S75752
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Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:48 pm

What are some major airports that come to mind that are really behind the times, in ways that can range from old terminals to old technologies, things you wouldn't see at most modern airports anymore (like say, a very heavy reliance on air stairs even for large aircraft). This would not include places like KOA where it is not primitiveness, but simply by design.

Let's assume Major is... 3 Million+ passengers a year.

As for primitive though, let's let that be subjective however you want.
 
aviationaware
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:59 pm

JFK is as big and primitive as it gets, I am afraid.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:02 pm

I tend to think that LGA is the most outdated busy airport in the united states. It's terminal design predates security which is incredibly primitive in my mind. When the concourses were designed, there was no security so it made sense to have the restaurants and shops in the main terminal and gates in piers. Unfortunately now every concourse has its own security and very limited seating and concessions. In a effort to keep landing fees and airline fees down and due to the port authority not investing in terminals or infrastructure, LGA is far behind the times. It is also rather ridiculous that there is no subway or train service to LGA despite New York having the most extensive public transportation in the United states and subway lines within a few miles.

JFK has a somewhat primitive arrangement of terminals. But depending on what airline you fly, the terminals aren't all that bad. Connecting is terrible and immigration can be difficult, but I think LGA is worse.

[Edited 2015-01-24 11:03:19]

[Edited 2015-01-24 11:29:23]
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Tigerguy
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:02 pm

Quoting AviationAware (Reply 1):
JFK is as big and primitive as it gets, I am afraid.

My vote would be for LGA. JFK is taking some slow steps to shake off the old and busted image.
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FCAFLYBOY
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:37 pm

I'm afraid I would have to concur and say JFK and also FLL is a mess.

I'm not sure if class 3M pax per year as 'major' - perhaps we should be saying 15M plus?
 
stlgph
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:41 pm

Any airport terminal/concourse lacking a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks *AFTER* security.
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trex8
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:22 pm

IAD must be up there
 
TIA
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:29 pm

JFK gets a bad rap, but that's not fair. I think after the construction in T2/3 is done, terminal 7 will be the only "old" terminal left. And all the terminals are connected by AirTrain. Sure connections might be a pain, but how's that different if say you want to connect from Terminal 5 to Terminal 4 at LHR or the North and the South Terminals at LGW.

In terms of being old and worn out, the LGA terminals are up there, but still I always appreciate how easy it is to go through security and get to your plane.

The worst major airport for me is LTN. Try taking an early flight when all the W6 flights take off at once. Calling it a zoo might be disrespectful to the zoo. And the airport looks like a warehouse. It gives you the feeling that they put a couple of containers together and decided to make that the terminal. And they don't even let you drop people off at the airport for free. The second worst is EWR. That might actually be the only airport that I actively try to avoid. Pre security is a complete mess in the UA terminals. Post security is not that bad actually, but it's the only airport where it's not uncommon to queue for up to 4 different times, just to make it past security.
 
IADCA
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:43 pm

For the people posting on this thread, there's a world outside the United States. For example, EMA, which has over 4 million passengers per year and typical English weather, is basically a shopping mall with a runway next to it. No jetbridges, for example. No rail connection. No excuses. That's without going into places where lack of available funds leads to antiquated tech.
 
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fallap
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:43 pm

ADD Is rather primitive in my opinion, they do offer some rather fast and free WIFI though. Granted, they airport is located in a developing nation so it is not entirely fair to judge it as such, but primitive will be primitive.

SVO Terminal F is a horrendous Cold War relic, no dedicated lines at the gate for passengers in business/first, filthy, terrible colours and just... old.

MCT I'm aware of the fact that a new airport is under construction, but still the airport were just tiny with shallow ceiling and no free WIFI, sparse options in terms of drinks and food. I could be wrong though, departed it at 00:01 AM.

HAV Old and worn out, few and sparse options in terms of restaurants and chaotic boarding :b
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PavlovsDog
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:45 pm

LED Saint Petersburg is by far the worst I've been to, this was in August 2012. Almost no seating with people standing very closely all over the place. Shabby toilets. very basic cafe, few shops.
 
