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DiamondFlyer
Posts: 3442
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 3:12 am

Quoting PEK777 (Reply 45):
he 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.

Flight attendants are there for simply one reason, safety. Anything they do that is a bonus, sorry, but that's the truth.

Quote:
A flight attendant should use her job to find a successful husband and retire by 30.

This is, by far, one of the worst comments I've ever seen on this forum, and quite frankly deserves deletion. It is incredibly chauvinistic and sexist, to imply that a flight attendant should be female only. And then to imply that a woman has no business having a career is just as bad. You should be ashamed of yourself for even imply that. Thankfully, the US has evolved past that, apparently not where you come from.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
WesternA318
Posts: 4603
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 11:55 am

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

Fri May 17, 2013 3:22 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
This is, by far, one of the worst comments I've ever seen on this forum, and quite frankly deserves deletion. It is incredibly chauvinistic and sexist, to imply that a flight attendant should be female only. And then to imply that a woman has no business having a career is just as bad. You should be ashamed of yourself for even imply that. Thankfully, the US has evolved past that, apparently not where you come from.

Amen to that. I thought this mentality (at least as far as FA's were concerned) went by the wayside around the late 1970's or so...yeesh...
 
USAirALB
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:36 am

I think a major problem is that the current airport system in the US fits (most) citizens just fine, while it is the foreign traveler who has a problem with airports in the US. Keep in mind, airports in the US are made for domestic passengers, not international travelers.

While the US may not have the nicest or biggest terminals, we do have a several (ATL F Concourse, RDU Terminal 2, CLT Concourse D/E, IND Terminal, BDL Terminal A, SAV Terminal, MCO is usually nice, etc), but the nicest terminals tend to be the ones that cater to international travelers. I have noticed that smaller airports (ALB, SAV) tend to have nicer terminals than larger airports.

While there are a lot of problems we can work on (TSA, CBP), I would say that US airports tend to work fine. One thing that I would point out which is a major advantage of US airports is that there is no exit control at US airports when traveling internationally. I can just go through security, and go right to the gate.
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dfambro
Posts: 334
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:32 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 3:39 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
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.

Bring on the 787 and direct routes. Europe to South America via North America is a significant diversion, as nearly the entire continent of South America lies to the east of North America. Geographically, you're better off connecting in west Africa, so if anyone is missing out on connecting traffic, it's the Senegalese. But what makes the most sense is connecting within either Europe or South America and doing the trans-Atlantic part non-stop Europe to South America.

East Asia to South America makes more sense through the North American west coast, but it's an antipodal situation so it doesn't matter much which way you go. I wouldn't say there is some special US geographic advantage. South Asia to South America shouldn't route through North America, as it is significantly further.
 
zhiao
Posts: 477
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:42 am

How are JFK, MIA, ORD, DFW, IAH, and SFO, for example so much worse than the main euro airports in terms of facilities?

In terms of shopping, yes US airports airports lag, but does it really matter when shopping outside (ie in the real US) is much better than just about anywhere else in terms of variety and price? Sure FRA may have a nice duty free, but overall shopping in Ger is crap vs the US. Airport shopping is such a small fraction of overall shopping. Millions come to the US just to shop, including Europeans who spend billions every year.
 
rwy04lga
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:21 am

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

Fri May 17, 2013 4:11 am

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 5):
We leave a lot to be desired here in the US.

Which explains why so many are trying to immigrate here  
Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
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.
People forget the downturn. When you foreclosed in Florida, you ruined your credit for 7 years. When you foreclosed in Dubai, many foreign investors were shocked to learn that they faced jail time.

Different rules, different results. Remember that when you compare!

Excellent post!

Quoting angmoh (Reply 40):
The only place to sit was a cramped, dirty, disgusting McDonalds. 6 hours of torture.

If it's so cramped, dirty, and disgusting, feel free to stand outside in the hall. Ingrate! 'Seating is limited to 30 minutes while consuming food' 'Thank you!'
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
Planesmart
Posts: 2891
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:15 am

If the majority of US posters think international travellers are a waste of time, especially those in transit, why does your Govermnent make such a fuss about countries that spend taxpayer dollars promoting themselves as international destinations? And why so much pre-occupation with international transit hubs and the airlines associated with them? It's a business opportunity you don't consider worthy of investment.

If you reside in the US, and rarely travel outside, your benchmark will be US airports. ranking them good to not so good. If you reside outside the US, and travel through and within the US, Europe, Asia, ME and Australasia on a regular basis, your ranking will be somewhat different. Please don't shoot the messengers - don't read the posts.

The we don't care about international travellers, especially those in transit attitude, seems to have taken hold with those who deal with such passengers, which is unfortunate, because thats completely inconsistent with the people you encounter outside the airport. And somewhat reinforces the opening proposition.
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:04 am

U.S. aviation failing? Give me a break. Our system isn't perfect, but our airports and airlines safely transport hundreds of millions of passengers to, from, and within the world's largest aviation market each year. Taking the sheer volume of throughput into account, I'd say our aviation is very successful. Even as U.S. aviation continues to grow, most folks arrive on time (or early), and there hasn't been a major incident in years.

Our airports are terrible? This broad statement is certainly not a fair assessment of all ~500 commercial service airports throughout the country. Terrible is certainly the adjective I would use for the likes of LAX, LGA, or ORD. However, the open air garden concept of KOA - complete with boarding via stairs - is hands down the best experience I've ever had at any airport in the world. KOA certainly beats the highly acclaimed airports I have personally visited like DXB, ICN, IST, and YVR. I should think the new LGB is similarly enjoyable, if not better (the old trailer park it replaced was terrible, though). In other cases, American airports are so big that they run the gamut from world class to terrible. Classic examples would include LAS, where some folks enjoy the new Terminal 3 whilst others endure Terminal 1's decrepit Concourse A/B gates, or MIA, where the new Concourse D or Concourse J feel a world apart (that is to say, first world) from the third world Concourse F or Concourse G  .

Our airlines find it harder and harder to compete? That must explain why many of them are performing great these days, and continuing to invest in great amenities on the ground and in the air. I guess this would also explain why DL and UA both appear to be doing quite well in the DXB market, in spite of the EK competition. Or why both carriers still serve SIN. In fact, IIRC SQ's failure at ORD was attributed (at least partially) to UA competition. Imagine that!

