make any US airport an international crossroads. Hell, when most American's travel internationally they clear customs before coming back to the US at US customs in Canada, Ireland, Bahamas, Mexico, etc. Airports are more concerned with security than promoting travel of travelers without US visas on US soil. Post 9/11 it is a tough sell to do anything different. I believe the fact that its a pain to get into the US is not an accident.

tortugamon
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 3977
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 11:38 pm

The fact is US Airports generally don't care about intl-intl connecting traffic. It is such a miniscule percentage of the overall traffic that it is not worth investing in the infrastructure for direct airside transit, even if the US government allowed it. Realistically, there are relatively few markets where the US makes geographic sense to transit....
 
travelin man
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 11:44 pm

Honest question: Why should we build our infrastructure to accomodate international-to-international transfers?

In what way would this benefit the US? The airlines? Yes, I can see it would benefit the US airlines. But why should the airports be redesigned to accomodate someone who wants to fly from South America to Iceland?

US airports are built for O&D because of the gigantic domestic market that LAXIntl pointed out.

And for those of us who do travel internationally and don't want to deal with CBP, the Global Entry Program is a wonderful thing....
 
WesternA318
Posts: 4603
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:55 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Thu May 16, 2013 11:51 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 38):
Honest question: Why should we build our infrastructure to accomodate international-to-international transfers?

In what way would this benefit the US? The airlines? Yes, I can see it would benefit the US airlines. But why should the airports be redesigned to accomodate someone who wants to fly from South America to Iceland?

US airports are built for O&D because of the gigantic domestic market that LAXIntl pointed out.

And for those of us who do travel internationally and don't want to deal with CBP, the Global Entry Program is a wonderful thing....

Amen. We just dont really have much need to redesign the gateways when they suit US the U.S travelers just fine (considering we ARE in the United States). If you dont like it, dont do it. I avoid FRA, CDG, HKG, and DXB like the plague, but you dont hear me whine about it.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9411
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:21 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 36):
Because airports all over the world have to do it that way in order to function. US airports do not deal international transfers well because there is not a significant need and when it does come up it does not affect Americans so why spend the money to 'fix' the system?

Even if there was traffic (I don't think so), and if the airport had room in their budget (they don't) I do not think any of the agencies are motivated to make any US airport an international crossroads. Hell, when most American's travel internationally they clear customs before coming back to the US at US customs in Canada, Ireland, Bahamas, Mexico, etc. Airports are more concerned with security than promoting travel of travelers without US visas on US soil. Post 9/11 it is a tough sell to do anything different. I believe the fact that its a pain to get into the US is not an accident.

tortugamon

Of course there is no international trafic, you are avoiding to get it.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 37):
The fact is US Airports generally don't care about intl-intl connecting traffic. It is such a miniscule percentage of the overall traffic that it is not worth investing in the infrastructure for direct airside transit, even if the US government allowed it. Realistically, there are relatively few markets where the US makes geographic sense to transit....

As long as you do not carter to it it will stay minuscle.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 38):
Honest question: Why should we build our infrastructure to accomodate international-to-international transfers?

In what way would this benefit the US? The airlines? Yes, I can see it would benefit the US airlines. But why should the airports be redesigned to accomodate someone who wants to fly from South America to Iceland?

US airports are built for O&D because of the gigantic domestic market that LAXIntl pointed out.

And for those of us who do travel internationally and don't want to deal with CBP, the Global Entry Program is a wonderful thing....
Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 39):
Amen. We just dont really have much need to redesign the gateways when they suit US the U.S travelers just fine (considering we ARE in the United States). If you dont like it, dont do it. I avoid FRA, CDG, HKG, and DXB like the plague, but you dont hear me whine about it.

There would be a reason to cater for the international traveler, to earn more money, that seems to be a very strange concept for people in the US.
If I can not earn money the american way why bother, the US airports are earning heaps of money to expand and modernize.
The USA does not need any strange foreign travelers.
 
AngMoh
Posts: 1071
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:26 am

Quoting arrow (Reply 35):
Had we connected through any US airport -- Honolulu would be the most likely -- we would have deplaned a HNL, gone through US Customs, picked up the checked bags (also through US customs), Checked them back in again, back through security and back to the plane.