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:54 pm

I wouldn't call SLC primitive, but it's VERY '70s in its décor, and there's no good way to get between concourses (though the moving walkways help). As far as food and services, there's absolutely zilch prior to security, but I understand that that's one of the improvements they're making with the new terminal that's under construction. On the other hand, it has a superb light rail link right into downtown Salt Lake City, which is pretty nice.
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stlgph
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:17 pm

Quoting UltimateDelta (Reply 11):

Wouldn't the better option to be to have concessions AFTER security? I mean, I guess it is possible that there are people in the world who just *might* get in the car and drive to the airport terminal because they're desperate for a Quizno's.
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SFOA380
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:17 pm

JFK. Flying through there and seeing a NEW McDonalds being constructed alongside KFC, etc. is a bit of a shock considering what's going on in the world of airport concessions elsewhere. I actually like most of JFK other than the schlep from Manhattan. Far better than EWR in my opinion.
 
JU068
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:32 pm

Hmm I would also add Heraklion and Rhodes to the list. I know they are mostly tourist airports but still... Heraklion had 6 million passengers last year.
 
Confuscius
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:40 pm

Low tech signage at MNL.

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PlymSpotter
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:41 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 15):
Low tech signage at MNL.

Yeap, MNL was my first thought too.


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civetfive
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:50 pm

LIS and LAX both come to mind. I hate both of those airports.
 
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:54 pm

Quoting PavlovsDog (Reply 10):
LED Saint Petersburg is by far the worst I've been to, this was in August 2012. Almost no seating with people standing very closely all over the place. Shabby toilets. very basic cafe, few shops.

I've been all over the world and by far this is the worst. **HOWEVER** as of mid-last year, they now have a new terminal. The previous one was Soviet era and the new one is now world class. So, it's come a long way...
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ORDJOE
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:56 pm

I will agree on LED, not many jetbridges, very soviet era esque. LGA is probably the worst one in the US. DPS comes to mind as well
 
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:56 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 12):
Wouldn't the better option to be to have concessions AFTER security?

Yes, I mistyped- I meant that more in the sense that there's nowhere to go and hang out when picking people up or dropping them off (not necessarily meaning restaurants- I was thinking of OMA in particular, where there's a café where you can just as easily sit and wait in addition to eating).
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Braybuddy
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:58 pm

KTM is badly in need of redevelopment. Hardly anything seems to have changed in the terminals since they were built, probably in the '70s.
 
warden145
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:03 pm

I don't know if these count as "major" airports, but my first thought was the old Terminal C at SJC. Granted it's gone now, but it's only been gone a few years, and it was a very archaic design. The second one to come to mind is BUR.

With that said, I thought there's a nice charm to BUR's terminal as well as SJC's old Terminal C...

[Edited 2015-01-24 14:20:21]
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:10 pm

Gold Coast (OOL) in Queensland handles well over 5 million passengers a year, to various domestic and international destinations, including 787 services, yet uses stairs for all operations, and doesn't even have an ILS for approaches!
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mugler
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:12 pm

MEX Terminal 1, TXL as a whole, MIA concourse F and G
 
tommy767
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:14 pm

Quoting S75752 (Thread starter):
What are some major airports that come to mind that are really behind the times, in ways that can range from old terminals to old technologies, things you wouldn't see at most modern airports anymore (like say, a very heavy reliance on air stairs even for large aircraft).
Quoting TIA (Reply 7):
Pre security is a complete mess in the UA terminals. Post security is not that bad actually, but it's the only airport where it's not uncommon to queue for up to 4 different times, just to make it past security.

Definitely EWR. Terminal A is a dump and Terminal C is a congested hole. Plus they are worse with delays than JFK and are always prone to ground stops.
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N62NA
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:32 pm

All the people saying JFK are forgetting about AA's Terminal 8. It's a wonderful terminal to fly into / out of.

LGA CTB is awful.

EWR Terminal A is a nice trip back to the 1980s.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:44 pm

Quoting mugler (Reply 24):
MEX Terminal 1

MEX T1 is a complete mess to transfer, and I usually have a good sense for orientation. I never ranted that much about an airport before. No idea about T2 though.
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:49 pm

Sorry, folks, I am a member of the "Cut LGA Some Slack" club and I am here to do battle. The airport dates from a time when a Boeing 247 was big iron and paved runways were, possibly, a passing fad.

Nobody goes to LGA for the cuisine or architecture. Passengers chose it for its proximity to the heart of New York City. It is so physically confined that it could not possibly expand. It is such a necessity that you could never shut any significant part of it down to rehab it. It does what it is supposed to do and nothing more. Nobody promised you a rose garden.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:51 pm

SLC Terminal 1 is clearly the photo poster child of obsolete. SLC Terminal 2 doesn't get much better, but the present facility is designed to handle 10 million passengers per year, yet handes twice that number. Hence the terminal redevelopment project underway at SLC.
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sailas
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:01 pm

LIS is horrible, and so was DOH. But the most primitive, which isn't that major is ANU. Also TXL !!!
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Devilfish
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:28 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 16):
Yeap, MNL was my first thought too.