People will not visit the U.S. because of long processing lines?!? In my experiences, this is not a problem unique to the U.S. I have waited in agonizingly long, slow moving lines to get through immigration at LIS, PEK, and IST. One time at YVR I was grilled by the officers (complete with a thorough bag search in the back room, repeatedly asked if I was carrying drugs, etc.) for about an hour. Should Canada, China, Portugal, and Turkey be avoided by these "overseas business travelers" too? Surely most seasoned international travelers know that, depending on a multitude of factors, sometimes they will sail through immigration, and other times the wait will be an hour or more. If on your first ever trip to America you arrive at JFK right after a wave of Asian or European arrivals, are you going to assume that American immigration lines are always like that, and never come back again? Or would you think it through and look at alternatives, i.e. flying into BWI next time around? I would hope most people would rationalize the situation and learn from it, but that's just me.

I agree that FRA may be a crossroads, but setting standards? I have never been, but from what I have seen and read online it does not seem to be any better than the average American major international hub airport. MUC, on the other hand, looks fantastic. Ditto for ZRH. Now ICN I have visited, and I wasn't all that impressed. We arrived early in the morning, and the only food options I could find were local Korean restaurants (no, I don't want noodle soup for breakfast) or greasy American chains. Most American airports now have everything from yogurt parfait to fresh bagels to warm omelets and paninis available, in addition to or in some cases instead of the standard fast food fare. The only shops at ICN were your standard duty free shops - I actually like the local-themed stores at American airports, no matter how cheesy they may be, as you can buy clothes or other objects to say you've been there. No such like finding something like that at ICN either. Just a lot of long walks, rows of seats, and open space. American airports tend to me more compact and feel more crowded, but it's easier to get around and IMO the food options and shops at most are actually much better than the likes of ICN.

When it comes to the example of Europeans/Australians all connecting via the Middle East or Asia instead of California, I can't help but laugh. There are a lot of people that do it, but many take the opportunity to spend a few days exploring San Francisco and/or L.A., and so they book two different tickets rather than one connecting itinerary. Fewer people have the urge to explore Doha or even Singapore, and so they just fly right on through on one single connecting itinerary. Then he goes on to talk about transiting at JFK. Again, a lot of people use a JFK connection as an opportunity to visit New York, and so they'll want to leave the airport and go into the city. Like LAX, JFK sucks for the relatively rare connections between different airlines, but it's great for connections on the same airline, and quite convenient for O&D - which is what many of the transit pax actually are since they end up leaving the airport to explore the Big Apple. It's not like JFK and LAX are the only places where it sucks to connect. I hear horror stories about CDG, or even just going between terminals at SYD. Transit at SVO sounds especially bad.

Finally, the taxes. Yes, the users of the aviation system get taxed to pay for the services they use - TSA agents, customs officers, etc. This is no different than the government taxing gasoline to help pay for roads. Just as people who don't drive shouldn't have to subsidize those that do, people who don't fly shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of airport security. Makes sense to me. At least the taxes/fees for American airports are included in the ticket. Some airports require you to pay the airport improvement fee out of pocket at the airport.

Sorry to rant, but I think this article is terrible! I enjoy flying and as an American that has been fortunate to travel to several other parts of the world, I think this guy is way, way off base here.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
tortugamon
Posts: 6795
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:14 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 33):
Going to South America from Iceland for example

That does not sound like a popular route.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 39):
Of course there is no international trafic, you are avoiding to get it.

Not sure, that is what is going on. US airports cater to domestic travel. Where would you suggest the connecting international traffic go? A waiting area? Many international gates in US airports are directly next to a domestic one. An airport would need a separate terminal, amenities, and even if the airport had that capability (DFW, LAX) airlines would lose gate flexibility.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
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.

Yes, that is true. I think I would avoid US airlines though if I was traveling internationally. I like the cute, thin, young, and friendly FAs on foreign carriers (sorry DiamondFlyer, I like that they keep me safe too!). The service just seems better and I think the ratings reflect that as well. The problem is that many Latin American countries cannot readily get US Visas and as the US does not allow transit customers to not go through immigration its kind of a deal breaker right there.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
More passengers, more income, more jobs for Americans.
Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 39):
There would be a reason to cater for the international traveler, to earn more money

This is a US Immigration Visa rule for national security reasons. Even if the lost fares for international transfers would move the dial of US GDP (which it would not; maybe compared to Iceland) making these security concessions based on tax revenue is a bad idea.

Quoting planesmart (Reply 56):
The we don't care about international travellers,


I don't think the policy is set up because 'we don't care'. Like many countries we have an illegal immigration problem and it is set up for security reasons. If I am not mistaken the US did have immigration and custom free transfer zones before 9/11.

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 49):
No other country on Earth (except maybe China or India) has a domestic network quite as large as the US

Actually, take China and India, add them together and multiple it times two and that puts you in the ballpark of the US domestic network.

Quoting planesmart (Reply 56):
If you reside in the US, and rarely travel outside, your benchmark will be US airports. ranking them good to not so good.

Its easy to pick on LAX, JFK, IAD, PHL, ORD. Many Americans would add LGA to that list and agree with you. But in a similar vein, its difficult to evaluate US airports by looking at these big airports with international travel. My favorite airports in the country are 'smaller' with little international travel: MSP, CLT, MCO, TPA, SEA, DEN. While smaller I think all of these are in the top 40 airports in the World and I think SFO is up there compared to international standards. I may not be the best judge but I have been to all 48 continental US states, every continent and 40 countries so I have seen my share of travel in order to base my ranking.

tortugamon
 
kevi747
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 6:02 am

I totally blame the US government for turning people off to transiting through (or coming to) this country. The lines at customs and immigration have gotten ridiculous. And many (not all) of the officers are surly, rude, and some are just downright cruel. I have seen them be super friendly and efficient, but all too often they seem to absolutely HATE people and delight in intimidating and humiliating people who are just trying to get from point A to B. (And why, in Gods name, do they all have firearms strapped to their hips?!? Seriously?!?)

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
This is, by far, one of the worst comments I've ever seen on this forum, and quite frankly deserves deletion. It is incredibly chauvinistic and sexist, to imply that a flight attendant should be female only. And then to imply that a woman has no business having a career is just as bad. You should be ashamed of yourself for even imply that. Thankfully, the US has evolved past that, apparently not where you come from.

Agree.   

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
Flight attendants are there for simply one reason, safety. Anything they do that is a bonus, sorry, but that's the truth.

Disagree.    I am a flight attendant (AA) and we serve duel, very important roles. Safety is, obviously, very important, but so is service. I take great pride in providing good service to our customers, and they deserve it for spending money with us. When FA's get the "I'm here to save your butt, not kiss it" attitude I ask if they expect good service on cruise lines. Because all of the crewmembers on a ship are trained in sea survival and how to evacuate the ship, but I expect a nice service when I buy a cruise ticket.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 6:19 am

Speaking as someone who flies a lot around the globe, mostly international and often to the US.