I have done this SIN-NRT-LAX-MEX: NRT was easy.
In LAX: arrive, 1 hour immigration, pack up bags, customs, drop bag, back through security, and out again.On the way back the same story, but with a twist. The US immigration officer was difficult with my travel partner taking 20 minutes before clearing him for immigration. He had to argue in the end that he did not want to be in the US and the only way to get out is to get cleared by immigration so that he could board the flight to SIN. Luckily we had a 4 hour lay-over each way.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 37):

The fact is US Airports generally don't care about intl-intl connecting traffic. It is such a miniscule percentage of the overall traffic that it is not worth investing in the infrastructure for direct airside transit, even if the US government allowed it. Realistically, there are relatively few markets where the US makes geographic sense to transit....

That's the bloody stupidity of the US: only about 6 airports need this kind of facility: LAX, SFO, JFK, ORD, ATL and IAH. Its bugger all investment but will help the US airlines a lot. And even at the domestic side the facilities are crap.

I had once a 6 hour layover in LAX. The only place to sit was a cramped, dirty, disgusting McDonalds. 6 hours of torture. If there is a decent place to eat, I would have spent the time and money.

As said, the most profitable airports are the ones with the best facilities. And it is not that the airports have facilities because the air profitable, but they are profitable because of facilities. I spend more money every time I am in OSL, CPH and AMS than FRA because I have the opportunity to spend and they make it attractive. In FRA the facilities are crap and the queues too long so I can not spend. In LAX I don't spend a single cent vs around 100 Euro every visit to AMS.
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739/ER 742 743 744/M 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
User avatar
RyanairGuru
Posts: 8521
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:49 am

Quoting travelin man (Reply 38):
Why should we build our infrastructure to accomodate international-to-international transfers?

In what way would this benefit the US?



More passengers, more income, more jobs for Americans. It is really quite simple....

Last year I flew AA LHR-MIA-UIO. After that painful experience, I think I'll go through AMS if I do it again. KLM will collect the profit on my ticket (not AA), I will be support Dutch jobs (not American), and I will pump money into the Dutch economy (not American).

Quoting travelin man (Reply 38):
why should the airports be redesigned to accomodate someone who wants to fly from South America to Iceland?

See above? The US is leaving traffic on the table for the European carriers to lap up. The simple fact is that the USA has a geographic advantage in connecting traffic from Latin America (one of the fastest growing regions in the world) to both Europe and Asia. Very few people do connect, however, if they can avoid it.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 40):
Of course there is no international trafic, you are avoiding to get it.

  
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1745
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:55 am

Quoting awacsooner (Reply 17):
Hence the awesomeness that is AMS.

Confirmed! I was in AMS twice last month. If I ever have to be stranded for many extra hours, AMS is where I want to be.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
ABQopsHP
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 10:47 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:56 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 18):
talking about international passengers who are connecting to another international flight where would we hold these people while they wait for their next international flight? Lets take for instance here in Chicago passengers come in off UA 882 from NRT and are connecting to UA 845 to GRU, 882 NRT is scheduled to arrive at 1420 and GRU 845 is scheduled to leave at 2130. Where do you hold the connecting passengers off 882 going onto 845? I like the idea of being able to leave the airport hope on public transit and go into the city for a few hours it fun and it passes the time really fast. I personally don't like being stuck in an airport when I have a long connection time at an international airport but that is just me personally.

If they would build the terminal with Transit areas in mind then there would be no problem. See YVR,or AMS, and others in the EU, thus you would not need a Visa. With reference to your last sentence about wanting to leave the airport, then the pax can apply for a US visa. HOWEVER!!!!! All that changed sometime around either 9/11 or earlier, I cant recall. No one can be a TWOV (Transit w/o Visa), thus they are required to have US documentation and go thru customs, then connect to the next International flight. This is was one reason RG dropped their GRU LAX NRT flight before they folded. Someone more up on their Intl documentation info, might be able to fill in a bit better.

JD CRP
ABQ ops, Cactus 202 requesting you order 5 Green Chile Chicken stew for us to p/u on arrival. ;)
 
brilondon
Posts: 3164
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:59 am

In the US there seem to be extremes from the worst, LAX to the mediocre at DFW and everything in between. No where would I want to connect through the US to go any where. Unfortunately living here has given me the real scoop on most of the airports that really don't get it. Nor does the government. They, the government seems to not want the tourism to enter into the US and do all they can to dissuade any people from wanting to come to the US. I use to love to travel by air, but I have stated before and will state again that I find that air travel has become so onerous that what was once something I looked forward to I now dread. I can't wait to get to another country to transit through, I prefer for obvious reasons Canada, but even using LHR is better than going through say JFK or LAX. DFW is better than most and so is DTW, but having to go through ORD, LAX, or even SFO can be a nightmare.
Rush forever Closer To My Heart
 