No arguments there...    ...

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hoons90
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:42 am

Going through Berlin-Tegel really felt like going back a few decades. The new airport can't open soon enough.
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infinit
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:31 am

No offense.. but every major US airport I have been to- LAX, SFO, JFK, IAD. You guys need to take a little out of your insanely high defense spend and put it to infrastructure!
 
Shuttle12T
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:54 pm

TXL and MUC's Terminal 1 to a degree based on my experiences over the past year or so.
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reifel
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:44 pm

In Europe I would rate T1/2/3 in MAD very primitive. Old, long walking, badly laid out and just old... PMI is similar. For such a big airport (very busy in the summer) it's just a lot of concrete, dark, very bad hard seats and that's it... If they would at least put some plants in some corners...

I would also add basically everyint in LHR except T5 and T2. Very oldish and not nice. Same goes to LGW South and partly MAN as well. UK really needs to look at getting their major airports nicer, which they started in LHR with T5 and T2.

IMXP and FCO could be considered as primitive as well, especially MXP - while easier to navigate than FCO - is really old and in need of a bit of refreshment...
 
jumpjets
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:55 am

I only have one experience of using LIN, and that was to connect from a domestic to an international, non-Schengen, flight and it was grim.

It would be up there at the top of my list.
 
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aerdingus
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:01 pm

Quoting sailas (Reply 30):
Also TXL !!!
Quoting hoons90 (Reply 32):
Going through Berlin-Tegel really felt like going back a few decades. The new airport can't open soon enough.

Oh god yes!!! And SXF!!

Honorable mention also goes to BVA (3.9m pax - 2013). Really really crap. Interior like a slaughter house, no left luggage facilities.
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aloges
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:54 pm

Who in here has had the pleasure of flying to/from/via "Terminal" C at TXL?

For those who have, that is the answer - it's a storehouse with a few extra windows and doors and a security checkpoint. From signage to amenities, it is atrocious.
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reifel
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:26 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 38):
For those who have, that is the answer - it's a storehouse with a few extra windows and doors and a security checkpoint. From signage to amenities, it is atrocious.

I absolutely agree, however it is incredibly transfer friendly by any standards since you have like50 meters to transfer from arrival to the next gates, especially compared to any other transfer in A/B in TXL. That said, you DO NOT WANT to have any longer than necessary layover there for sure  
 
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:09 am

I'd have to add DAC, although it doesn't seem to get too overcrowded, so it's not a complete mess. But it is old and not very user friendly.

Airports/terminals that have made it off the list are the old LHR T2 (the old one was awful) and KBP (lovely new terminal now).

Quoting S75752 (Thread starter):
This would not include places like KOA where it is not primitiveness, but simply by design.

They designed KOA so that it was horribly overcrowded, with limited space for TSA and agricutural checks? You can still have "island" design AND spacious facilites with adequete waiting areas. I was very dissapointed with KOA. I can see what they intended to do back when it was built. Nowadays I'd say it was primitive, and in need of major redevelopment.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 21):
KTM is badly in need of redevelopment. Hardly anything seems to have changed in the terminals since they were built, probably in the '70s.

I agree. It's a horrible airport that could do with an overhaul in nearly every respect.

Quoting infinit (Reply 33):
No offense.. but every major US airport I have been to- LAX, SFO, JFK, IAD. You guys need to take a little out of your insanely high defense spend and put it to infrastructure!

Have you been to the new airside of Tom Bradley in LAX? Really nice terminal
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aerdingus
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:06 pm

Quoting aloges (Reply 38):

Ah yes. Flew VY back to BCN from there last summer. Omg 3 toilet stalls in the ladies for the whole terminal. And then boarding queues stretching across the whole terminal.
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A333MSPtoAMS
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:29 pm

Quoting Fallap (Reply 9):
SVO Terminal F is a horrendous Cold War relic, no dedicated lines at the gate for passengers in business/first, filthy, terrible colours and just... old.

Definitely SVO. The first thing I thought of when walking through both arrivals and departure was how very soviet-esque it was.
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reifel
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:02 pm

Oh I just thought of KWI.

Why not too bad to navigate it's so old fashioned. All signage is white letters on black boards, nothing seemed to have changed since 30 years or so. It has it's charm, especially the visa on arrival process   But it's really old and lacking facilities.

BAH is similar. very old building, but the carpets, colors and windows gives some colors and makes it more friendly than KWI.

