goldorak
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:48 pm

Quoting celestar (Reply 38):
I think this is an interesting topic between European/American airport design. What I find even more interesting is how the world airport is divided into two different camps with regard to airport security. You have the traditional where every one after clearing immigration (Not for US but for others), went through a centralized security screening which make you feel like is a grand bazaar! Then, you have the other approach, I think Amsterdam was the pioneer where security are checked at each gate prior to boarding at the gate and Singapore Changi, certainly adopt and follow this approach. I kind of like this better as it eased off traffic and I presume, allow more time and specific attention to each flight based on their destination or passenger profile.

Security at each gate is not that frequent. And I'm glad it's not frequent because it's extremely inefficient IMO. You need way more staff plus all the additional equipments (scanners at each gates). A total waste of ressources. Also an inconvenience to pax (need to plan time leaving the lounge or other area, you're trapped in a small room once you're on the other side, most of the time not enough chairs for all pax, more difficult to have a priority lane, etc etc). FYI, AMS is currently abandoning this organization for the non-Schengen flights.

Quoting olle (Reply 45):
If I go from Stockholm to Chile over Paris or London I do not need to pass immigration but can wait in a waiting area.

Sorry but you are wrong here.
If you fly ARN-CDG-SLC, you pass immigration at CDG (place where you leave the Schengen area)
If you fly ARN-LHR-SLC, you pass immigration at ARN (place where you leave the Schengen area)
 
tommy1808
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:56 pm

Quoting goldorak (Reply 50):
A total waste of ressources.

It practically reduces your chance of missing your flight due to security hold-ups to effectively zero. That advantage may outweigh the additional costs.

best regards
Thomas
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simpan97
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:01 pm

If you look from another point of view, I often see that the exterior and the building layout tend to differ in Europe and America. If you look at the gate structure in Minneapolis (MSP) and Munich (MUC) you see some real differences.

In Europe, the majority of all gates have a separate "building" where the first jet-way leads to and from that the boarding jet-way to the plane is connected. Munich (MUC) is a perfect example of this but many new airports also have this layout:

In America I see a lot of not aligned gates when the planes are not parked vertically to the building and as a result the jet-ways are often long and angled and the look from above feels more chaotic. Minneapolis (MSP) is a great example of this "American" design:

The differences between American and Europe airport design.


Why is there a huge difference in airport design?
 
PanHAM
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:09 pm

Many Airports in Europe have gates which can serve as bus gates, domestic (Schengen) and internaitonal gates, The international gate is completely separated on the top Level, the Schengen and Bus gates are served from the mani Level, where passengers board from and will have to go stairs down to reach the bus.

That provides much more flexibility and better use of ressources
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TheSonntag
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:32 pm

BTW, the EU demanded the distinction between Schengen and Non-Schengen flights, so that passengers do not mix. This lead to huge renovations and changes at many European airports some years ago, because they had to completely change the passenger routes through the terminal.

Regarding this "Shopping Mall" idea, I remember when you are going through security in NRN, you have to go right through a shopping mall on first floor - at least if it really was NRN, not so sure.

I also recall an interview with a german airline manager, and he said "in the UK they deliberately only announce gates 45 minutes in advance, great for shopping".

I just thought: What an ***hole. and this should be banned by the authorities. In the last years, some german airports were deliberately changed so that your path goes through more shopping. However, usually it is not THAT bad, at least you know your gate pretty early - usually once you check-in, and if you check-in 24 hours in advance, you can see the gate once you passed security.

Despite the focus on shopping, airports like CPH and HAM are still easy to come around. In fact I like the shopping opportunities, but at MUC, CPH and HAM it never annoyed me or I never got the impression that the building is deliberately inconvenient for me - if I want, I do not lose time by the way the building is aranged to get to my gate.

This is different in London, because gates are not announced at once. VERY annoying, and this should be banned.
 
olle
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:34 pm

Quoting goldorak (Reply 50):
Sorry but you are wrong here.
If you fly ARN-CDG-SLC, you pass immigration at CDG (place where you leave the Schengen area)
If you fly ARN-LHR-SLC, you pass immigration at ARN (place where you leave the Schengen area)

That is of course correct, but if we pass migration in Atlanta or Miami we both do ARN and the city in US.

Normally if we go outside Schengen and pass LHR to Chile we do not need to do this.
 
PanHAM
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:28 pm

MAN is a good example where you have to go through a Shopping mall before you get back into an Airport. FRA maks 50% of it's income through retail and that despite the fact that People usually pay more for the stuff than on High Street.

