Airports

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jbuck919
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Airports

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:12 am

I do not consider myself a frequent flier, but because of my international situation I've been to a handful or more. Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa, Cincinnati, Frankfurt, and smaller ones at Nuremberg and Albany. That last one by the way is a little gem where I am always happy, and if you have a choice, do it.

Now just which ones did I leave out? Charles de Gaulle in Paris and JFK. And I left them out because they invoke nightmares when I think about them. I've flown out of JFK twice, and it is the horror story of all time as the major airport serving the greatest city in the world. To get from the terminal where you end up from Albany to the International Terminal, you have to ask directions five different times just to find the front door (there are no signs) and then cross on foot a desolation that looks approximately like Hiroshima after the bomb. The international terminal is approximately the size to two McDonalds put together, so you can go from restaurant A which is not serving because its vendor hasn't shown up to restaurant B which is in the same situation.

I've also used LaGuardia once years ago and can't remember anything about it, but when I go to pick up my car, I'm going to have to fly to Newark, just as I flew out of it when I left the car off, and I remember that airport as being expediently adequate.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Haydnseek » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:56 am

The most efficient and pleasant large airport that I know of is Schiphol near Amsterdam. The environment is attractive, clean and well-maintained, information is found very easily, and the place is well-staffed. Check-in, security, and shopping all run more smoothly than at other airports I've visited.
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Post by RebLem » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:05 am

I just hate to have to say anything good about Texas, but I found the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to be easily negotiable. They have a wonderful rapid transit system for use within the airport, so you don't have to walk miles and miles, and finding out where you are supposed to go is simpler than anyplace else I've ever been. Of course, I haven't been that many places--LAX, Albuquerque, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Denver, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, Buffalo, and Chicago--that's it.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:20 am

RebLem wrote:I just hate to have to say anything good about Texas, but I found the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to be easily negotiable. They have a wonderful rapid transit system for use within the airport, so you don't have to walk miles and miles, and finding out where you are supposed to go is simpler than anyplace else I've ever been. Of course, I haven't been that many places--LAX, Albuquerque, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Denver, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, Buffalo, and Chicago--that's it.
I forgot about DFW. At the time it was buiilt, it was the largest airport in the world, but it has restrooms that you cannot take even a small suitcase into. They confused airport with airplane. Yes, also on my s---t list.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Alberich » Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:36 pm

Zurich airport is one of the best.

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Post by Madame » Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:00 pm

If I'm going to L.A., I love to fly to/from Burbank. I've also had good experiences with Sacramento (well, except for the time it was fogged in all day and I had to do the "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles" thing) and (years ago) Salt Lake City. Vancouver B.C. was good, Heathrow in 1986 (after U.S. attack on Libya) was a little dicey but still fine, if you don't mind being frisked often :) . Hated Kansas City, MO -- interior windows were crawling with flies. Seattle-Tacoma has become a pain. I've always liked San Francisco.

I haven't flown since 9/11 -- I just know you have to be there 2 hours early. I could drive to Portland OR in 3!

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Post by paulb » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:18 pm

I feel for those who have to travel for business. I do not travel by plane right now, but will in the near future.
Now i really have no fear of attacking terrorists, that may possibly hijack the plane i am on and possibly fly it into any building. No I have no fear at all of this mishap.
its THE DANG GONE security officials calling for all this awkward and cumbersome checking. And even worse shutting dowmn a US airport on the "possible threat" from an al qaeda terror cell.
If this "red alert threat' happens in New york, even the airpost in Los Angeles gets all F**Ked up.
Traveling by plane has gone to hell. We owe a thanks to the US 'security" department idiots.
The US government has done more to destroy the airline industry than a dozen foiled attacks by al qaeda.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:04 am

Airport security is one thing that keeps me here in Cache Valley. I just don't have the patience for it any more. In 04 when I had to fly back to DC for the trial on the sale of my mother's house, I fell down on my knees and kissed the ground in SLC I was that glad to be done with the travel. I'm waiting to see how long it takes my desire to see Scotland and Italy to exceed my dread of the transits.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:02 am

I know it's too early for me to say "never," but I can't imagine ever coming back to Europe after I make this one last trip. I have no touristic ambitions whatever and will be happy to live within shooting distance of New York City (and maybe Boston and Montreal) for the rest of my life. I'm really Ralph in disguise that way. (I'll probably get back to Baltowash to visit old friends, and for the museums.) But I've always carried my own culture with me and can be happy indefinitely even in Stony Creek.