I think international transfers are a minor issue. Because of geography, even if it would easier, it rarely makes sense to transfer in the US, except maybe for Canada. International travel and domestic travel are huge, however, and they are not free of problems either.

The big problems are (1) unwelcoming border and security processes (2) bus station model for airports instead of the shopping mall model common in other parts of the world (3) ageing airports and infrastructure (4) industry practices that make travel unnecessarily difficult, such as huge suitcases in cabin.

As an example of the first problem, some months ago I arrived in ATL on a widebody flight from Europe, and entered the immigrations hall with a few hundred fellow passengers at exactly 9pm. A voice from the speakers told the agents that everyone who does not have an overtime permission should leave. One agent remained. An hour or two later, when most of us were still in the queue and an older lady had passed out and fallen on the floor, another announcement came form the speakers. "We apologise for the waiting time but we are experiencing technical difficulties." I have to say, no one in the group of waiting people had much respect for the process after this. Even the security guards standing by the lines were apologising for the theatre their managers were trying to run. (By the way, I should say that everyone working at the airports is always very welcoming and nice to all passengers - it is the process and organisation that is unwelcoming, while the people are great!)

Compare this to experiences in other places. When I go to China, there is a line but it takes just a few minutes to pass through. When I go to Singapore, I walk to the immigrations agent directly without a queue. In Indonesia, I have to wait 5-10 minutes. These are obviously all anecdotes, and sometimes the situations are reversed. I've exited JFK fifteen minutes after landing, and checked in and found my gate in five minutes when going the other direction. But the typical experience is what I describe above.

And before you say these things have to be done because of security reasons, let me say that I fully understand the security angle. Security is necessary. I'd even want higher security than we have now. But the processes just seem badly managed. Lots of people managing the queue, one agent to process people in the queue. Lots of stamping of passports and other pieces of paper. Computers were invented in the US, other countries use them, what's up? It is 2013, after all. Overall, plenty of resources have been thrown in the border and aviation security, but IMHO the efficiency is not all that great.

The second problem makes it difficult for the airports to earn money. As pointed out above, in some other airports in the world 50% of revenue is generated from airport sales. There is no particular reason why this couldn't happen in the US as well, if the airports were designed for the purpose, had nicer architecture, etc. I view this as a missed business opportunity.

The ageing airports issue is of course due to the early buildout of the aviation services in the US. But it is also due to viewing airports as a cost rather than business opportunity, as pointed out above.

The fourth problem may perhaps be controversial. But all those pieces of luggage are a pain in the cabin and they slow the security checks quite a bit.
 
Planesmart
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

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

Fri May 17, 2013 6:38 am

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 3):
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 21):
Geography has a lot to do with why the US is not set up well for international transfers.
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 21):
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.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 22):
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.
Quoting tortugamon (Reply 35):
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?
Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 36):
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....
Quoting travelin man (Reply 37):
Honest question: Why should we build our infrastructure to accomodate international-to-international transfers?
Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 38):
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).
Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 49):
To put it simply, the extra $$$ is nice, but again, the US airports main demographic is the US domestic passenger.
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 52):
I think a major problem is that the current airport system in the US fits (most) citizens just fine, while it is the foreign traveler who has a problem with airports in the US. Keep in mind, airports in the US are made for domestic passengers, not international travelers.
Quoting planesmart (Reply 56):
The we don't care about international travellers, especially those in transit attitude, seems to have taken hold with those who deal with such passengers, which is unfortunate, because thats completely inconsistent with the people you encounter outside the airport. And somewhat reinforces the opening proposition.


Thats the point I'm trying to make. The above comments about the perceived value of international travellers, or lack of, seems to have pervaded ground staff, especially officials processing them. They must be reading these posts.

Even if an airport isn't good, the experience can be improved by airport officials, but so often they seem to go out of their way way to alienate international travellers. I'm not suggesting rules should be relaxed, but there are ways and attitudes to enforcement that can be done differently.

How many US airports seek traveller suggestions on possible improvements? How do they react if you make unsolicited suggestions? Unfortunately, like many airlines, if they bother to reply, you get 10 reasons why your suggestion will be trashed.

International travellers are a small part of the US-based aviation market, and boy, are we made aware of that.
 
Gemuser
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 6:55 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
Quote:
A flight attendant should use her job to find a successful husband and retire by 30.

This is, by far, one of the worst comments I've ever seen on this forum, and quite frankly deserves deletion.
Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 51):
Amen to that. I thought this mentality (at least as far as FA's were concerned) went by the wayside around the late 1970's or so...yeesh...

What a piece of American arrogance these two comments are!

I would agree with both of you that that is the case in your society and in mine too, BUT not in the poster's. He is entitled to comment from his social position, just as you are. Remember this is the WORLD WIDE WEB not the USA web and must encompass ALL societies, even if we find it disagreeable.

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

Fri May 17, 2013 7:56 am

Quoting kevi747 (Reply 59):
And many (not all) of the officers are surly, rude, and some are just downright cruel.

.
That is so true. I never forget seeing a TSA agent at LAX yelling & screaming at a young couple with a baby. The TSA agent was freaked out when they had a small tube of diaper ointment in their bag. The TSA agent was holding up the tube screaming; "WHAT IS THIS?!?!?! EXPLAIN THIS PAL! ! !
Even though the tube clearly said 'diaper ointment' and the mother was holding a little baby.  

Another case was when flying out of JFK on JetBlue. The final leg of my trip around the world was through JFK. I had lost my driver's license in Istanbul, Turkey several weeks before. I only had my passport as ID. The TSA agent asked me; "What is this?"  Wow!

I also had a TSA agent at ORD give me a hard time. I was running late to catch my flight (the CTA blue line broke down and sat for 35 minutes). I arrived at ORD in a rush and the TSA agent gave me an attitude. Some ghetto thuggish acting TSA jerk says; "You think you all high & mighty because you have a first class ticket huh?"
That was so unnecessary as I was polite and cooperative.

Quoting kevi747 (Reply 59):
they seem to absolutely HATE people and delight in intimidating and humiliating people who are just trying to get from point A to B.

Sad but true.

Quoting kevi747 (Reply 59):
I am a flight attendant (AA) and we serve duel, very important roles. Safety is, obviously, very important, but so is service. I take great pride in providing good service to our customers, and they deserve it for spending money with us. When FA's get the "I'm here to save your butt, not kiss it" attitude I ask if they expect good service on cruise lines. Because all of the crewmembers on a ship are trained in sea survival and how to evacuate the ship, but I expect a nice service when I buy a cruise ticket.