Having a captive audience does seem to be the trick.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
hjulicher
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:38 pm

Quoting B727skyguy (Reply 21):
In all European airports, check-in agents sit on chairs and never lift the baggage. The passenger places the baggage on a conveyor belt with a built-in scale. After tagging the bag, the agent presses a button. The belt begins moving and takes the bag away. From an ergonomics and workplace safety standpoint, that type of system makes a lot more sense. It's a shame the US does not have similar workplace safety laws.

@DTW LH sits on chairs and has belts take the bags to the main belt. LH is the only airline @DTW to have this. The other airlines didn't opt for this for their employees. Of course, the North Terminal is relatively new and therefore this could be implemented. At other US stations, LH employees must stand. Actually, there are staff members from airserve who are supposed to lift the bags from the scale onto the belt behind the counters. The reason why staff cannot sit is because of OSHA safety regulations due to the distance of the baggage belt behind the employees.

Quoting superjeff (Reply 35):
In non-U.S. airports, passengers clear Emigration and go into a holding area; in the U.S. passengers use a common hold are whether domestic or international.

I only saw this holding room concept at LHR. All German airports have gates with seating areas. Secondly, the EU regulates that schengen areas must be separated from non-schengen zones. In the US, airlines are required for the exit immigration process for passengers traveling internationally. They are required to collect the I94 forms (if on a visa and must send the flight list to the authorities after departure). I permanently live now in Germany with residency as a US citizen, and I never have my passport stamped anymore when I leave the EU. Also in Germany, you can board an intra-schengen flight without showing any ID as you have automated security scans for entering security and gates.

Quoting simpan97 (Reply 52):
If you look from another point of view, I often see that the exterior and the building layout tend to differ in Europe and America. If you look at the gate structure in Minneapolis (MSP) and Munich (MUC) you see some real differences.

MUC has to separate schengen from non-schengen zones. They achieve this through two floors. The upper floor (H-gates) is non-schengen and the lower gates (G-Gates) are schengen zone. MSP doesn't have this as most of their gates are domestic use, whereas a gate at MUC has to be available for both non-schengen and schengen use. In the US, a few airports have this additional building that you mentioned (take a look at DTW McNamara terminal for the split use international/domestic gates. The airport has about 10 of these gates for international arriving passengers to go downstairs into immigrations, but may also be used for arriving domestic passengers to enter the main terminal.

In terms of airlines owning/leasing their facilities in Europe. LH is the exclusive operator in the new A+ pier in FRA. They also had a huge say in the design and branding within the terminal.

Another major difference is that baggage claim in Europe is always secured from the general public, whereas in the US the baggage claim is also the meeting area for arriving passengers. Theoretically a stranger in the US could steal luggage from the belts as he/she has direct access from the curb to them. Passengers in Europe must exit through the customs corridor first, but mostly they are not manned (especially in the EU) so it's a moot point. By the way, intra-schengen flights are tagged with green bars on the baggage tags so that customs officials know whether you are arriving from a schengen or non-schengen country.

Also European airports almost never use carpet for the gate areas, whereas this is quite common in the US. FRA and MUC both have granite tiled floors. Also European airports (imo) have fewer security announcements over the announcement system. Russian airports are the worst as every flight is announced over the entire terminal speaker and often in terrible English.

However, I have to say that my favorite terminal worldwide is the DTW McNamara terminal (perhaps that wasn't evident in this post   as I find it one of the most sophisticated and impressive. It was designed extremely well (A concourse) and offers a great variety of shopping, restaurants and views. If only they'd remove the dots from the windows (apparently a shade for the windows). I also like the escalators that go down into the terminal after security with the huge atrium.
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factsonly
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:35 am

Quoting B727skyguy (Reply 21):
In most US airports, check-in agents stand for their whole shift and must lift baggage that a passenger is checking, turn, and place it on a moving conveyor belt running behind the counter. In all European airports, check-in agents sit on chairs and never lift the baggage. The passenger places the baggage on a conveyor belt with a built-in scale. After tagging the bag, the agent presses a button. The belt begins moving and takes the bag away. From an ergonomics and workplace safety standpoint, that type of system makes a lot more sense. It's a shame the US does not have similar workplace safety laws.

You are describing a former European system that has been replaced by much newer technology.

Staff are now longer involved in the check-in process. Self check-in is now commonplace at large hubs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGO9SmTrfV0
 
Andy33
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:43 am

Quoting hjulicher (Reply 57):
intra-schengen flights are tagged with green bars on the baggage tags so that customs officials know whether you are arriving from a schengen or non-schengen country.