There is also the element that, even though I have fair German, I'll be able to communicate comfortably wherever I go for the first time in more than two years.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:13 am

Having used the Tampa airport many times, I generally find it quite decent. I've had pretty good luck too at Denver, SLC and SFO.

My worst experiences?--Atlanta (rude employees and wa-a-ay too many people), JFK (dreary, total chaos and horrible restrooms) and Charles De Gaulle (no one seemed to have a clue).

Happy flying,
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:41 am

JFK (dreary, total chaos and horrible restrooms)
Come on Teresa......Are you actually saying that the facilities at JFK weren't tempting you to sit down and luxuriate over an annotated copy of War and Peace :roll:

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Post by Teresa B » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:17 am

Ted wrote:
JFK (dreary, total chaos and horrible restrooms)
Come on Teresa......Are you actually saying that the facilities at JFK weren't tempting you to sit down and luxuriate over an annotated copy of War and Peace :roll:
:lol:
Nah, I saved it for the airplane lav, which was really great until we hit some turbulence.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:37 am

Teresa B wrote:Having used the Tampa airport many times, I generally find it quite decent. I've had pretty good luck too at Denver, SLC and SFO.

My worst experiences?--Atlanta (rude employees and wa-a-ay too many people), JFK (dreary, total chaos and horrible restrooms) and Charles De Gaulle (no one seemed to have a clue).

Happy flying,
Teresa
As you know, I have to fly into Tampa to visit my father. Never any problems there either. However, he was suggesting the St. Pete airport for the next trip. Something about non-stop flights from Albany, but I can't remember his exact rationale. He himself won't fly anymore, BTW, because of long-standing ear problems related to all the unpressurized flights he had to take in the Air Force.

Different people, different experiences. I've never had a problem in Hartsfield (Atlanta)--and think I even left it off my list as an oversight--except delays, and those happen in the summer on the East Coast all the time because of thunderstorms. I had exactly the same kind of delay in Philadelphia.

But it is nice to see someone else mention the other two, which are simply ghastly.

I've also used Zurich and Heathrow, but it was many years ago. What I remember about Zurich was that it was already patrolled by soldiers carrying automatic rifles (this was 1974). Heathrow struck me as odd because they load from ramps leading from gates, in the US fashion, while I had left from Dulles, where they load from busses driven out to the plane, in the American fashion.

Speaking of Washington, I flew in last summer to visit friends because I just didn't want to bother with the drive. It was National Airport (I refuse to call it Reagan National Airport), which has been spiffied up quite a bit. But the return flight was the only one I have ever literally had cancelled on me, requiring me to stay an extra night. It was cancelled because of a mechanical difficulty that they could not solve on a Sunday.

Other airports I have used include Leonardo Da Vinci (Rome), Montreal, Hartford, CT, and the old Denver, but it was a very long time ago. Myrtle Beach via Charlottesville because I took my Academic Team kids there for a tournament (sacrificing my Christmas vacation to do so) . Kind of makes me sound like a frequent flier after all, doesn't it?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:29 pm

Westchester County Airport is a really nice, small scale, airport with direct flights to D.C. and Chicago among other desirable destinations. Unfortunately the surcharge for flying out of Westchester is high and many avoid it for that reason.

Stewart Airport, formerly an Air Force base, is further from the city, in Dutchess County. It too is unhurried and underused.