We need more flight attendants like you kevi747!   
Even though I've never had a bad experience with a flight attendant, I have seen some rotten ones when flying in the US. Some really are on a power trip and act like rejects from a police academy.

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 60):
The big problems are (1) unwelcoming border and security processes

That's the damn truth!

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 60):
(3) ageing airports and infrastructure

Nothing wrong with an old structure as long as it's well maintained.
Bring back the Concorde
 
flyingalex
Posts: 624
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 8:06 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
Flight attendants are there for simply one reason, safety. Anything they do that is a bonus, sorry, but that's the truth.

Sorry, but that is pathetic. Any flight attendant who believes this needs to retire immediately. There is a lot more to the job. Safety is the most important aspect, but to reduce the responsibilities of a flight attendant to their part in flight safety is a cop-out. Flight attendant is a SERVICE profession, and anyone who is not OK with that is simply in the wrong job.

Or are you seriously trying to tell me that you think a flight attendant's job is to do the safety briefing, sit by the emergency exit for take-off, then hide in the galley with a magazine for hours until sitting by the exit for landing again?

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 60):
I think international transfers are a minor issue. Because of geography, even if it would easier, it rarely makes sense to transfer in the US, except maybe for Canada. International travel and domestic travel are huge, however, and they are not free of problems either.

I disagree, there are a lot of markets where connecting via the US would make a lot of sense if it wasn't so painful. North Asia to South America. Europe to Mexico and Central America. Latin America to Canada. Europe to the South Pacific (LHR-LAX-AKL on NZ and CDG-LAX-PPT on TN are two examples that already exist, despite the hellhole that is LAX, but these benefit from the fact that the majority of potential passengers on them will be from Visa Waiver Program countries).

Here are some examples of markets where the Great Circle Routes run right through the US:
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=nrt-gru...Afra-ppt%0D%0Azrh-mex&MS=wls&DU=mi

There are plenty more you could construct, but the general directions of travel should be clear. Personally, I think the Asia/South America market is especially interesting.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar!
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 8:49 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 58):
, its difficult to evaluate US airports by looking at these big airports with international travel

Of course, and I have been to some very nice airports in the USA. RDU is the first one that comes to mind, DFW-D is another. Even the less glassy ones can be good, RIC comes to mind. Nonetheless, most international travellers aren't flying to RIC or RDU, but rather JFK, EWR, BOS, ORD, LAX etc. I would quite happily be in charge of the bulldozer team at any of those airports!

This is in no way a criticism of the USA per se. I love that country. I lived in NC, and would move back tomorrow if my personal circumstances would allow it. BUT anyone who denies that the quality of US terminal infrastructure is, on average, poorer than in other parts of the world is, IMHO, kidding themselves.

And "most people only fly domestic" isn't the answer, I have been to some very nice domestic-only terminals in other countries.

Quoting kevi747 (Reply 59):
we serve duel, very important roles. Safety is, obviously, very important, but so is service

I do, reluctantly, agree with this. While the FA's primary responsibility is, and should be, safety, there is a fairly direct correlation between poor service and people choosing to book on another carrier. At the end of the day, the people who suffer are the front line staff because the airline is receiving fewer bookings and therefore needs less of them.
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 9:27 am

Quoting afterburner33 (Reply 4):
It's a shame because once outside the airports, I love visiting the USA.

I fully agree with the International arriving passengers view. When flying to the USA I always select a seat as far to the front in my booking class as possible so I can get to Customs as quickly as possible. Reason I do this is because the USA has the worst Customs procedures I've ever experienced. Not enough staff working when multiple flights arrive resulting in long lines. Longest I've ever waited was 55mins in T2 arrivals as we landed after VS but thankfully all the other flights the longest I've waited was 20mins with the other arriving flights coming in after us. Once I looked back and saw the lines for non US/Canadian residents was stretching past the start of the waiting line.

Once past Customs and outside its a much better experience

With Domestic flights, thankfully 95% of all my flights have been during the off peak periods and I've either past TSA screening before the rush started or after the rush period. Worst I've experienced was waiting to catch a DL flight at DTW in 2011 and the TSA screening caused me to nearly miss my flight even after waiting in line for nearly 1 hour. Another issue I have with Domestic flights is having to purchase food when your an International visitor and using your credit card will cause the purchase price to nearly double when taking into account the currency changes. I've always believed that you don't need food on a 1 hour flight, the current offering of just nuts or a biscuit is more then enough. A flight over 2 hours is when you need something included in your ticket price, even if its just a jelly (jam to us New Zealanders) sandwich.
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rwy04lga
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 10:03 am

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 57):
Finally, the taxes. Yes, the users of the aviation system get taxed to pay for the services they use - TSA agents, customs officers, etc. This is no different than the government taxing gasoline to help pay for roads. Just as people who don't drive shouldn't have to subsidize those that do, people who don't fly shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of airport security.

And why do people like me, who have no children, have to pay school taxes?
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mjoelnir
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:00 pm

You US Citizen do not get it.

Lets make a hypothetical example. Doing to a US Citizen what you do to us international travelers.

You want to fly from JFK via lets say AMS to lets say OTP for business.

Lets say its summer and hot and AMS does not cater to international passengers. (as I said hypothetical)
You have to go through immigration, after 20 minutes all the European Travelers have moved on.
You wait 2 hours and 15 minutes just to get to immigration, the area where you wait most of the time is not air conditioned, has no possibilities to sit down, you can not get anything to drink but there is a restroom.

After immigration where you have been asked for example if you had snitched on others in the McCarty area, what is your reason to go to the Netherlands and so on. You have made a good time through immigration and customs only been 15 minutes.
You get your luggage and have to change terminals, because even though the carriers belong to the same alliance they use different terminals.
You go on a train to the next terminal 15 minutes. You check in your baggage and it takes you 1 hour 30 minutes through immigration and security check. You have been careful to allow five hours for changing your flight.
During those five hours you have been first unbearable hot than cold and wet (sweating) in air cooled areas, never had the possibility to sit down, did not have the time to eat something, spend most of the time waiting in line, than hurrying to catch your flight. You managed to buy a bottle of warm water somewhere

I imagine your flight plan would lead you through an airport catering to international travelers the next time you go on a trip.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:34 pm

Quoting planesmart (Reply 61):
How many US airports seek traveller suggestions on possible improvements? How do they react if you make unsolicited suggestions? Unfortunately, like many airlines, if they bother to reply, you get 10 reasons why your suggestion will be trashed.

Many do, but unfortunately, it's the smaller, O&D focused ones (which also tend to be the ones spending money on nicer facilities - IND, JAX, BNA, etc.)

