What We Want at the Airport

Harriet Baskas writes in USA Today about the amenities that travelers wish they could have added to airports. Not surprisingly, free WiFi comes up high on the list. But so far, many of the airports that offer wireless, alas, don’t give it away for free. In Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco or Washington DC, you need a credit card. But in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Orlando, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Denver, Portland and Hartford, the web is free.

The other amenity that has people talking wistfully are lockers. But after 9/11, the FAA ordered airports to shut down all of their lockers. Now, you can use lockers in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Portland by only after giving a scan of your fingerprint, which seems like a reasonable trade-off to us.

Power outlets were another thing that had travelers talking. Some airports are now offering charging stations, sometimes with a small fee, so people can juice up their ipods, cellphones, cameras and computers in the terminal. Among the other ideas mentioned in Baskas’survey were observation decks, valet parking, and courtyards where travelers could grab a breath of fresh air between flights and walk their pets. Others asked for more smoking areas, lots more play areas for kids, and better seating areas at the gates.