Not quite correct. You'll get a tag with green bars if you board a flight in the UK or Ireland, which aren't in Schengen but are in the EU, and you will get plain white tags if you board in Switzerland, which is in Schengen but not in the EU. The bars mean that the bag has come from another EU member state, and so there are no import duties to pay. Customs may still be interested if they think your bag contains something illegal.
This is why using "Customs" as the general term to describe both Customs and Immigration is most unwise in Europe as there are flights where you're liable to both, one or the other, or neither.
Travel from Frankfurt to Rome, there's no immigration or customs at all, and the same in the other direction.
Travel from Frankfurt to London, there's immigration at both ends, but no customs. From London to Frankfurt, there's still no customs, but immigration only at the Frankfurt end. Travel from Frankfurt to Zurich or return, there's no immigration, but customs on arrival in both directions. Now the customs thing is pretty nominal, but does exist when they think you have something worth stopping you for.
So European airports have to use flexible designs or they couldn't operate at all....
 
goldorak
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:59 am

Quoting factsonly (Reply 58):
You are describing a former European system that has been replaced by much newer technology.

Staff are now longer involved in the check-in process. Self check-in is now commonplace at large hubs.

You're going too fast ! The traditional check-in still represents the immense majority of check-in with bags, even in large hubs.
 
PanHAM
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:20 am

There is indeed a mix of self-service and check-in Agent staffed. Here at FRA I usually print my Boarding pass at home, check in the bag at the self Service terminal where I print my baggage tag and put my ID to a Reader. Returning from an Airport where LH has few daily Services, it is still the old System.
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busewils
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:22 am

All short-haul travellers in economy (check&go, light&relax), flying on SN out of BRU have to check their bags themselves. There is one check-in assistant to help. It’s an evolution happening at most major European airports. But most of the time airlines only do this at their hubs.
 
FCAFLYBOY
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:17 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 28):
Quoting Lofty (Reply 44):
As for baggage I can never understand why in the USA at check-in agents have to lift bags of the scales and onto a belt. To me that shows the Airport is trying to save money at the expense of Health and Safety.

It's a perception thing. You notice the same at retail stores. Almost no where in the US does the cashier sit down, except for public services (subways, etc.). It is seen a very unprofessional to the US. If not a bit lazy. That perception isn't strong in other parts of the world. Likewise, even if it really doesn't mean anything, the whole thing about "taking the bag" is really a symbol of personal touch. To many Americans, the European way of handling baggage check in seems very factory like and impersonal. Which I think even goes along with the rest of the airport design - to an American the shopping mall concept feels cold - I'd even dare say cheap. Kinda feels like an overgrown bus station.

In just the same way that to us Europeans, it would seem very cheap, unprofessional and probably illegal, to force check-in staff to stand for 10-12 hour shifts in cramped spaces, with no seat available, and then force them to haul passengers baggage behind them all day long.

It's all about perception of course, and I perceive that as ridiculous and very unfair for airport staff. Retail is different, you will hardly ever see retail staff in the UK sat down either. Having to haul 32kgs of baggage all day long is not the responsibility of a check-in agent, at least it shouldn't be. For a country that has such a litigious nature, this really shocks me about the USA.
 
Lofty
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:25 pm

About publishing gates early, if you have a flight on a 40min turnaround in LHR until that flight arrives on stand how do you know what gate you are going to send it to? When gates are published early you end up with passengers running from gate to gate a bit like a scene from the Airplane Film.
 
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Polot
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:55 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 64):

Gate assignment is an art, and it is all planned. It's not like they wait for a plane to land then decide where to park it. With flight schedules known in advance they plan gate/stand assignments in advance. It is delays and irrops that screws with it.

UK airports certainly know where a flight is operating from before they tell you, likely since you arrived at the airport- they just want you to stay in the main terminal area shopping.

[Edited 2015-01-25 04:56:39]
 
Lofty
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:13 pm

"UK airports certainly know where a flight is operating from before they tell you, likely since you arrived at the airport- they just want you to stay in the main terminal area shopping".

Oh how so wrong you are, I have known the LHR Stand planners for over 11 years.

For example BA stand plan in T5 not Heathrow and shopping does not come into it. T5 publish gates when the inbound flight arrives on stand, for shourthaul this could be 45mins before departure for Longhaul this could be a couple of hours depending on the time of the day.

As I have said before the main issue is when you are working with a Terminal which gates at times during the day are running at 100% you only need 1 flight to be delayed and the stand plan has to change for the rest of the day.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:45 pm

Quoting hjulicher (Reply 57):
Another major difference is that baggage claim in Europe is always secured from the general public

THF was different, but that was a special case.
 
sccutler
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:09 pm

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 15):

True. It's very rare to land at a European airport and see dozens of empty jetways, yet still sit on the tarmac because YOUR airline's one and only gate is occupied. That happens all the time in the US.

"All the time"?

Where?

