I look forward to those end of the year lists, and a few weeks ago USA Today posted their The best airport amenities of 2016. In full disclosure every month or so USA Today contacts me looking for my input on various travel topics, I’m part of their RoadWarrior group; however they didn’t contact me wanting my input on this topic.
Here’s their top 6
- Relief for Rover
- Pet therapy – for people
- Round-the-clock retail
- Checkpoint savvy
- Welcoming new visitors
- Special events, amenities and milestones
Since I wasn’t contacted, I’ll take it upon myself to provide my input.
Relief for Rover/Pet therapy – I love animals, I have a dog, she’s a lab, a Meth Lab. The only non-grateful rescue on the planet, but we love her. I’d never travel with her, but I do know that most airports offer an outside pet relief area, but the new thing is inside pet relief areas. Seriously, have we gotten to the point where we can no longer walk our dogs outside?. I “get” pet therapy and I know firsthand their value, but depending on the airport to provide it is a bit of a stretch to me. A side note, please don’t sit next to me with your support turkey.
Round-the-clock retail – Not a biggie for me. If I’m catching the red-eye out of Vegas I’m shopping at the slots and if I’m leaving New Orleans I’ll grab some pralines for the family, but beyond that, I rely on something more personal like Amazon.
Checkpoint savvy – IIWII, It Is What It Is, some airports are better than others are. TSA Precheck at Atlanta Hartsfield is probably slower than the other lines because most everyone flying out of there has TSA Precheck. Orlando is a bit better and at Ft. Lauderdale you’ll breeze through. USA Today mentions Atlanta Hartsfield having 5 new RFID stations; I have yet to experience any of them.
Welcoming new visitors – OK, welcome, I’ve probably been here before, and yes I’m a travel snob.
Special events, amenities, and milestones – I’m a fan, everyone likes to play and everyone likes being acknowledged for their milestones. Below is a clip of how Southwest Airlines greeted us in Ft Lauderdale on a recent customer appreciation day.
When it comes to airport amenities, here’s what’s important to me, after all, it is about me…….
- Free WiFi – Listen up Atlanta Hartsfield, get with the program.
- Power outlets – There can never be enough.
- Better food – We want choices, I love Asian Chao, but seriously, we need more than that and provide some decent beer while you’re at it.
- Tables and chairs– I know food seating doesn’t produce much revenue, but we’re tired of eating with Styrofoam to-go boxes in our laps.
- TSA Lines – Assign someone to direct passengers away from the luggage belt once they gather their gear, this is no place to get dressed.
There you have it, on January 7th I’m still lamenting about 2016, but thanks to the interwebs, that’s what you get……travel safe.
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