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yonikasz
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:47 pm

Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:02 am

Gotta say ATL hands down. Was just there last week and DL does a mighty fine job there. There concourses are clean and the signage is superb. I like how they have the posts and they board zones 2-4 at once. There is also a monitor to show what zone they are boarding. I think DL has a huge strategic advantage with TechOps. It seems like the DL ground staff really make a personal effort to get flights out on time, I see alot more hustle than at ORD. For example the onbound aircraft arrived late and the single gate agent explained the situation said we will start boarding about 15 mins late. He asked politely if people need to use the restroom to use the restroom by the gate because once we board we will need to sit down and will not have any time. Got on the aircraft and within 1 minute of the door closing we pushed back. I think the way the concourses are setup with the plane train intersecting them through the middle makes it super easy to connect. ORD is kinda a jigsaw.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:10 am

NRT(used to be)
 
PWMRamper
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:21 am

ATL is too crowded in the concourses for my taste.

DTW, if we're talking about McNamara, is perfect.
 
DaveFly
Posts: 387
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:29 am

I agree that Atlanta is pretty good hub for transfers. It’s big and sprawling, but it seems to work.

I like Detroit as well. When I use these hubs, I’m usually transferring to/from a regional partner, so I don’t want to leave the building or take a bus, as in Philadelphia.
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slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:43 am

DEN for a connection passenger has to be the best overall. Im not a fan of the airport efficiency for O&D (although they have improved a few pain points recently). For connections it's spectacular easily my favorite place to connect.

SLC if you are a delta person is a pretty on time and easy place to connect too.

Worst places to connect any NYC airport or Boston
 
steveAUS
Posts: 23
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:45 am

For connecting...UA: DEN, AA: DFW, DL: ATL

What do they have in common? Big, sprawling airports that use size to its advantage. Plenty of runways and gate space...well-thought-out for the connection experience, the design of easy-to-nav terminals, investment in solid peoplemover systems, etc. All (mostly) pleasant to fly through.
 
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SierraPacific
Posts: 435
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:03 am

I am a homer but I will say PHX is pretty nice. The weather isn't an issue and I have never had a negative experience with an employee there. I grew up in Atlanta and love ATL's layout but the weather problems and rude staff kill it for me. I enjoy SLC as a nice connecting airport as well. I hate LAX with a passion especially transferring from the international terminal to a domestic terminal and having to reclear TSA was an absolute pain especially after a 14 hour overnight flight from Australia.
 
N415XJ
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:04 pm

Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:51 am

DTW (McNamara Terminal), hands down. Its design is very efficient, signage is clear and unambiguous, there are plenty of food/shopping options, and architecturally the building is beautiful and lets in lots of natural light (which can do wonders for how comfortable it feels to wait in the airport between flights). Also, if you have a long stay the Westin is a beautiful hotel. The only downside I can think of is the winter weather potentially causing delays/cancellations, but weather is something you'll occasionally need to contend with anywhere (except, usually, the Southwest and Hawaii).
 
questions
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:24 am

I really like ATL’s overall functional and simplistic design for an airport of its size. However I try avoid it because it’s too crowded. The concourses were not designed to handle the current levels of passenger traffic. Concourses A and B are too narrow and concourses C and D are way too narrow. A-D also lack moving sidewalks.

So out of...

American
- MIA
- CLT
- PHL
- JFK
- ORD
- DFW
- PHX
- LAX

Delta
- ATL
- JFK
- MSP
- DTW
- SLC
- SEA
- LAX

United
- IAD
- EWR
- ORD
- IAH
- DEN
- SFO
- LAX

I would chose DTW.

Honorable mention goes to Terminal 2 at SFO which is used by AA and AS but is a non US3 hub. It’s modern, clean and never seems overly crowded.
 
N766UA
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:07 am

I’ve flown through every hub in the US, and DTW is head and shoulders above the rest. It’s absolutely no contest.

As for which hub takes 2nd place... DEN maybe? If we start including major focus cities, too, I think BOS terminal A gets an honorable mention.
 
digitalman12
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:01 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:42 pm

DTW McNamara terminal is my #1. I also like CLT on AA, MSP and ATL on Delta.


EWR is a real pain to connect through on UA.

Also while not the US3 (and not technically a hub), the jetBlue Terminal (T5) at JFK is one of the best airport experiences I've had.
 
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MassAppeal
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Re: Best hub of the US3

Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:27 pm

I'd say DEN or CLT.

There are lots of places to "hide" from the crowds if you know where to find them.
 
Wednesdayite
Posts: 233
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:18 pm

DEN and DTW (McNamara).

No other hubs come close.
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Buffalomatt1027
Posts: 441
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:06 am

ATL has my vote ... I was in ATL for work and leaving. My coworkers and I all had different flights with different airlines.

I could easily go from terminal to terminal no problem and could hang out with them while waiting for my flight.


Whom ever said CTL .... I was recently there. One of the terminals looked like scene out of walking dead. No ceiling or walls and VERY much under construction and extremely over crowded I couldnt even find a space to get away from people. (And trust me. I walked pretty far)

Boston -> I really like how you can walk to the international terminal and see all the big planes!
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:01 am

yonikasz wrote:
Gotta say ATL hands down. Was just there last week and DL does a mighty fine job there.