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 20):

Personally I think there is a middle ground which is acceptable, but some of the 'jems' like LAX and BUR are really pushing it from a safety perspective.

As clearly illustrated by the rampant carnage caused by the older designs.

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 32):

But srsly. I have to say the US airport system (with the exception of SFO and maybe a couple of others) is stuffy, boring, and does not cater to the traveller at all. Every airport has exactly the same design, probably copied from some lowest-bidder architecture design from 1950s. Quite likely the design was originally made for a bus station. There's nothing to do, except perhaps sit at those same uncomfortable seats that are on every airport. Power sockets are nowhere to be found. The 7-11 would have 100 times more selection than the - once again - standardised tiny shops.

I take it you've been to only a few US airports, then?

Quoting celestar (Reply 38):
I think this is an interesting topic between European/American airport design. What I find even more interesting is how the world airport is divided into two different camps with regard to airport security. You have the traditional where every one after clearing immigration (Not for US but for others), went through a centralized security screening which make you feel like is a grand bazaar! Then, you have the other approach, I think Amsterdam was the pioneer where security are checked at each gate prior to boarding at the gate and Singapore Changi, certainly adopt and follow this approach. I kind of like this better as it eased off traffic and I presume, allow more time and specific attention to each flight based on their destination or passenger profile.

Historic note:

DFW's original terminals were designed in the late 60s, before there was airport security of any meaningful kind - then a spate of highjackings occurred, and passenger screening began. Most terminals had the centralized screening t o which we have all become accustomed, but Braniff believed that to be unreasonably disruptive to the travel experience, and so the screening (essentially, a metal detector) was done at the gate, as you boarded. Much nicer. Of course, Braniff's terminal (they were the only carrier to have their own terminal at DFW at opening, as AA shared with Eastern) was vastly nicer, very stylish and warm.

AA's terminal, at opening, had departing pax waiting in large, centralized holding halls until departure time, when they were sent to the gate (at which there was no seating at all). Clearly, that did not last.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
cloudboy
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:21 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 68):
FW's original terminals were designed in the late 60s, before there was airport security of any meaningful kind - then a spate of highjackings occurred, and passenger screening began. Most terminals had the centralized screening t o which we have all become accustomed, but Braniff believed that to be unreasonably disruptive to the travel experience, and so the screening (essentially, a metal detector) was done at the gate, as you boarded. Much nicer. Of course, Braniff's terminal (they were the only carrier to have their own terminal at DFW at opening, as AA shared with Eastern) was vastly nicer, very stylish and warm.

MCI is similar - originally designed to minimize the distance between car and gate, there is no room for one central security checkpoint. In this case it sucks - few concession offerings once through the security at each gate , and limited restrooms.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
konrad
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:25 pm

Another difference worth mentioning in this thread is the lack of what I call regional terminals (or terminal sections) in Europe. At most hub airports in the U.S. there are dedicated terminals, usually single floor structures at tarmac level, which are used exclusively to handle regional aircrafts: CRJs, ER4 and turboprops. The passengers walk out of the gate and board the small plane which is parked just outside. In Europe most of such boarding is done by busses, which sometime take forever driving around the airport carrying passengers to some remote parts of the apron (MUC comes to mind as an example). Only recently I've seen a dedicated regional airport terminal in Europe for the HOP hub operation in LYS.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:32 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 66):
As I have said before the main issue is when you are working with a Terminal which gates at times during the day are running at 100% you only need 1 flight to be delayed and the stand plan has to change for the rest of the day.

No, you just make up the time during the turn or delay the outbound. There's no need to muck up the whole gate plan because one flight is delayed. Ask the gate planners at other airports around the world how they manage it . . .
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Andy33
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:19 pm

Quoting konrad (Reply 70):
Another difference worth mentioning in this thread is the lack of what I call regional terminals (or terminal sections) in Europe

That's certainly true. I think it is fair to say that there is proportionally less flying on regional type aircraft in Europe than in the US, though I've never seen any actual statistics. And many airports away from significant hubs have all or almost all of their gates at ground level regardless of whether the aircraft using them are 50 seaters or less or 737/A32S.
 
LN-KGL
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:28 pm

Quoting konrad (Reply 70):
Another difference worth mentioning in this thread is the lack of what I call regional terminals (or terminal sections) in Europe.

Sadly Conrad, you are wrong about that. The 17th busiest airport in Europe, OSL, has a regional pier added to the west end of the domestic pier. This pier is for small turboprops flying among other to the STOLports in Western Norway like with Dash-8-100.

https://www.ippc.no/norway_aip/curre...ip/ad/engm/EN_AD_2_ENGM_2-3_en.pdf
The gate numbers 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 12 are primary for this regional "terminal".

