Ever feel like a mouse? Go to an airport. You never really know what the big picture is, there are hidden pathways that you cant see, someone is always watching you and the cheese at the end is dubious. Some airports are better than others, but that’s more a reflection that you will be spending a lot of time in them and someone took pity on the poor travellers than any desire to make them destinations. Noone ever goes on vacation and raves about the gardens in the airport or the quality of the airport day hotels, but oh, to the business traveller, every bit of false normality is welcome.
There is the quaint airport in the little town. The one that still issues a ticket in a piece of regular paper. I carried that ticket with me to a major hub airport where they said that had never seen that and promptly tore it up and issued a regular one. The airport was also so small that the prop plane pulled up to the door and we just walked out and got on.
Then there are the airports that are too big to be quaint, but too small to really have a lot of the modern conveniences. So the bags were unloaded into a room and then the passengers fought to get in and out of the room and grab their bag. Or the ones where there was just one big room.
However, no matter the size of the airport, those uncomfortable scoop plastic chairs from the 70s are always in style. Seriously! who ever said that this was the era of globalization has not done a proper study of plastic furniture. These are the chairs that you stick to in hot weather, that give you a hemorrhoids in cold weather and that you slide off of if you’re not careful. And they are usually orange or dirty white.
But the airports you really remember and appreciate are the ones with business lounges. With hot free food. And hot showers with fluffy towels. Like the one in Madrid! Even the toiletries were nice almost to the point that you wanted to take them with you. Then there are amenities like in Schiphol in Amsterdam with a mini art gallery to while away the time between connections; but only if you are in the right area of the maze…I mean airport. The Singapore airport of course has the gardens and the pool and if you get the right angle your photos look like you visited the botanical gardens. The British Airways lounge in heathrow term 5 is very nice. It’s not new anymore, but it still rates a mention. And of course, any of the airports with the massage clinics rate high in my book.