Why Do People Forget The Primary Purpose Of An Airport? [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My personal biggest complaint about airport design is how it is so often very difficult and time consuming to get from one terminal to another, and have to exit and go back through security. Personally, I’d usually rather walk than take a tram, but you don’t often get an option. Another is how so many European airports make you walk through the duty free and high end retail just to get from security to the gates.

  2. The Washington Times piece’s author must’ve left his foil hat at home in his rush to get to the QAnon meeting. Asking questions about why so many people are listed by the FBI is completely valid, make blatantly stupid and ridiculous assertions is not.

    Interesting piece about Changi. I look forward to Singapore reopening as if anyone can do it efficiently and sensibly, the Singaporeans can.

  3. @Arthur – as I’m sure you’re aware, that’s by design. Same reason you usually have to traverse the casino floor to get somewhere in a Vegas hotel and why you have to exit through the gift shop at theme parks.

  4. @Arthur: it’s not like the walk through duty free takes you off course. One minute you complain you can’t walk to the next terminal, then follow with you have to walk via duty free. Maybe this travel thing just isn’t for you since it can’t satisfy you. Lighten up, enjoy the experiences.

  5. I LOATHE airports’ attempt to move all services you may actually use (Parking, rental cars) far from the terminals. This trend is the greatest time waster of the last several decades. Instead of underground or multi story garages (NOT on the approach path) they’ve decided to inconvenience everyone with distant drives, Ill-designed crammed shuttle routes, and used it all to institute extra fees.

  6. I disagree with airports and retails shopping but most airports don’t do it right. People wait around for hours and hours in airports (maybe those that make them wait should figure out what airports are for) so they are a captive audience. There isn’t that much to do in airports. Sure you can go to an airport lounge or hop on your computer, etc. but if you are just hanging around it’s boring. Some people go eat Mexican food and drink a lot but those both can cause issues on the planes. Buying something at an airport shop, not so much. The biggest thing I can’t figure out is that I’ve been to several US airports that have a Victoria’s Secret but without any or much lingerie. I’d think that would be a big seller for those traveling. A gift, fun item for a weekend getaway, etc. I also fail to understand why airport gift shops still sell porn magazines. If a person buys one at the airport what are they going to do, whip it out and read it on the plane (see drinking comment above)? The forced duty free stuff in many international airports isn’t good retail but it is entertaining, much like Diamonds International is to cruise ports.

  7. Regarding airports, they are a business owned by the government. It’s about the revenue and net profit the airport can generate. It’s about jobs.
    Pure and simple.

    As for design, blame the architects and not the government owners. Just look at the width of concourses at ORD.

  8. Long Beach is the perfect airport and has almost no retail. It’s too bad JetBlue decided to downgrade significantly by moving to LAX

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