[Edited 2015-01-25 13:58:07]
 
teneriffe77
Posts: 375
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:13 am

At a lot of the smaller american airports like here in SYR, turboprops use the same gates as the other flights except people go outside to board the plane with the exception of the Q40 which can use a regular jetway (experienced that in SYR and EWR). As far as RJ's they use the same jetways as mainlines aircraft and given the weather in SYR during the winter is an excellent idea. I don't like airports where you have to wait for you're age to be called as I like watching the action and could care less about the shopping
 
starrymarkb
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:00 am

With the rise of shopping and other airport charges there is the issue that Airlines are trying to reduce the amount they pay the airport. I understand Ryanair pretty much expect airports to pay them to fly there. So the airport's traditional revenue stream is being eroded, hence shops and fees
 
goldorak
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:18 am

Quoting konrad (Reply 70):
Only recently I've seen a dedicated regional airport terminal in Europe for the HOP hub operation in LYS.

CDG 2G is also dedicated to regional flights (AF flights operated by Hop and WX + a few partners like LG).
 
Lofty
Posts: 660
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:51 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 71):
No, you just make up the time during the turn or delay the outbound. There's no need to muck up the whole gate plan because one flight is delayed. Ask the gate planners at other airports around the world how they manage it . . .

Its called Customer Service. Punctuality is the number one need of passengers, so holding an arrival flight just to get it on its planned stand when other are free is just stupid it make the passengers unhappy and uses load of fuel and makes airports congested.

As I have said in the past I have shadowed Stand Planners around the world including the US and have had them shadow me. The biggest difference is space and the pressure that adds to the role, for example at LHR if you hold a flight for a stand and clearly other stands are available you do get the Tower Supervisor on the phone asking wait are you holding for.

I was told that too many flights holding and you could bring LHR to a stand still inside of 20mins.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:20 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 77):
Its called Customer Service. Punctuality is the number one need of passengers, so holding an arrival flight just to get it on its planned stand when other are free is just stupid it make the passengers unhappy and uses load of fuel and makes airports congested.

Right, but by the time you haul all of the bags from the planned stand, you may wind up taking as much or more of a delay with the gate change as you would without it. That's why most airports the world over, even those with higher gate utilization than Heathrow, don't change gates for a 5-10 minute wait for the planned gate.

Are you suggesting that you know something the entire rest of the world does not?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
jdevora
Posts: 225
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:48 pm

Quoting Cory6188 (Thread starter):
In the US, with a few exceptions (RDU comes to mind, as well as some airports' international terminals), the gate areas are branded for specific airlines, with gates assigned far in advance of the flight, with pax directed to wait at their specific gate for their flight. There are obviously common areas with retail, dining, etc. -- but generally speaking, pax are accustomed to waiting at their specific gate for their intended flight. Even where the gates are all common-use, gates are still indicated far ahead of the flight time.

My experience in Spanish and Irish airports is that in recent years the gate number is shown exactly ONE hour before departure, before that, the screen has the time when the gate number will be shown.

Cheers
JD
 
jdevora
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:10 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 54):
BTW, the EU demanded the distinction between Schengen and Non-Schengen flights, so that passengers do not mix. This lead to huge renovations and changes at many European airports some years ago, because they had to completely change the passenger routes through the terminal.

The changes are that their passports need to be checked after they disembark and before they board the plane, but after that, ALL the passengers are "mixed" in the same hall

Cheers
JD
 
ckfred
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RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:58 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 27):
One of the reasons I do not like US airports is the lack of shopping when I am waiting for my flight.

Define shopping. Most larger U.S. airports have some shopping, but it may be limited to items needed for a trip. MCO has a huge shopping mall between ticketing and security. We've checked out the Disney Store, the NASA store, the Universal Studios store among others.

Terminal 3 at ORD has a Mont Blanc store (although I prefer Waterman). The terminal at PHX that used to have AA, B6, and DL has a very niced store with a number of Southwest-themed items. On one trip, my wife bought some jewelry and some pottery based on the art of the late Ted DeGrazia.

The mall at PIT was so good that in the 1990s, a lot of locals used to drive to the airport to go shopping. Of course, who needs good shopping at MSP, when the Mall of America is a 10-minute train ride away.

Quoting Lofty (Reply 27):
As for baggage I can never understand why in the USA at check-in agents have to lift bags of the scales and onto a belt. To me that shows the Airport is trying to save money at the expense of Health and Safety.

Probably, the design of ticketing areas probably is based on how things work at railroad stations or when trans-Atlantic travel meant sailing on Cunard, White Star, Holland-America, the French Line, or United States Lines.