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 60):
The second problem makes it difficult for the airports to earn money. As pointed out above, in some other airports in the world 50% of revenue is generated from airport sales. There is no particular reason why this couldn't happen in the US as well, if the airports were designed for the purpose, had nicer architecture, etc. I view this as a missed business opportunity.

How, then, do we explain the failure of PIT as a hub. They did exactly what you suggest and now have ~50 flights a day (10 percent of the peak) from their former hub carrier to show for it.
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PanHAM
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 12:58 pm

PIT is in he pitts because their former hub carrier opted for nearby PHL. Simple business decision by US for the same three reasons McDonals does it, location, location and location.

.
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avek00
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 1:39 pm

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 49):
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.


Hear, hear!

And for all the talk of superior European airports...well, I challenge any of them (except Schiphol) to try to build another runway so people can get to where they want to go instead of waiting around in shops for hours....

[Edited 2013-05-17 06:41:06]
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jayunited
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:00 pm

Most of you who are non-US citizens fail to realize one thing and that is there is no one dominate international airport here in the US. If you look at some the top international gateways here in the US (in no particular order JFK, LAX, MIA, SFO, ORD) in terms of the number of international passengers arriving and departing you will notice that that there are still more domestic passengers arriving and departing than international passengers and the main reason for this is diffusion. The same reason why I believe that no US airline will ever order a A380 is the same reason why you will never see an international airport in the US resemble airports outside of the US. Millions of international travelers come to the US each and every year but those millions of travelers are being diffused over multiple gateways all over the US. Or lets look at if from the opposite direction, the US is filled with multiple international gateways a passenger who wants to travel NONSTOP from the US to AMS for example that passenger has a choice he/she can leave out of JFK, EWR,IAD, IAH, DTW, MSP, ATL, SFO, SEA, LAX, BOS, PHL, and probably and I'm probably forgetting a few more airports. But if that same passenger wants to travel from AMS nonstop to the US there is only ONE airport that they can leave out of and that is AMS. So the bulk of the traffic that is flowing thru airports like AMS, FRA, HKG, DXB and others are international passengers. If you were to take a step back and look at airports as a business you would understand that businesses run on supply and demand, and domestic traffic at any airport here in the US far exceeds international traffic so US airports curtail their supply to meet the demand.

Lets face it and put the truth into perspective SOME of you live in countries that could fit inside the state of Texas and Texas would still have room on all side for a few more countries. I'm not trying to be mean or insult anyone on this website but it is a fact. So when you look at it like that yes your airport must cater to international travelers because 90-95% of all the traffic at your airport comes from international travelers. The opposite is true in the US 85-95% of all traffic at international airports here is domestic traffic. It doesn't matter where you are it all comes down to supply and demand and the fact is the US has multiple gateways which diffused or diminished international demand at any one particular airport, however; it has not had an impact on domestic demand which means domestic demand will always outstrip international demand at any airport in the US.
 
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jsnww81
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:09 pm

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 64):
Or are you seriously trying to tell me that you think a flight attendant's job is to do the safety briefing, sit by the emergency exit for take-off, then hide in the galley with a magazine for hours until sitting by the exit for landing again?

That seems to be an increasingly common attitude by many (not all - let me be clear about that) US-based flight attendants these days, particularly on longhaul. Of course, those same flight attendants will tell you, in the same breath, that their job is a "profession" that's deserving of professional-grade compensation. Double-speak at its finest.

As for airports, we've got a mixed bag. As many others have said, we were the first country to build aviation infrastructure on a national scale, and then we essentially rebuilt most of it in the late 1950s/early 1960s in preparation for the jet age. Since that time, building new infrastructure of any sort in this country has become much, much more difficult, and as the existing infrastructure has aged and/or reached capacity it's become near impossible to do anything about it. Every time I land at ORD and see the new runways under construction, I almost have to pinch myself - the decades of sheer political will it took to make that happen almost defies description, especially when you watch airports in Asia build new runways and terminals in less than two years. If we could flatten entire villages at will and move citizens en masse like the Chinese, expanding our airports would be no problem at all.

I'm not trying to make excuses. The "soft product" experience at large US airports - ground staff, queue management, the simple logistics of staffing ticket counters and security checkpoints - can be miserable. It's absolutely accurate that airports in other parts of the world don't seem to struggle with this the same way ours do. Germany's airports aren't particularly memorable architecturally (MUC always reminds me of a very large medical clinic) but they succeed because the "soft product" is well-managed and efficient. It doesn't matter how dark FRA is or how long the walking distances are, because everything runs like clockwork.

Airport facilities that I would hold to the "international standard" of HKG, ICN, SIN, etc. definitely exist in the US. Unfortunately, the lion's share of them are in middle-market locations like RDU, SMF, TPA and IND. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like DFW's Terminal D, SFO's international terminal, and (hopefully) the soon-to-open expansion of LAX's TBIT, which looks like a phenomenal facility. Sadly, however, most of our large international airports were the first to be developed, the first to hit capacity, and the first to realize that modern-day US infrastructure projects come in the form of piecemeal pain relief rather than grandiose expansion.
 
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:09 pm

I'm not a big fan of US aviation, however:

Quoting 744lover (Thread starter):
connecting in the US is a pain

No it's not, not worse than elsewhere on the globe. Sure, maybe PHL (just an example) sucks, but then you have DTW, MSP... nice places to connect in.

Quoting 744lover (Thread starter):
(try taking a picture inside a plane for your own collection

What do you mean? Generally this isn't a problem. Have you been to France or Italy?

Quoting 744lover (Thread starter):
rude flight attendants

Really? No, I find that US flight attendants are decent. Especially on regionals, I've had some very good experiences. Over the Atlantic, they're mediocre, but I wouldn't say rude.
 
brilondon
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 3:21 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 50):
he 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.

This is true. The "old hags" should if they want the assignments should at least be able to speak the language of the country they are flying to. It is just common sense. Some Americans don't get that though. Living here has really opened my eyes to

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 55):
Which explains why so many are trying to immigrate here

Generally speaking, the US is one of the easiest places to go to due to that stupid rule about if you can make it to our beaches you are given asylum and allowed to stay. This is dependant on of course where you are coming from.
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SPREE34
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:10 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 55):
Which explains why so many are trying to immigrate here  

Put you flag away. I was speaking in context to the thread subject matter, not the country in general.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:14 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 70):
PIT is in he pitts because their former hub carrier opted for nearby PHL. Simple business decision by US for the same three reasons McDonals does it, location, location and location.

Nope, actually the issue was costs, costs, costs--as in the costs of building the shopping mall that some here seem to think is a panacea.

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 73):
Sadly, however, most of our large international airports were the first to be developed, the first to hit capacity, and the first to realize that modern-day US infrastructure projects come in the form of piecemeal pain relief rather than grandiose expansion.