Many talk about the need for a fourth major international airport serving the New York metropolitan area but I doubt anyone has a clue where to build it.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:00 pm

Ralph writes:
Stewart Airport, formerly an Air Force base, is further from the city, in Dutchess County.
Make that Orange County Ralph

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:19 pm

I rarely catch Ralph in a goof, but Stewart Airport, which as an Air Force Base is where my father was stationed for a number of years (it is complicated), and which is about ten miles from my home town of Cornwall, is in Orange County like West Point. Dutchess County is on the other side of the river, guy.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:30 pm

jbuck919 wrote:I rarely catch Ralph in a goof, but Stewart Airport, which as an Air Force Base is where my father was stationed for a number of years (it is complicated), and which is about ten miles from my home town of Cornwall, is in Orange County like West Point. Dutchess County is on the other side of the river, guy.
*****

Quite right, of course, but once you've seen one county north of Manhattan, you've seen them all.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:45 pm

This has come up several times now so I suppose I need to explain. When I was eight years old (1963) after variious typically military perambulations, returned from being stationed at, of all things, Guam (I happen now to have two Guamanian students, which is great fun). My father had been an Air Force bandsman since before I was conceived, and he was stationed at Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, New York, and we lived nearby in Cornwall. The band unit was transferred to the now equally closed base (Griffis) in Rome, New York, and for about a year my father commuted back every weekend for about four hours to be with us pending, supposedly, a relocation of the family. One day, on his arrival, he announced that he had auditioned for the West Point band and been accepted. This is a permanent billet, and Cornwall happens to be the town on the other side of West Point (as opposed to Highland Falls). So my family were overjoyed. I can still remember my feelings, and we're talking about 16 years old.

Transferring from one branch of the service to another is an exceedingly rare thing. My dad had the most complicated orders, including that he would not have to undergo basic training again. He had also served in the navy at the end of WW II (ironically on the aircraft carrier Princeton). and was allowed to wear all his ribbons, which always confused his promotion boards, for bandsmen do not normally wear three rows of ribbons without having had any combat service. As far as I know, he is the only living persn to have served in the Navy, Air Force, and Army,
and when he reitred from the last he was the senior NCO in the US military. Normally, they make you retire at 30 years. He had 36.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:02 am

jbuck919 wrote:within shooting distance
:shock: You must mean shouting. I can't imagine you being within shooting distance of anything.
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Post by living_stradivarius » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:27 am

Very very cool.
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Post by Madame » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:44 am

Teresa B wrote:
Ted wrote:
JFK (dreary, total chaos and horrible restrooms)
Come on Teresa......Are you actually saying that the facilities at JFK weren't tempting you to sit down and luxuriate over an annotated copy of War and Peace :roll:
:lol:
Nah, I saved it for the airplane lav, which was really great until we hit some turbulence.

Teresa
And that is why it is EXTREMELY important that you not flush while sitting :lol: :lol: :lol:

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:19 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:within shooting distance
:shock: You must mean shouting. I can't imagine you being within shooting distance of anything.
Well, I hope I'm not. :)
Baltowash
Sounds like a detergent.


There was some highway around there, as you may remember, that had an overhead sign saying Balto-Wash Pkwy, meaning Baltimore Washington Parkway, which as you know is a major route. That's where I got that.

Of course the airport I know best is BWI (Baltimore Washington International), which I didn't even mention. It is excellent. Its problem is that, relatively speaking, it is still in the middle of nowhere. I flew into National last summer so I would not have to rent a car, because as you know the metro goes right there.

So now to turn the topic, hotels. Well, obviously, I wasn't going to stay at the Four Seasons, which would be pointless in the first place because Georgetown is famously not on a metro line. So I chose the Best Western in Southeast because I am in their club and have even stayed at such hotels in Europe. It was in fact a very fine economy hotel. The horror story is its surroundings. The capital of the United States should not be anything but a showcase, and in parts it has been built up to be one. But huge parts of the District of Columbia are still ugly, utilitiarian, and run-down, a situation you would never find in any city in Germany as a matter of pride. And Germany was destroyed in a war; Washington never was. Ironically, there were German tourists there at the same time I was.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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