Long before Amtrak, at Union Station in Chicago, a passenger checking a bag on the Pennsylavia Railroad would have walked up to a counter with a suitcase (or a Red Cap would have wheeled it from the cab stand), where it would have been tagged. Then, someone behind the counter would have hoisted it onto a cart that was wheeled into the baggage room for sorting.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2498
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:12 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 81):
Long before Amtrak, at Union Station in Chicago, a passenger checking a bag on the Pennsylavia Railroad would have walked up to a counter with a suitcase (or a Red Cap would have wheeled it from the cab stand), where it would have been tagged. Then, someone behind the counter would have hoisted it onto a cart that was wheeled into the baggage room for sorting.

Sounds very likely that this is the origin of the system. In Europe rail passengers bags weren't dealt with this way. Either the passenger themselves or a porter (=redcap) would take it to the train directly without any intermediate sorting or tagging - the porter might stick a destination town label on, but that's as far as it went.
As a result the airport designers didn't have so much of a precedent and started with a clean sheet.
With ocean shipping, bags were divided into two categories "wanted on voyage" which were taken by porters/crew members right to the passengers cabin, or "not wanted on voyage" which would indeed be placed in the hold, and needed labelling with passengers names and port of destination.
 
phatfarmlines
Posts: 1441
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:41 am

Quoting simpan97 (Reply 52):

If you look from another point of view, I often see that the exterior and the building layout tend to differ in Europe and America. If you look at the gate structure in Minneapolis (MSP) and Munich (MUC) you see some real differences.

In Europe, the majority of all gates have a separate "building" where the first jet-way leads to and from that the boarding jet-way to the plane is connected. Munich (MUC) is a perfect example of this but many new airports also have this layout:

In America I see a lot of not aligned gates when the planes are not parked vertically to the building and as a result the jet-ways are often long and angled and the look from above feels more chaotic. Minneapolis (MSP) is a great example of this "American" design:

The exterior rampways which connect to jetways are definitely European architecture, which JFK T4 can thank. But, these are needed because European terminals at the gate area tend to be multi-level, unlike the US counterparts. European terminals need to account for domestic/Schengen arrivals, international arrivals, domestic/Schengen departures, and international departures, all which have to be separated and sterile areas.

Some jetways are long at MSP, like at the G concourse depicted in Simpan97's picture, because the gate areas appear to be built higher off the ground. The low-end C concourse jetways, and some D concourse jetways are short since the terminal sticks out closer to the taxiway, but to again account for the gate area height off the ground, an interior recessed ramp is used to connect the jetway to the gate area.

Actually, several airports in the US use the recessed-ramp-to-jetway approach for some of its gates. TPA uses them in Airside F to separate international arrivals, in addition to Airside E, which is used to park planes closer to the terminal. PHL uses them in Concourses B-D as well.


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[Edited 2015-01-27 16:42:36]
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:48 am

Quoting jdevora (Reply 80):
Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 54):
BTW, the EU demanded the distinction between Schengen and Non-Schengen flights, so that passengers do not mix. This lead to huge renovations and changes at many European airports some years ago, because they had to completely change the passenger routes through the terminal.

The changes are that their passports need to be checked after they disembark and before they board the plane, but after that, ALL the passengers are "mixed" in the same hall

That's not my experience at any airports in the Schengen area where all Schengen and non-Schengen gates have to be completely separated. The only place all passengers are "mixed" is before the non-Schengen passengers have to pass through passport control to reach their gates. And on arrival they're separated until the non-Schengen passengers go through passport control.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:29 am

I am curious about the shopping. It never made sense to me to go shopping in an airport. The last thing I need when flying is another load to carry, not to mention that you really cant take it on the plane with you. You would either have to figure out how to check, it, or leave room in your bag specifically to buy something.
"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
 
Escapehere
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:11 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:02 am

Quoting celestar (Reply 38):
I think Amsterdam was the pioneer where security are checked at each gate prior to boarding at the gate and Singapore Changi, certainly adopt and follow this approach.

Which is all fine until you need to use the bathroom.
 
Escapehere
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:11 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:04 am

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 43):
Security also leads to different design, first time to the US i was very surprised that my friends picket me up right at the gate and that the baggage reclaim was in the public area.

You can still actually do this for Australian domestic flights. Non-travelling passengers are allowed through security.
 
Lofty
Posts: 660
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:23 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:33 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 85):
I am curious about the shopping. It never made sense to me to go shopping in an airport

The idea of shopping in UK airports started when any items your brought airside would be Duty and Tax free, this made getting bargains. Then shared lounges where introduced where domestic, International and EU passengers mix so the shops just offered discounts rather than trying to have 3 systems. With the internet and high streets offering discounts what was a good things is not so much now.

