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theasianguy
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What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:46 pm

There are plenty of airport terminals that people love to complain about (CDG T1, LGA TB, NAIA T1), but most of the terrible ones were built in a different era. What are some terrible terminals that were built relatively recently, say in the past 20-25 years? I think JFK T1 (1998) and PEK T2 (1999) are remarkably bad given their age.
 
pewpew320
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:35 pm

BKK on the whole is dire and depressing to be in. It's not even old! ICN was build 5 years earlier and is so my more pleasant.
 
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Rossiya747
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:51 pm

JFK T1 was built by Air France, JAL, Korean, and Lufthansa. Not by Americans. To me, it looks too old and the lighting is extremely unpleasant.
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:01 pm

It's a few years old now, but the new terminal at SVO was awful. Columns in the middle of thoroughfares, dark corridors and lack of seating.

The new terminal at VIE is also poorly laid out. Corridors which are deeply unfriendly to traverse, pointless level changes and generally a very cold design language.
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Whiteguy
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:48 pm

YYC for sure!!
 
Williamsb747
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:21 am

MCT hands down.. Brand new airport (opened in 2018) and wants to be nice with marble everywhere yet it has cracks and worn tiles everywhere. One of the worst for baggage reclaim I have ever seen, barely any food landslide (one Tim Hortons and 3 coffee shops) airside isn't much better, and the worst aspect is everything airside is crowded even though its not near its capacity nor am I talking about peek times. I've flown through here quite often (I'm based here) and its terrible each and every time.

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max999
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:46 am

LHR T5. Just a shopping mall pretending to be an airport. The management there is 100% dedicated to your shopping experience.

Everyone is trapped inside the mall until they announce your gate at the very last minute. Then it's a mad rush of 200 people going to the gate.
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Electra
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:44 pm

LHR T2,

Landside: Too much of a reliance on lifts to move people between levels. There are not enough of them and they are quite small, so there is always queues for the lifts. Only one (slightly dizzying) escalator to get from ground level to departures, similarly a very tucked away escalator to the Underground/Heathrow Express/Central Bus Station.
Airside: Not too bad, particularly the quick access to the A gates, but little to no options for a quick bite to eat or a coffee etc as most establishments are more of ‘sit down’ dining affair.

Given that it is Heathrow’s newest terminal, the experience could be better.
 
TheEuphorian
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:33 pm

CGK T3 is quite new, but terribly designed, atleast it's still an improvement from the open-air T1.

BKK's terminal used to be great, but after they decided to wedge in the duty-free stores and overpriced restaurants, it became claustrophobic and it basically looks like a shopping mall/tourist trap combo posing as an airport, and to add insult to the injury, the windows are never cleaned. Also, the food there is extremely overpriced (eg. 220 THB for a Filet O' Fish at McDonalds compared to the normal prices of like 99 THB), but the real hell is the parking lot that is really crowded even during off-season.
 
LX138
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:55 pm

Easy. Luton airports terminal.

Only recently upgraded and expanded. But very badly designed in terms of passenger flow. Hundreds of people arriving, then entering from the car park and bus stands into the building conflicting/obstructing with the same number of people queuing for the strange outside catering/bus vendor booths on the walkway outside. Hundreds of people stood smoking right outside the 2 entrances only adds to the problem.

Inside, check-in area not big enough and too much emphasis on enlarging catering offering landside. Security area not fit for purpose during early morning rush. Toilets downmarket in decor, not enough of them and filthy (not a design flaw that one but you get the theme).
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AeroLogical
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:47 pm

This might be an unpopular opinion, but the new Istanbul airport is not pleasant to transit through though it is beautiful. At least one of the piers has a nasty sewage smell, the terminal somehow manages to be stuffy (a feat for such a large an open space), and the baggage inspection to transit from one international flight to another is interminable. Not to mention the distance of the airport from the city center.
 
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jsnww81
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:06 pm

I'll echo the votes for LHR T2 and LHR T5. We knew all along that the primary focus of both buildings would "retail experiences" and "capturing wallet share" - the designers made no bones about their intentions during construction - but I'm still struck by how pathetically bad both buildings are every time I arrive at Heathrow. It's effectively the same miserable warren of shops and unclear wayfinding that existed in the old T1/T2 and today's T3, but with higher ceilings and shinier floors. Definitely the jewel in the crown of garbage that is every UK airport.