It's more than that. What people forget about US airports is that, for as difficult as it is to arrive, it's very easy to leave. The US has no exit immigration, and while we all can (and should) gripe about the attitude of some TSA employees, security lines of greater than 20 or 30 minutes are the exception rather than the rule at most US checkpoints. The US has also generally been a leader in self-service checkin. There's not as much need to linger at the airport in the US as in many other places.
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mayor
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:37 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 67):
And why do people like me, who have no children, have to pay school taxes?

Because an educated public benefits everyone.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 70):
T is in he pitts because their former hub carrier opted for nearby PHL.

Hardly "nearby".....257 miles

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 73):
If we could flatten entire villages at will and move citizens en masse like the Chinese, expanding our airports would be no problem at all.

Perhaps the Chinese like being treated like that......I'm sure that most U.S. citizens, don't.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
brilondon
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:38 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 77):
It's more than that. What people forget about US airports is that, for as difficult as it is to arrive, it's very easy to leave. The US has no exit immigration, and while we all can (and should) gripe about the attitude of some TSA employees, security lines of greater than 20 or 30 minutes are the exception rather than the rule at most US checkpoints. The US has also generally been a leader in self-service checkin. There's not as much need to linger at the airport in the US as in many other places

It's just that the people have this perception of storm troopers at the TSA from the reports that circulate, in reality it is a tiny percentage of incidents were as overblown by the media who could not get the date of Christmas right if it was reported as fact on a blog as being something other than December 25th. Kind of like most of the "factual information" on these forums.
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mjoelnir
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:41 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 72):

Most of you who are US citizens fail to realize one thing, flight inside the Schengen area compares to domestic flight in the USA.

Inside the Schengen area you have like in the USA many international gateways. CDG, FRA, AMS, MAD, MUC, FCO, BCN, ORY, ZRH, CPH etc. If you travel from an airport outside of Schengen to an Airport outside of Schengen you will stay in the international area and do not need to pass immigration.
If you travel from an airport outside of Schengen to an airport inside of Schengen you enter the Schengen area on the first airport you arrive. You do not pass immigration again while traveling for example from CDG to CPH.
If you compare the Schengen component to the international component (outside of Schengen) you will see that on most of these European international gateways the Schengen componet will be the far bigger part of the travelers.
So the difference in the composition of travelers in the European international airports and the USA international airports is not as big as you will have it.
The main difference is how you handle the international (USA) or outside of Schengen (Europe) Traveler.
 
travelin man
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 4:41 pm

I find it generally hilarious how some Europeans think their airports are way better in terms of amenities, security lines, transfers, and customs/immigration than US airports.

Just in the past year:
- At LHR: Walked seemingly over a mile in Terminal 1 just to get to an immigration line that took well over an hour to get through
- At CDG: Got to Terminal 2 to catch my flight over 2 1/2 hours early only to be met with a security line that was 2 hours long. I almost missed my flight.
- At FRA: Possible the worst airport to connect in -- Connecting from BCN to LAX; almost missed my flight due to the distance and lines involved in connecting

(and for you non-Euros)
- At BNE: Arrived from LAX and was met with a 1+ hour immigration queue
- At YVR: Possibly the rudest immigration agent ever encountered (even worse than most TSA guys).

Yes, there are some such as AMS that are a relative breeze, but the main hubs in Europe are certainly not anything to write home about. And I do agree that the Immigration for coming into the US should be much better staffed. I do the Global Entry program, but the non-US citizen lines look generally horrendous at most airports I've been to (IAH, EWR, LAX, etc).

However, I firmly reject the premise that we should spend billions in redesigning our airports for intl-intl connections so the transfer passengers will spend money at overpriced airport boutiques.

But for all of you bitching about LAX -- good news, the new international terminal/shopping mall will be open within a couple of months. To add to international terminals recently completed in ATL, SFO, DFW (D), MIA etc. So hopefully you'll be able to find a shopping mall that will meet your requirements.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:03 pm

Quoting kevi747 (Reply 59):
(And why, in Gods name, do they all have firearms strapped to their hips?!? Seriously?!?)

It's called "security"..... and the U.S. isn't alone in this.


I can remember at least two instances, pre 9/11............one was arriving in FRA and as we were going thru immigration, a police officer was coming the other way with an armload of UZIs, to hand them out to other officers, coming on shift. The other instance was in Vienna, where the police, patrolling the concourse, looked like they were equipped to be on SEAL Team #6. I'm sure there are many other instances, all over the world, of customs officials as well as security officials, being armed and in public view.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
Marcus
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:04 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 6):
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.


No it did not, it only affected domestic travel in the US and to/from US aiports, for the rest of the world is pretty much business as usual....and this is one of the main points of the article as to why passengers are avoiding US airports even for connecting.
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mjoelnir
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:07 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 81):
- At LHR: Walked seemingly over a mile in Terminal 1 just to get to an immigration line that took well over an hour to get through

would be nice to wait such a short time in JFK.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 81):
- At FRA: Possible the worst airport to connect in -- Connecting from BCN to LAX; almost missed my flight due to the distance and lines involved in connecting

Did you have 5 hours time between the flights as I needed in JFK?

What you imply as bad for you in Europe, I would find a big improvement coming to the USA.

The other side of the coin is, that most of the big European airports are privately owned and are earning money not losing it.
 
travelin man
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Quoting Marcus (Reply 83):
No it did not, it only affected domestic travel in the US and to/from US aiports, for the rest of the world is pretty much business as usual

This is incorrect.

9/11 affected far more than domestic US travel. It's why today you have US flights sequestered at the ends of many international terminals outside the US with additional security (HKG, SYD, FRA pop into mind immediately). It's why the lists of passengers on international flights must be sent in ahead of time. And there are numerous other examples.

There were many impacts from 9/11, and they are much farther reaching than US domestic travel.
 
travelin man
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:12 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 84):
Did you have 5 hours time between the flights as I needed in JFK?

What you imply as bad for you in Europe, I would find a big improvement coming to the USA.

Perhaps you should try an airport other than JFK.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:13 pm

Quoting Marcus (Reply 83):
No it did not, it only affected domestic travel in the US and to/from US aiports, for the rest of the world is pretty much business as usual....and this is one of the main points of the article as to why passengers are avoiding US airports even for connecting.

Perhaps this is part of the problem. It seems that the "shoe bomber", "underwear bomber", etc. that have occurred SINCE 9/11 originated in foreign airports, going TO the U.S.

So, if a flight is going to anywhere other than the U.S., those pax are not subjected to security of any kind?