That is why airports with high transfer loads offer shops that a very unique to the country and other high end shops, for example LHR and Harrods.
 
UALWN
Posts: 2185
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:27 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:38 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 84):
That's not my experience at any airports in the Schengen area where all Schengen and non-Schengen gates have to be completely separated. The only place all passengers are "mixed" is before the non-Schengen passengers have to pass through passport control to reach their gates. And on arrival they're separated until the non-Schengen passengers go through passport control.

That's exactly how it is in, for instance, my home airport, BCN. Non-Schengen gates (D, E) are in the upper floor, separated from the much more numerous Schengen gates (A, B, C) in the lower floor.
AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/787/AB6/310/32X/330/340/350/380
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:52 am

Quoting UALWN (Reply 89):
That's exactly how it is in, for instance, my home airport, BCN. Non-Schengen gates (D, E) are in the upper floor, separated from the much more numerous Schengen gates (A, B, C) in the lower floor.

Indeed, and this was a requirement which came up some years ago. Before that, it was not so strict.
 
LN-KGL
Posts: 821
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 1999 6:40 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:10 pm



The illustration above shows the control measures necessary for departures for an European airport outside EU but inside Schengen - Oslo Airport (OSL). The thickness of the flows "lines" represent the traffic size for each segment.
The drawing doesn't show the connection flows, like Domestic->Domestic, Schengen->Domestic, Domestic->Schengen, Domestic->Non-Schengen, Non-Schengen->Domestic, Non-Schengen->Schengen, Schengen->Non-Schengen and Non-Schengen->Non-Schengen.
Since this airport isn't inside EU, the old tax free system still works. Therefore Domestic and International traffic has to be separated with one way doors when entering the International area and not a fake customs on arrival as at many EU airports (red or green zones and no blue with yellow stars zone). To make it more convenient for passengers arriving the airport from abroad, the airports also a tax free shop on arrival.
The airport has combination gates Schengen/Non-Schengen, but since they building a new pier the airports don't have the combi gates Domestic/Schengen. All gates on the new North pier will be combi gates Domestic/Schengen, but that project is not finished until April 2017. Today's international pier to the east will be modified and lengthened because of the need for more Non-Schengen area/gates.

http://d20tdhwx2i89n1.cloudfront.net/image/upload/t_next_gen_article_large_767/dsmqm4eb2swubago1prv.jpg

Inside the new North pier with Domestic/Schengen combi gates to open in April 2017
 
Beatyair
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:09 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:14 pm

Even runway designs:

American - inbound and out bound runways next to each other feels more efficient rather the the current models of having runways spread out. London's Heathrow could have less impact if they built an LAX or Atlanta style runway system.
 
a380787
Posts: 4573
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:38 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:32 pm

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 92):

American - inbound and out bound runways next to each other feels more efficient rather the the current models of having runways spread out. London's Heathrow could have less impact if they built an LAX or Atlanta style runway system.

IAH must have some of the worst runway design. It takes me forever between landing and actually reaching the gate ... without taxi-way congestion
 
N1120A
Posts: 26503
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:02 am

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 63):
For a country that has such a litigious nature, this really shocks me about the USA.

Ugh. You ought to gain a real understanding of the law before you claim such things.

In the vast majority of states (maybe all), on-the-job injuries are subject to the exclusive remedy of worker's compensation laws. In some states, like California, worker's compensation is a constitutional right. However, the remedies are usually rather heavily limited and the entire system is different - right down to the way lawyers are paid for their work.

Quoting konrad (Reply 70):
At most hub airports in the U.S. there are dedicated terminals, usually single floor structures at tarmac level, which are used exclusively to handle regional aircrafts: CRJs, ER4 and turboprops. The passengers walk out of the gate and board the small plane which is parked just outside

A lot of regional terminals are built with jetways.

Quoting teneriffe77 (Reply 74):
As far as RJ's they use the same jetways as mainlines aircraft and given the weather in SYR during the winter is an excellent idea.

RJs at ORD T5 can't use the same jetways.

Quoting Escapehere (Reply 87):
You can still actually do this for Australian domestic flights. Non-travelling passengers are allowed through security.

I didn't know that. I miss it in the US.

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 43):
Security also leads to different design, first time to the US i was very surprised that my friends picket me up right at the gate and that the baggage reclaim was in the public area. can´t recall ever seeing a set up like that in Euope, but i guess we had those maybe into late 70´s/early 80´s.

That was allowed up until 9/11. There is no reason for it not to be allowed now, except that the TSA takes so much longer to screen now.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
vv701
Posts: 5895
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:39 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 88):
The idea of shopping in UK airports started when any items your brought airside would be Duty and Tax free, this made getting bargains.