Last week? LOL. Try going there when it rains or when there's ice or DL unplugs one of their servers.

The posters who said the best hub is DEN are correct.
 
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intotheair
Posts: 1907
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Re: Best hub of the US3

Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:54 am

Operationally, SFO sucks, but the recently redone bits (T3-E, T2, International Terminal) are quite nice.

I'd probably pick DEN as the best, though concourses are starting to look pretty 90s.
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jetblueguy22
Posts: 3505
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:32 pm

DTW because it's such a breeze to get through there. If you get lost, you shouldn't be traveling alone.

Personally though, I really like MSP. It's just the familiarity though.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
bfitzflyer
Posts: 453
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:04 am

As of 2018, would love to find one in the discussion overlooked, but for connecting DTW and DEN are by far the best.
 
NWADTWE16
Posts: 742
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:12 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:16 am

DTW for sure. ATL is impressive but DL staff there are not.
B6 at BOS and JFK top my list as well. For the bottom it had to be FLL and ORD
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
jumpjets
Posts: 1486
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Best hub of the US3

Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:14 am

I havent done much connecting in the USA but in my limited experience I have found ORD fairly straight forward, even when making international/domestic [and vice versa] connections - and MIA grim.
 
Insertnamehere
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:44 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:41 am

Newark. To me at least I find Terminal C to be very nice and open with ample space to sit. Lounges were alright nothing that stellar like the airport lounge in Mumbai but good enough to get away from the commotion of the terminal and grab a coffee.
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2630
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:04 am

jumpjets wrote:
I havent done much connecting in the USA but in my limited experience I have found ORD fairly straight forward, even when making international/domestic [and vice versa] connections - and MIA grim.


O'Hare is very straightforward. It's just totally overscheduled with the glut of RJ's. Looking at tomorrow there are 181 arrivals & departures scheduled from 7am-8am. Looking at this document -- which is a little dated -- O'Hare's capacity for arrivals and departures per hour is 168-225 depending on weather.

https://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_c ... s-2014.pdf

With bad weather, or with time required to turn the airport around when the wind changes, it's impossible to operate as scheduled. And there is a shortage of gate and terminal space when flights can't operate as scheduled -- which they cannot do on almost any given day. This also accurately shows that DEN has the highest capacity of any airport in the US for arrivals and departures per hour, and operates no where near it's full capacity. This is why I have never landed and waited for a gate to open at DEN, have never had to search for a seat, stand, or sit on the floor in the boarding area in DEN, and it's why DEN is the best hub of the US3.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5843
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

Re: Best hub of the US3

Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:37 am

Maybe Denver is OK for connecting, but as a destination airport, I have seen none worse!

There is nothing about the arrival experience that doesn't suck at Denver - you have to ride a train to get to baggage claim (and yes, I know Denver's not the only airport with this ludicrous design choice, but it is the largest), then you have to wait forever for bags, then you have to wait forever for rental car buses, then you ride for... a while... to get to the rental car location, then you're hell and gone from... anything. The TSA experience there is terrible if you're non-Precheck, but I don't think we can really blame the airport for the TSA's bureaucratic ineffectiveness.

I go there just infrequently enough that I almost forget how bad it is... then I go back.

Being DFW-based, I rarely have cause to connect elsewhere; did so at PHL on my way to AMS earlier this year, found it a nice experience.

I know DFW used to be a terrible connection airport, because the old inter-terminal train (AIRTRAN) was quite nearly useless (hey, it was built in 1973!), but the new trains seem quick and efficient; since I have stopped driving to the airport for trips (Uber, for the win), I have not had to use the trains lately. The legacy DFW terminals were certainly not designed with connections in mind, and passenger space at gates is limited - but they work.

IAH works pretty well.
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STT757
Posts: 14171
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:54 am

Best domestic:
ATL

Best Trans-Atlantic:
EWR

Best Latin America:
MIA

Best Asia/Pacific:
SFO
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
portcolumbus
Posts: 1674
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 7:10 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:46 pm

DTW is great and so underutilized.
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 21966
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:12 am

N415XJ wrote:
DTW (McNamara Terminal), hands down. Its design is very efficient, signage is clear and unambiguous, there are plenty of food/shopping options, and architecturally the building is beautiful and lets in lots of natural light (which can do wonders for how comfortable it feels to wait in the airport between flights). Also, if you have a long stay the Westin is a beautiful hotel. The only downside I can think of is the winter weather potentially causing delays/cancellations, but weather is something you'll occasionally need to contend with anywhere (except, usually, the Southwest and Hawaii).


DTW has a massive fleet of snow-clearing vehicles and usually handles all but the most extreme blizzards very well.

And I have to agree, DTW Midfield* Terminal is probably my favorite US airport terminal.

*I hate eponymous names for terminals.
-Doc Lightning-

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-Carl Sagan
 
Kno
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: Best hub of the US3

Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm

I really enjoy connecting at ATL. The plane spotting is great and the food options are excellent as well. I've often found myself at the terminal A food court watching the tarmac and listening to a great piano player jam on the beautiful grand piano. The fact that it's one of the only hubs where 757s are still abundant and I can easily connect on a domestic widebody if I'm going west makes it all the more exciting.
 
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neomax
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:26 am

Re: Best hub of the US3

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:24 am

DTW no contest.

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