PEK777
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:56 pm

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 1:18 am

They didn't pay enough attention to the flight attendant situation. I have never been to Europe, but my experience between Asian and American carriers dramatic. The American based flight attendants are an embarrassment. In addition, never on my PEK-ORD flights have any of the American flight attendants been able to speak any Mandarin, or even bothered to try. In a day of intense study, you can at least learn to ask 'chicken or beef', learn how to say basic beverages, and tell someone to fasten their seat belt . After a couple flights it will be second nature. Unfortunately the flight attendants on these legs are typically 70 year old hags who have no interest in the quality of service. Meanwhile on an Asian carrier, crews are speaking 3 languages without an issue and providing far superior service.
A flight attendant should use her job to find a successful husband and retire by 30.
 
WesternA318
Posts: 4603
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:55 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 1:20 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 42):
Confirmed! I was in AMS twice last month. If I ever have to be stranded for many extra hours, AMS is where I want to be.

Yuck...I've transited through AMS once, never again, I dont know what was going on but the Terminal was dark, damp and just not appealing at all. Maybe it was that one time, but it left a bad impression on me.
 
jayunited
Posts: 3110
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 1:50 am

Quoting angmoh (Reply 40):
That's the bloody stupidity of the US: only about 6 airports need this kind of facility: LAX, SFO, JFK, ORD, ATL and IAH. Its bugger all investment but will help the US airlines a lot. And even at the domestic side the facilities are crap.

I had once a 6 hour layover in LAX. The only place to sit was a cramped, dirty, disgusting McDonalds. 6 hours of torture. If there is a decent place to eat, I would have spent the time and money.

As said, the most profitable airports are the ones with the best facilities. And it is not that the airports have facilities because the air profitable, but they are profitable because of facilities. I spend more money every time I am in OSL, CPH and AMS than FRA because I have the opportunity to spend and they make it attractive. In FRA the facilities are crap and the queues too long so I can not spend. In LAX I don't spend a single cent vs around 100 Euro every visit to AMS.

I will agree that most US international gateways are old, decrepit, rundown and not very well maintained and that international airports across the US are in need of a major upgrade, overhaul or in some case a brand new terminal needs to be built. However you need to remember that the number one customer at all US airports is US citizens other wise known as domestic passengers. And while most US citizens eat at the airports most of us do not shop at the airport because most of the the items sold are completely over priced and crappy. Also if you look at airports with brand new terminals like DFW, IAH, MIA, (SFO international terminal) DEN and many others you will notice that the only shops that have a steady stream of customers is eateries and news stand stores. Most clothing, jewelry, watch, sun glass shops are empty for the most part or have very few people in them because domestic passengers don't shop at airports. So even if lets take for example ORD was to build a brand new terminal you wouldn't find much space like you would at airports in AMS, HKG, DXB, LHR in the passenger area of the terminal devoted to shopping because although the terminal would serve international passengers the primary passengers who would be using the terminal the most are domestic passengers and that is the major difference at airports here in the US and it is evident at airports that have brand new terminals.

Case and point Duty Free shops at airports outside of the US are huge massive stores now take look at a duty free shop at any US international gateway airport and you will notice that all of our duty free shops here in the US do not even compare in size. Duty Free shops here in the US are much smaller and do not carry the variety of items offered at a Duty Free shop one would find at any international airport outside of the US and the reason for this is because the number one customer at any US airport is domestic passengers not international passengers and that is not going to change. So yes US airports need to update and/or build more modern terminals but if you think that a US airport is going to resemble an airport that you would find outside of the US then you are greatly mistaken because that will never happen.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9411
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting jayunited (Reply 47):

One after the other US citizen explaining why they do not need the business of the international traveler. US airports and airlines do very well by not catering to foreigners.
 
WesternA318
Posts: 4603
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:55 am

RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 2:57 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 48):
One after the other US citizen explaining why they do not need the business of the international traveler. US airports and airlines do very well by not catering to foreigners.

To put it simply, the extra $$$ is nice, but again, the US airports main demographic is the US domestic passenger. Thats what traverses more through each and every airport in the US. No other country on Earth (except maybe China or India) has a domestic network quite as large as the US, or with as many passengers, or spread out over quite as large an area. Nor do foreign airlines have such a HUGE area of competition from not just a carrier or two, but multiple carriers attacking every level of passenger, quite like the US has. When airports like all the stunning ones you've mentioned have everything the US Airports have thrown at them, then come talk to us, but until then, this is a moot issue. It's like comparing apples to oranges to figs.

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