This surely is the nub of the differences.

Until 30 June 1999 a passenger travelling between any two European countries or between a European and a non-European country could buy beer, wine, spirits and tobacco duty free and all other products free of Value Added Tax.

Two factors distinguish the impact of these now defunct concessions in Europe compared to the USA:

1. Duty and tax rates are very high in Europe, For example the current duty rate on alcohol in the UK is equivalent to £28.22 per litre of pure alcohol. The current VAT (Sales Tax) rate in the UK is 20 per cent

2. Back prior to 30 June 1999 most flights taken in Europe qualified for these concessions as the relative size of European countries is small limiting the number of domestic passengers. For example the UK (94,247 sq miles) is significantly smaller than the State of Colorado (104,104 sq miles).

So with the high level of possible savings airport shops became a significant income source not just for the shop operator but, through rentals, the airport. Both the retailer and passenger gained. The retailer could obtain a higher margin while the passenger bought at below high street prices. And the airport was not left out. Back prior to the abolition of these tax and duty concessions it was estimated that airports widely obtained over 10 per cent of their total income from shop rentals. For example the operator of LTN airport said at the time that the abolition of the concessions would cost it 11 per cent of its income. So the more shops they could rent back then, the higher their revenue and profits.

Of course the same rules that pertained back them still apply to travel from within to outside the EU. And it often seems that the abolition of duty and sales tax concessions for intra-EU travel has resulted in an escalation of shopping opportunities as airports and retailers try to obtain the old levels of income from a reduced number of 'international' passengers.
 
oc2dc
Posts: 469
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:38 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:02 am

One glaring difference in airport design would be seamless connections to mass transit...at least in Europe. ZRH and FRA (to name just a few of the many) come to mind when thinking about how easy it is to walk across the terminal and jump on a train....Especially at ZRH. You can come from any part of the country on a high speed train or come in on a local train to catch a flight without having to switch trains multiple times.

Not even JFK has the luxury of such great train connectivity, and the New York area has a vast subway/train system. Major airport in the US like DFW, MIA, LAX, IAD fail miserably when attempting to connect to mass transit.
I'm not complaining, I'm critiquing...
 
CalTex
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:23 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:23 am

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 96):
One glaring difference in airport design would be seamless connections to mass transit...at least in Europe.

I agree with you to a point. The best European airports' transit connections put the US's best to shame. Other than EWR, I can't think of a single US airport that has nearby connections to intercity trains or buses. However, a constantly growing list of US airports including JFK, EWR, SFO, ORD, MSP, BOS, ATL, PHX, PDX, PHL, OAK, DCA, SEA, and DFW (brand new last fall) have a dedicated light rail or metro line that stops right at the airport. IAD is building one. Many of these transit links are inferior to automobile options, but that's a problem with the design of the city and its public transit, not the airport.

For US airports, there is a definite trend towards public transit integration, which I wholeheartedly welcome.
 
ckfred
Posts: 5155
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:01 pm

Quoting andy33 (Reply 82):
In Europe rail passengers bags weren't dealt with this way. Either the passenger themselves or a porter (=redcap) would take it to the train directly without any intermediate sorting or tagging - the porter might stick a destination town label on, but that's as far as it went.

You have to remember that years ago, U.S. Mail went on a lot of passenger trains. In fact, mail was sorted on trains. There was also freight that shipped via Railway Express Agency (REA), for items that needed to move faster than what normal freight service offered. Because of the presence of mail, probably the railroads had to limit the number of people around the baggage car, which may have been partially dedicated to the sorting of mail.

By the same token, some passenger trains in the U.S. were 14, 15, or even 16 cars long. If you're boarding a train at Grand Central or Penn Station in New York, Dearborn or LaSalle Street Station in Chicago, or Union Station in Los Angeles, you aren't about to walk the length of the platform to put checked bags into the baggage car, and then walk back to a Pullman car, which is aft of the dining car.

A number of larger stations had two platforms for handling a train. One platform was for passengers. The other was for baggage carts hauling baggage, mail, and express shipments.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2498
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

RE: American Vs. European Airport Design

Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:19 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 98):

My underlying point is that there is no concept of checked baggage on European trains, and never really was, so no process to model the airport terminal on. Nowadays in Britain there are no baggage cars, and even back in the 1950s most passengers took their baggage into the passenger accommodation with them. Mail still travels by rail to a limited extent on dedicated trains, but the on train sorting stopped about 20 years ago. It was quite normal right across from the west coast of Ireland to Central Europe for sorted mail in sacks, pieces of passenger baggage too big to fit in the passenger spaces, and parcels and packages consigned by the railway's own parcel service to share floor space in partitioned off areas.

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