Apart from Heathrow, I'll also add:
- SVO Terminal D (terrible layout and bad passenger flow)
- ATH (a dull, forgettable box of a building)
- MXP T1 (opened in 1998 with a design from two decades previously; they've fixed it up considerably, but it still looks a lot older than it actually is)
- BKK (for all the reasons others have said already)

I haven't been to the new MSY since it opened, but I'm hearing not-great reviews from friends who have visited - weird traffic flow, limited expansion capability and too much glass creating excessively high temperatures inside.) The design of the still-under-construction SLC terminal looks pretty underwhelming as well... just a big steel box.
 
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ricport
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:14 pm

max999 wrote:
LHR T5. Just a shopping mall pretending to be an airport. The management there is 100% dedicated to your shopping experience.

Everyone is trapped inside the mall until they announce your gate at the very last minute. Then it's a mad rush of 200 people going to the gate.


IMO, the biggest problem with T5 is that it's already obsolete. Too many pax transiting for the space. The lounges are almost always overcrowded, and I agree, the last-minute gate announcements are beyond stupid and unnecessary (but most European airports do this, don't they?).

You also forgot to mention the lazy and surly T5 security screeners. Five people standing there watching one person actually doing work.
 
ExpatVet
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:41 pm

LX138 wrote:
Easy. Luton airports terminal.

Only recently upgraded and expanded. But very badly designed in terms of passenger flow. Hundreds of people arriving, then entering from the car park and bus stands into the building conflicting/obstructing with the same number of people queuing for the strange outside catering/bus vendor booths on the walkway outside. Hundreds of people stood smoking right outside the 2 entrances only adds to the problem.

Inside, check-in area not big enough and too much emphasis on enlarging catering offering landside. Security area not fit for purpose during early morning rush. Toilets downmarket in decor, not enough of them and filthy (not a design flaw that one but you get the theme).


He said "airport terminal" not "sh*thole", so Luton doesn't count. ;)
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alan3
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:31 pm

Does Berlin count? ;)
 
max999
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:35 pm

ricport wrote:
max999 wrote:
LHR T5. Just a shopping mall pretending to be an airport. The management there is 100% dedicated to your shopping experience.

Everyone is trapped inside the mall until they announce your gate at the very last minute. Then it's a mad rush of 200 people going to the gate.


IMO, the biggest problem with T5 is that it's already obsolete. Too many pax transiting for the space. The lounges are almost always overcrowded, and I agree, the last-minute gate announcements are beyond stupid and unnecessary (but most European airports do this, don't they?).

You also forgot to mention the lazy and surly T5 security screeners. Five people standing there watching one person actually doing work.


My observation is that LHR takes the last minute gate announcements to the extreme compared to other European airports. They do this to maximize shopping opportunities and they don't care about you getting to your flight on time.

And yes, LHR security screening is a particularly miserable experience. I can't believe there's another security screening when transiting between a Europe to Europe flight!
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VSMUT
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:47 pm

I agree with the sentiments about the shopping malls in London Heathrow.

I was pretty disappointed by the KLIA Main terminal, the satellite in particular. For something built in the 1990s with a focus on natural lighting, they sure covered it up in a lot of advertising. It somehow feels stuffy and cramped.

The "new" terminal D at Sheremetyevo. Narrow, crowded corridors. The older E terminal is much nicer. That airport seriously needs a proper new terminal designed for 2020s standards.

Paris CDG Terminal 2G. Temporary prefab-like structure that became permanent.


TheEuphorian wrote:
CGK T3 is quite new, but terribly designed, atleast it's still an improvement from the open-air T1.


Interesting. I really liked T1, loved the gardens.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:37 pm

max999 wrote:
LHR T5. Just a shopping mall pretending to be an airport. The management there is 100% dedicated to your shopping experience.

That's really sad.

max999 wrote:
Everyone is trapped inside the mall until they announce your gate at the very last minute. Then it's a mad rush of 200 people going to the gate.

I am so happy Amsterdam Schiphol is my home airport, where gates are usually announced 24 hours in advance.
 
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kearnet
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:17 pm

alan3 wrote:
Does Berlin count? ;)



LOL, I had the same thought when I read the title.
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zappomatic
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:32 pm

I don’t get the hate for LHR T5 here. As designed it mostly works pretty well with relatively short walking distances. Yes there is a lot of shopping but it doesn’t get in the way of the place’s function as an airport - at least you’re not forced to walk through a huge duty free shop directly after passing through security, as seems to be the trend today. Signage and way finding is easy to understand. And the need to pass security screening again if connecting from anything other than a domestic flight has nothing to do with the airport but is a government requirement.

My main criticism is the awkwardly placed escalators to the main departures level when leaving north security: it’s in a tight little corner right outside a lounge, busy toilets and a pub and on the lower level deposits you into another bottleneck. It’s true in some ways that the design is obsolete, particularly landslide check in where they have an excessive number of desks when many people these days travel hand baggage only.

