I don’t travel nearly as much as I would like to. If I did, I would consider air travel a necessary evil in order to enjoy new places and people, or old places and loved people.
Recently, hubby and I were able to go on a two week vacation to PA and FL, thanks to my daughter. Our itinerary took us through 5 airports, most of them twice. Here is my report.
Phoenix Sky Harbor.Restrooms: nicely maintained as in I didn’t feel like I would contract a disease when I walked into one. I’m not a germaphobe by any stretch of the imagination, but a bad restroom will give me the creeping heebee jeebees.
Signage: not so hot. I think we took a longer way to our departing gate than we had to. Also, why can’t they tell you what terminal you’re in? Your arrival gate may be A5, but I know the terminals at Sky Harbor are not A,B,C, they’re 2,3 ,4. Would it be asking too much to post signs every now and then saying “Welcome to Terminal 2” or “For the uninitiated, forgetful and inexperienced, you are in Terminal 2.” That way, when you contact your ride, you can confidently say, “Meet me outside Terminal 2.” This should apply at all airports.
Water price: about $3.00.
HUGE Airport! But nice. New. What was supposed to be a two hour layover turned into an overnight stay because our flight out was cancelled due the a bird strike. We were given a hotel voucher and saw it from the outside on the way in. Impressive looking.
But it is HUGE. Lots of moving walkways. There’s a train between terminals and lots of walking from the train to the lost luggage office of US Airways to get the hotel voucher. It also has brass inlays in the floors of dinosaurs and fossil shapes. Cool!
Signage: Not so hot. Thankfully, patient workers gave us good verbal or written directions. On the way to ticketing in the morning, we walked a good distance in the wrong direction to get to our airline.
Food/Water prices: Before there was a problem, we bought pizza at a Pizza Hut. $17 for 2 personal pan pizzas and water. $14.00 for 2 bear claws and 1 coffee in the morning.
Restrooms. UGH! Gross. I walked into one, turned the corner to the stalls and didn’t even have to open a stall door to see a toilet of my have-to-pee-s0-bad! dreams. (That’s another post!) Unflushed toilets clogged with paper. OMG. But it was Philly, so I wasn’t surprised.
Signage: Not so hot. Once again, terminal numbers–or in this case, letters–would be helpful.
Prices: didn’t need to buy anything on the way out.
Fort Myers, FL (RSW)
Ahh, at last. Small.
Restrooms: Nice, clean.
Signage: OK. If you’re small, you don’t need as many signs.
Prices: Didn’t buy anything.
George Bush, Houston
Another big one. I looked on the map in the airlines magazine and we would have had quite a trek from gate E14 to C21. But a cart driver recruited us. An older lady with a thick southern accent, very personable. She waited while hubby used the restroom. She sang songs to warn pedestrians her cart was coming. I laughed. It was easy to find a plug for my laptop while we waited.
Signage: OK, but didn’t really need much, due to the friendly cart driver
Prices: Foot long (well, maybe only 11″) Subway BMT & small drink, $9.00. I didn’t think that was too bad. My grande Starbucks iced coffee was $2.55.
Then back to PHX.
Airlines. We booked through Orbitz and to get the least expensive price, we let US Air and United share us.
Definitely like United better. Their planes all had video, newer seats (or at least covering) and longer seat belts. They also gave us the whole can of our complimentary beverage.
US Air, I always had to ask for a seatbelt extender. No video, even on cross country flights (I don’t usually watch what’s on, but really. It’s 2013, people.
However, we were completely impressed that our luggage, despite being checked into the system by United at PHX, and the cancelled US Air flight at DEN, actually made it to PHL when we did. I would have bet against that. In every case, we didn’t have to wait in long lines to go through security and the TSA folks (whose job I wouldn’t want) were pleasant.
It was over 4 years since the last time I flew. The next time will be in October to return to Philly for my daughter’s wedding. With my aging bladder, it’s unlikely, I’ll be able to avoid the restrooms, there.