Sunday, March 22, 2009


Since I am on vacation, I thought I would give my thoughts on some of the various airports that I have flown through.

Shanghai – The first time I flew through Shanghai it was a bit of a mess. It was just after the bird flu of 2003, and it took forever to clear the health quarantines, immigration, baggage pickup, and customs. I arrived at 5pm, and I think I finally arrived at the hotel at 8pm. Truly a miserable experience. Fast forward to 2009. Checking in and out is now a breeze. The check in is very fast, and they have streamlined the arrival set up. Usually I am flying in through terminal two, and it is radically easier than back in 2003. My boss had an interesting discussion with some Chinese government officials, and their goal is to make Shanghai the equivalent of our NYC. That is how they think of Shanghai. As a final note, the 2010 World Expo is going to be held in Shanghai, which I believe will be a great event. China is doing a lot of work to make Shanghai ready for the Expo.

Sydney – It was good. They are picky on their customs clearance procedures, but all in all, it was not too bad.

Singapore – Although this was a very clean airport, I was not a fan of their departure procedures. I did not like the way they managed their gates, but I may just be being too picky on this. BTW, Singapore is beautiful.

San Diego – Having spent a number of years in San Diego, I have a number of things to say about this one. The short version is that it is too small, and the location stinks. They only have one runway, and it is right on the coast. While one can argue that it is located right in the middle of San Diego, there is no room to expand. The airport really should be located out near Miramar. The Marine Corp (ex-Navy) Airbase is a great location, and the civilians should have taken some pointers from the military chaps.

LAX – I am just not a fan of LA.

San Francisco – This airport is ok. If you are flying out of the international terminal, you have a long walk, unless you can find the bus which cuts across to the international terminal. The only issue I have with this, is that it is easy to miss, if you do not know about it.

Denver – I love the Denver Airport. Even though it is located well outside of Denver proper, there is plenty of room for growth, and I think they could probably put 10 parallel runways in.

Chicago – This is airport is ok for summer travel, but I cannot recommend it for winter travel. I had one flight that was stuck until well after midnight waiting for weather to clear. During winter, I try to avoid that one like the plague.

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