BEY is similar to KWI. very old basic signage, just black/grey/white, nothing cozy.

And the old terminals in CGK that are used for domestic flights. While they have a own design and local touches and gardens that I really like, not much has changed since back 20 years when that was the international terminal. Very basic. Not sure if that chnaged in the last few yours though as I haven't been there quite some time.

Phuket is also very basic and tends to be terribly overcrowded.
 
citationjet
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:14 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 2):
but I think LGA is worse
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 3):
My vote would be for LGA
Quoting ORDJOE (Reply 19):
. LGA is probably the worst one in the US
Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 28):
Nobody goes to LGA for the cuisine or architecture

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SIA747Megatop
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:07 pm

+1 for CGK. For an airport that handles 60 million pax a year - must be one of the few that has a few indoor areas without air-conditioning?
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Devilfish
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:59 am

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 15):
Low tech signage at MNL.

We may have to wait for the NAIA T2 Expansion Project before we see major improvements inside that terminal.....

http://philippineairspace.blogspot.c...4/08/terminal-2-expansion-set.html

T2.jpg" width="640" height="397" border="0"/>T2.jpg" target="_blank">http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mz1e805M0x...AAnw/EwX_OysdgA8/s1600/Naia_T2.jpg


Although in fairness, T1 and T3 have markedly improved.....

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/20...1/photos-naia-terminal-1s-new-look

http://www.philippineflightnetwork.c...rport-terminal-3.html#comment-form
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LBA1432
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:16 am

Quoting IADCA (Reply 8):
For example, EMA, which has over 4 million passengers per year and typical English weather, is basically a shopping mall with a runway next to it. No jetbridges, for example. No rail connection. No excuses.

Well in that case add LBA to the mix, it has to be the most primitive of all major British Airports. 3+ million pax per annum, the airport is rather busy yet is still built around a 1950's infrastructure of country roads, no direct dual carriageway / motorway link or a rail link. Bus connections to the airport are poor.

Being the highest airport in the UK, the weather is never the best, high winds and fog have earned the airport a reputation over the years (concorde having to go around, several youtube videos of planes struggling to land). The terminal is far too small for the amount of passengers it sees, and although the terminal has been renovated over the last few years, it is designed to make the most money out of passengers ie: a shopping mall next to a runway. 2 Jetbridges means there is at times, a lengthy walk to the aircraft under a tin can shelter to meet the aircraft.
 
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777Jet
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:20 am

Quoting civetfive (Reply 17):
LAX

I agree with those who say LAX.

Except for the new TBIT, the rest of LAX is kind of primitive IMHO. Sometimes when I disembark at LAX I think I have entered a thrid world country  

Nonetheless, LAX is unique and has a kind of nostalgia feeling that makes it very special / unique and it is still one of my favourite airports despite its age and problems.

Quoting skyhawkmatthew (Reply 23):
Gold Coast (OOL) in Queensland handles well over 5 million passengers a year, to various domestic and international destinations, including 787 services, yet uses stairs for all operations, and doesn't even have an ILS for approaches!

Walking up and down the stairs in the rain with no undercover walkway to the plane is always a risk at OOL  
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Bongodog1964
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RE: Most Primitive Major Airports?

Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:17 am

Quoting TIA (Reply 7):
The worst major airport for me is LTN. Try taking an early flight when all the W6 flights take off at once. Calling it a zoo might be disrespectful to the zoo. And the airport looks like a warehouse. It gives you the feeling that they put a couple of containers together and decided to make that the terminal. And they don't even let you drop people off at the airport for free

LTN really went wrong with the last expansion programme, its so bad that anyone fortunate enough not to have been there will not believe that a terminal could be designed with no thought to how passengers move through the concourses in the late 20th Century.

Any other airport you walk through the front door up to check in, then after check find security either to one side or to the rear. Not at LTN though, you have to backtrack through the hordes waiting to check in, through into the older part of the terminal and up the escalator to security. Once upstairs, yes you really know you are upstairs, unlike other London airports with their multi level access, at LTN you end up on an escalator that would be better suited to a shop, you then find a maze of corridors and little clue to your departure gate. Hang around near Pret to wait for the sign to be updated then join the stampede. The terminal maps on their website conveniently show everything as nice neat rectangles, if only it were so in real life. The whole place reeks of air travel on the cheap.

Quoting reifel (Reply 35):
I would also add basically everyint in LHR except T5 and T2

Fortunately T5 and once complete T2 will mean that the vast majority of passengers will benefit from modern facilities.

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