You cannot tell me that 9/11, even though it occurred in the U.S., hasn't affected air travel thruout the world.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
mjoelnir
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:34 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 86):
Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 84):
Did you have 5 hours time between the flights as I needed in JFK?

What you imply as bad for you in Europe, I would find a big improvement coming to the USA.

Perhaps you should try an airport other than JFK.

I try to avoid JFK, but it is not always possible coming from Iceland. WAS is better but not good, I usually look at BOS first.
But even if JFK is perhaps the worst, than the others are not much better. In the summer time I go sometimes via MSP, I have had the best experience there.
I still have to try Denver, but I have more Business in the northern parts.

We also have "bad" airports in Europe I try to avoid, there you can count most of the big ones usually the smaller ones are better.

But doing an international to international transfer is a bigger hassle in the USA than in most other countries in the world.
 
travelin man
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 5:39 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 88):
But doing an international to international transfer is a bigger hassle in the USA than in most other countries in the world.

I agree with you. Our airports are basically designed for O&D and not connections. JFK and LAX are probably the worst for connections (even int'l-domestic). I just disagree with the premise that the airports should be redesigned for int'l-int'l connections. It would cost a lot of $$$$ for minimal benefit. Better that money go towards reducing immigration lines, and creating nicer terminals such as the new int'l terminals at LAX, ATL, SFO, MIA, etc.
 
AAIL86
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RE: US Aviation Failing? We've Scr* Ourselves

Fri May 17, 2013 6:26 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 81):
ust in the past year:
- At LHR: Walked seemingly over a mile in Terminal 1 just to get to an immigration line that took well over an hour to get through
- At CDG: Got to Terminal 2 to catch my flight over 2 1/2 hours early only to be met with a security line that was 2 hours long. I almost missed my flight.
- At FRA: Possible the worst airport to connect in -- Connecting from BCN to LAX; almost missed my flight due to the distance and lines involved in connecting

(and for you non-Euros)
- At BNE: Arrived from LAX and was met with a 1+ hour immigration queue
- At YVR: Possibly the rudest immigration agent ever encountered (even worse than most TSA guys).

LHR and CDG aren't great airports to connect in, but I would still take both over connecting international-to international at LAX/JFK. FRA is generally a great airport to connect in, and YVR is a breeze. Sorry you had a rude customs agent in Canada. We have some of the rudest border guards on the planet here in the USA ... (and having worked at a major US airport for years and seen what some officers would do to common travelers on a daily basis this isn't some hyped claim). Heck, I've seen some nicer border guards in Russia.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 72):
Lets face it and put the truth into perspective SOME of you live in countries that could fit inside the state of Texas and Texas would still have room on all side for a few more countries. I'm not trying to be mean or insult anyone on this website but it is a fact. So when you look at it like that yes your airport must cater to international travelers because 90-95% of all the traffic at your airport comes from international travelers. The opposite is true in the US 85-95% of all traffic at international airports here is domestic traffic. It doesn't matter where you are it all comes down to supply and demand and the fact is the US has multiple gateways which diffused or diminished international demand at any one particular airport, however; it has not had an impact on domestic demand which means domestic demand will always outstrip international demand at any airport in the US.
Quoting gemuser (Reply 62):
What a piece of American arrogance these two comments are!

I would agree with both of you that that is the case in your society and in mine too, BUT not in the poster's. He is entitled to comment from his social position, just as you are. Remember this is the WORLD WIDE WEB not the USA web and must encompass ALL societies, even if we find it disagreeable.

Sorry about this. We as Americans would do well to remember that the American way is not always the best way. Xenophobia solves nothing.

I don't understand the endless excuses on why USA airports can't handle a few international transit passengers. A little effort could and would go a very long, and create jobs/$ for businesses and tax revenues. Here are three things that could help right away:

1. Bring back the TWOV (transit without visa) program. It was discontinued after 9/11 for "security reasons" - we can't handle a few people changing planes at our airports? Some of those facilities even still exist - there is a fairly nice, medium sized TWOV lounge at DFW terminal D that sits vacant to this day.

2. Reform the mindless restrictions on entry and transit into the US. Most Americans don't understand how irritating the visa process for people trying to visit the US, 99.9% of whom have no interest in staying more then a couple weeks. We're not the only "first world" country anymore ....

3. Courtesy classes for all TSA/CBP personal and better disciplinary process for punishing poor performers. Protecting the country and being professional/polite to ordinary travelers while doing so is an achievable goal

None of the above would require billions of dollars in new infrastructure, although that wouldn't hurt, either.
" Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness ... Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ” - Mark Twain, 1869
 
Marcus
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 5:08 am

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

Fri May 17, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 85):
There were many impacts from 9/11, and they are much farther reaching than US domestic travel.

Correct, but what I'm trying to say (I guess I was not clear) is that for a regular international passenger it is a bigger hassle to travel to/from the US than to/from other parts of the world, this is why the article mentions the number of international passengers avoiding the US either as a final destination or a connecting point.

Quoting mayor (Reply 87):
You cannot tell me that 9/11, even though it occurred in the U.S., hasn't affected air travel thruout the world.

It has but not to the same level, let me give a couple of examples...

1.- I have never had to take off my shoes, belt, pulled wallet out of my pocket etc. in airports outside of the US, not in Europe, not in Australia, not in NZ, not in Asia (with the exception of India).

2.- In places like India and The Phillipines (enjoyed the experience first hand) they have very strict security measures at airports, but this is not 100% due to 9-11, both of these countries have had their own problems.

3.- Security checks when flying domestically within Australia or New Zealand are vistually non existent if you compared them side by side to the ones in the US.

Quoting mayor (Reply 87):
Perhaps this is part of the problem. It seems that the "shoe bomber", "underwear bomber", etc. that have occurred SINCE 9/11 originated in foreign airports, going TO the U.S.

A couple of years ago when flying from AMS to ORD we all got frisked at the gate, and I mean every single passenger before boarding, men, women, children everyone; when I asked one of the officials if this was done on all flights out of AMS he said not, that only flights to the US because it had been requested.
Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6216
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 6:41 pm

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 91):
Sorry about this. We as Americans would do well to remember that the American way is not always the best way. Xenophobia solves nothing.

I don't understand the endless excuses on why USA airports can't handle a few international transit passengers. A little effort could and would go a very long, and create jobs/$ for businesses and tax revenues. Here are three things that could help right away:

1. Bring back the TWOV (transit without visa) program. It was discontinued after 9/11 for "security reasons" - we can't handle a few people changing planes at our airports? Some of those facilities even still exist - there is a fairly nice, medium sized TWOV lounge at DFW terminal D that sits vacant to this day.