Operationally they need to improve how the transit to the satellites is run as it needs to be more frequent, and the manual security check at each end takes too long.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:26 pm

I honestly don't get the complaint about terminals being "shopping malls". The revenue from the outlets help keeps airport fees down for both airlines & passengers, so that your ticket won't cost as much as it would if the airport authorities only have to rely on landing fees & passenger service charges.

Plus, window shopping helps the time go by when you have to wait a long time before boarding.
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DaProf
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:12 am

DTW, who was the genius that thought a tram inside the terminal that runs all night was a great idea. Pray you never get stuck there overnight because any hope of sleep will not be an option.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:28 am

MAN terminal 2 - it’s awkward to get to from the road, there’s a lot of cramped twists and turns to get to security and airside it’s horrible trying to buy food because of the amount of time they take to prepare it.

They also charge taxi drivers for each drop off they do unless they buy annual certificate.
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ACDC8
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:38 pm

Whiteguy wrote:
YYC for sure!!

x2 :lol:

YLW is a close second, while ground side is nice, airside is getting more messed up with every renovation/expansion they do.
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Dominion301
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:43 pm

kearnet wrote:
alan3 wrote:
Does Berlin count? ;)



LOL, I had the same thought when I read the title.


Same here LOL. The only question is, which Berlin airport? TXL’s a dump but convenient. BER is a gem of course. :stirthepot:
 
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:44 pm

DaProf wrote:
DTW, who was the genius that thought a tram inside the terminal that runs all night was a great idea. Pray you never get stuck there overnight because any hope of sleep will not be an option.


DTW might be terrible to sleep in (never tried that myself), but is a dream when it comes to connecting or even O&D for Detroit.
 
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:41 pm

Berlin Brandenburg (BER)

- closed doors
- no flights
:)
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smallmj
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:31 pm

Any airport that forces exposure to a perfume/cosmetics counter (usually in the forced duty free). Getting my eyes watering and my nose running just before a flight is not appreciated.
 
DTWLAX
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:09 am

DaProf wrote:
DTW, who was the genius that thought a tram inside the terminal that runs all night was a great idea. Pray you never get stuck there overnight because any hope of sleep will not be an option.

What's wrong with the tram being inside? How is it different from being stuck in a tram that is outside the terminal?
Who is sleeping inside the terminal at night? I do not think anybody is spending the night at the airport waiting for a connection the next day.
Even if there are rare cases, people can always leave the terminal and stay at a hotel.
 
teachpdx
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:33 am

KUL - klia2.
Only low-ceiling corridors after the shopping mall, cheap finishes that are not aging well, no water fountains, and minimal places to get food or drink. It’s a seriously depressing terminal, like waiting inside a glorified jetway.
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BWIAirport
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:52 am

I don’t know how recently it was built but this fall I was flying out of CPH on BA. The walk from security to gate C27, which is one of the closer C gates to security, was about 15-20 minutes. That and they didn’t let us inside the gate area (where all the seating was) until about 5 minutes before boarding.
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flyingclrs727
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:55 am

max999 wrote:
ricport wrote:
max999 wrote:
LHR T5. Just a shopping mall pretending to be an airport. The management there is 100% dedicated to your shopping experience.

Everyone is trapped inside the mall until they announce your gate at the very last minute. Then it's a mad rush of 200 people going to the gate.


IMO, the biggest problem with T5 is that it's already obsolete. Too many pax transiting for the space. The lounges are almost always overcrowded, and I agree, the last-minute gate announcements are beyond stupid and unnecessary (but most European airports do this, don't they?).

You also forgot to mention the lazy and surly T5 security screeners. Five people standing there watching one person actually doing work.


My observation is that LHR takes the last minute gate announcements to the extreme compared to other European airports. They do this to maximize shopping opportunities and they don't care about you getting to your flight on time.

And yes, LHR security screening is a particularly miserable experience. I can't believe there's another security screening when transiting between a Europe to Europe flight!


It's bad enough for an able bodied person, but I had to negotiate through Terminal 2 with my then 78 year old mother who had her second knee replacement surgery just a year previously. We didn't buy anything from any of the duty free shops. The only worse experience I have had with gates being changed was a PHX when they not only changed the assigned gate but the whole terminal too.
 
bluecrew
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:26 am

pewpew320 wrote:
BKK on the whole is dire and depressing to be in. It's not even old! ICN was build 5 years earlier and is so my more pleasant.