2. Reform the mindless restrictions on entry and transit into the US. Most Americans don't understand how irritating the visa process for people trying to visit the US, 99.9% of whom have no interest in staying more then a couple weeks. We're not the only "first world" country anymore ....

3. Courtesy classes for all TSA/CBP personal and better disciplinary process for punishing poor performers. Protecting the country and being professional/polite to ordinary travelers while doing so is an achievable goal

None of the above would require billions of dollars in new infrastructure, although that wouldn't hurt, either.

Attaboy!  
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
User avatar
mayor
Posts: 6218
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:58 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 6:46 pm

Quoting Marcus (Reply 92):
1.- I have never had to take off my shoes, belt, pulled wallet out of my pocket etc. in airports outside of the US, not in Europe, not in Australia, not in NZ, not in Asia (with the exception of India).

As I recall, we were doing some of that BEFORE 9/11 and removing your shoes was not as a result of 9/11. However, I thought I understood that the U.K. pax were still removing their shoes on flights to the U.S., no?

Quoting Marcus (Reply 92):
A couple of years ago when flying from AMS to ORD we all got frisked at the gate, and I mean every single passenger before boarding, men, women, children everyone; when I asked one of the officials if this was done on all flights out of AMS he said not, that only flights to the US because it had been requested.

Requested by who? The U.S. airlines? U.S. government (TSA, etc.)? As I recall the "underwear bomber" originated in AMS. Apparently, the only country in jeapordy of being attacked, is the U.S., therefore the need for security from foreign gateways on non-stop flights to the U.S. Maybe THAT security needs to be tightened up, some more.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
EricR
Posts: 1226
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:15 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 6:55 pm

The only item of merit in this article is the fact that the entry process into the U.S. is challenging for foreigners. The rest of it is hyped up trash.

When growth rates in Asia far exceed that of North America, the growth of the aviation industry in Asia is bound to be more robust than in the US. Couple this fact with the fact that North America is a poor connection point geographically for a large portion of the world's population, and you have the majority of the reason.

His attempt at pointing to uncomfortable airline seats,screaming children, and air traffic control issues are issues that people encounter all over the world. As a side note, I am not sure why people like to bash the U.S. air traffic control system. Sure enhancements can be made to improve efficiency, but one cannot deny the fact that it is an extremely safe system that works well when factoring in the amount of volume each day.

But hey - if the author wasn't so controvertial, then no one would read his article. The media these days is not about accuracy, but about increasing readership/viewership by sensationalizing stories.
 
tortugamon
Posts: 6795
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:14 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 7:11 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 65):
BUT anyone who denies that the quality of US terminal infrastructure is, on average, poorer than in other parts of the world is, IMHO, kidding themselves.

I would agree that LAX, PHL, and JFK are airports to be avoided if possible. I do not agree that, on average, its poorer than other parts of the world. I think the US has more quality airports than any other country: SFO, DFW-D, ATL, SFO, MSP, DTW, DEN...We do have a couple airports that need updating but unfortunately they have been around since the 1920's and its hard with NIMBY to get anything significant done.

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 73):
Airport facilities that I would hold to the "international standard" of HKG, ICN, SIN, etc. definitely exist in the US. Unfortunately, the lion's share of them are in middle-market locations like RDU, SMF, TPA and IND. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like DFW's Terminal D, SFO's international terminal, and (hopefully) the soon-to-open expansion of LAX's TBIT

Agreed.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 86):
Perhaps you should try an airport other than JFK.

Yes, we would all like to avoid it if possible. Just like I try to avoid LHR. I like OSL and FRA works.

Quoting travelin man (Reply 89):
Better that money go towards reducing immigration lines, and creating nicer terminals such as the new int'l terminals at LAX, ATL, SFO, MIA, etc.

Yes. Hopefully the Bradley Terminal really improves LAX. The pictures look good: http://www.lawa.org/uploadedFiles/LA...tos/ADG%20Update%20Nov%202012.pdf. They cannot get anything approved by the unions out there so this might be the last update for a while. I would not expect non visa transfers though.

tortugamon
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14736
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 91):
1. Bring back the TWOV (transit without visa) program. It was discontinued after 9/11 for "security reasons" - we can't handle a few people changing planes at our airports? Some of those facilities even still exist - there is a fairly nice, medium sized TWOV lounge at DFW terminal D that sits vacant to this day.

A lot of people don't realize that the vast majority of folks who transit the US--Canadians, folks who hold a multi-entry US visa and citizens of visa waiver countries--can already transit without a visa and, not only that, are not confined to the TWOV lounge while here. Moreover, those using an ITI airport don't need to pick up their checked bags.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 91):
2. Reform the mindless restrictions on entry and transit into the US. Most Americans don't understand how irritating the visa process for people trying to visit the US, 99.9% of whom have no interest in staying more then a couple weeks. We're not the only "first world" country anymore ....

Putting aside a lot of the rubbish in the immigration bill currently winding through Congress, the US' policy on tourist visas is actually relatively empirical and is generally based on overstay rates. The US plays politics with a lot of things, but by and large tourist visas aren't one.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
dfambro
Posts: 334
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:32 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 88):
I try to avoid JFK, but it is not always possible coming from Iceland.

By the way, have you connected through Iceland, or just O&D there? I connected there once. No customs issues, but my gate was right off a hallway, no chairs in sight, so we had a planeful of connecting passengers standing & sitting around a hallway for a hour in the middle of the night. It was a lousy experience and I went right back to more expensive connections through elsewhere for my Boston-Stockholm trips.
 
flyingalex
Posts: 624
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:32 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 97):
A lot of people don't realize that the vast majority of folks who transit the US--Canadians, folks who hold a multi-entry US visa and citizens of visa waiver countries--can already transit without a visa and, not only that, are not confined to the TWOV lounge while here. Moreover, those using an ITI airport don't need to pick up their checked bags.

Be that as it may, but the visa hassle is only part of the problem. The actual entry experience isn't particularly enjoyable either, at least not for foreigners. Long lines, aggressive questioning, rude agents - you get all of that whether you're entering on a visa or under the VWP.

Personally, I'd gladly take the reduced mobility of a TWOV penalty box if it meant avoiding the entry process at the likes of JFK, MIA or LAX.
Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar!
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14736
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

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

Fri May 17, 2013 8:51 pm

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 99):
Long lines, aggressive questioning, rude agents - you get all of that whether you're entering on a visa or under the VWP.

. . . but if your entry form says "in transit to X," there's generally much less aggressive questioning.

The rude agent thing is very airport-specific, by the way. I've never had a bad experience in ATL, and have even had agents there look the other way when I've been somewhat over the duty floor.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more

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