BKK looks like a prison inside, particularly through immigration and out towards the taxi stands. And it's enormous... overly enormous.
I just remember how dark and depressing it was even at dawn... it seemed like all the lights were mostly on but there were entire sections of the terminal that were entirely dark and looked a bit... odd.
Also don't lose the stupid declaration receipt card!
 
VSMUT
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:36 am

BWIAirport wrote:
I don’t know how recently it was built but this fall I was flying out of CPH on BA. The walk from security to gate C27, which is one of the closer C gates to security, was about 15-20 minutes. That and they didn’t let us inside the gate area (where all the seating was) until about 5 minutes before boarding.


That part is really old, 1960s something vintage. IMO, that is a big problem with Copenhagen. It is one big disjointed mess of expansions from several decades. Half the airport needs to be torn down and rebuilt to modern standards.
 
blandy62
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:12 pm

MNL terminal

Klia2
 
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DaProf
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:40 pm

DTWLAX wrote:
What's wrong with the tram being inside? How is it different from being stuck in a tram that is outside the terminal?

The fact the it never stops, every few minutes the loud whirring noise as it speeds overhead.

DTWLAX wrote:
Who is sleeping inside the terminal at night? I do not think anybody is spending the night at the airport waiting for a connection the next day.

You can't be serious, it happens all the time at hubs that can see major weather delays. I spent 2 hours on the tarmac at the originating airport due to weather delays, arrived at DTW too late to get my connecting flight to Europe (which ended up being a huge mess but that was an airline issue .. they issued me two new tickets .. DTW-AMS and then FRA-VRN and expected me to walk from AMS to FRA?) It was close to midnight before they managed to get it all fixed.

DTWLAX wrote:
Even if there are rare cases, people can always leave the terminal and stay at a hotel.

You do know there is not an unlimited amount of hotel rooms within a reasonable distance of any place. And with thousands of stranded travelers (yes the terminal was pretty full that night) and a big concert somewhere nearby, not a chance to get a room.

A bit of a perfect storm? Probably, but that stupid decision to put the tram inside the terminal and never turn it off meant I didn't get any sleep for close to 50 hours.
 
Kno
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:05 pm

DaProf wrote:
DTWLAX wrote:
What's wrong with the tram being inside? How is it different from being stuck in a tram that is outside the terminal?

The fact the it never stops, every few minutes the loud whirring noise as it speeds overhead.

DTWLAX wrote:
Who is sleeping inside the terminal at night? I do not think anybody is spending the night at the airport waiting for a connection the next day.

You can't be serious, it happens all the time at hubs that can see major weather delays. I spent 2 hours on the tarmac at the originating airport due to weather delays, arrived at DTW too late to get my connecting flight to Europe (which ended up being a huge mess but that was an airline issue .. they issued me two new tickets .. DTW-AMS and then FRA-VRN and expected me to walk from AMS to FRA?) It was close to midnight before they managed to get it all fixed.

DTWLAX wrote:
Even if there are rare cases, people can always leave the terminal and stay at a hotel.

You do know there is not an unlimited amount of hotel rooms within a reasonable distance of any place. And with thousands of stranded travelers (yes the terminal was pretty full that night) and a big concert somewhere nearby, not a chance to get a room.

A bit of a perfect storm? Probably, but that stupid decision to put the tram inside the terminal and never turn it off meant I didn't get any sleep for close to 50 hours.


The tram inside of the terminal that is constantly running has been a tremendous convenience to millions of people and is a key reason in making Dtw one of if not the best airport to travel through in the US.

Your situation would no doubt frustrate anyone, but now that it’s water under the bridge Im sure you can see the incredibly small number of people who might be inconvenienced by the tram is microscopic compared to the amount of people it works well for.

What do you suggest? They make it less user friendly and more expensive by making it an external tram? Run it less frequently to make it less convenient for the majority of pax?
 
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DaProf
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:50 pm

Kno wrote:

The tram inside of the terminal that is constantly running has been a tremendous convenience to millions of people and is a key reason in making Dtw one of if not the best airport to travel through in the US.

Your situation would no doubt frustrate anyone, but now that it’s water under the bridge Im sure you can see the incredibly small number of people who might be inconvenienced by the tram is microscopic compared to the amount of people it works well for.

What do you suggest? They make it less user friendly and more expensive by making it an external tram? Run it less frequently to make it less convenient for the majority of pax?


Turn it off in the middle of the nights when there are no flights?
 
sevenair
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Re: What do you think is the worst recently built airport terminal?

Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:56 am

I like how people are making our that it's just the UK that have shopping malls with runways attached as airports. Ireland and Spain are exactly the same. In fact, AGP has the same walk through tat shop that you have to go through that we see in several UK airports.

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