Tag Archives: Boston-Logan International Airport

Lovin’ The Airport Lavs

Editor’s note: no “Strange” this week, so I thought I’d end the week with this fun post on lavs that I originally wrote back on Oct. 25, 2011.  Enjoy, and I’ll be back live on Monday.

An article in SmarterTravel on a contest naming America’s best public restroom(Chicago’s Field Museum) prompted me to look at this topic on the airports side.

So, kids, let’s talk toilets — airport toilets.   To be real, I’m one of those folks that hates using public restrooms.  But sometimes, you just have to go, and I know what I like in a good bathroom.

  1. Larger stalls.  When I’m traveling, I usually have my backpack and a rollerboard, and I don’t want them out of my sight.  Or I’m traveling with my daughter, and I REALLY don’t want her out of my sight.  So I appreciate the larger stalls that accommodate my stuff, at airports including Terminal A at Boston-Logan International Airport or Terminal D at DFW Airport.
  2. Purse shelf above the toilet.  We’ve all heard the stories about people reaching over and taking purses when you’re at your most vulnerable, so you want that shelf that is way out of reach, like those at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
  3. A sani-seat. I’m one of those people who carry their own paper toilet seat covers and a purse-sized can of Lysol just in case they’re not available.  But I love the toilet seats at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, because they have the automatic plastic sleeve that covers the seat — the ultimate in cleanliness and sanitation.
  4. The Dyson Airblade hand dryer.  Paper towels are messy and wasteful. The old-school hot air hand dryers take too long and leave your hands dry.  I tested this hand dryer on the exhibit floor of an airports conference and was sold.  It dries quickly and leaves your hands soft, so I’m glad to see airports like Los Angeles International installing them in restrooms.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the bathroom attendants at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  I had come off a US Airways red-eye and was desperate for a bathroom. I go in and I’m startled by a bathroom attendant in NASCAR clothing.  But she turned out to be a lifesaver, since she had some mouthwash, among other necessities, on her tray. And yes, I did leave a tip.

So what do you like to see in your airport restroom?

Best of Aviation Queen: The Truth About Free vs. Paid Airport WiFi

This post first appeared on Oct. 11. 2011.  Enjoy!

On Sunday, I was checking my Facebook account when I saw a post from my friend Michelle, who was upset about having to pay for WiFi at Los Angeles International Airport.  She had left her hotel early (which DID have free WiFi), so she could do work at the airport.

I explained that just like at home, or if you own a WiFi card, it costs airports to provide that service.  And in the past 10 years, airports have been squeezed on the revenue side thanks to airline mergers and service cuts, paying for unfunded mandates and underfunded Federal Aviation Administration programs that cover a facilities.

So with that, airports have to find a way to cover those costs.   Some, like Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, offer free WiFi in exchange for looking at on-screen advertising.  Some have a company or companies sponsor their WiFi.  Others, like Boston Logan, ask you to fill out a survey or watch a video to get free WiFi for an hour, then switch you over to a provider where you pay  from there.

Others — including LAX, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and my hometown Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport — partner with companies like Boingo for paid WiFi.

So before your next trip, check out the websites below to see if you’re getting free WiFi or if you’re going to be shelling out for the privilege!

Lovin’ The Airport Lavs

An article in SmarterTravel on a contest naming America’s best public restroom (Chicago’s Field Museum) prompted me to look at this topic on the airports side.

So, kids, let’s talk toilets — airport toilets.   To be real, I’m one of those folks that hates using public restrooms.  But sometimes, you just have to go, and I know what I like in a good bathroom.

  1. Larger stalls.  When I’m traveling, I usually have my backpack and a rollerboard, and I don’t want them out of my sight.  Or I’m traveling with my daughter, and I REALLY don’t want her out of my sight.  So I appreciate the larger stalls that accommodate my stuff, at airports including Terminal A at Boston-Logan International Airport or Terminal D at DFW Airport.

  2. Purse shelf above the toilet.  We’ve all heard the stories about people reaching over and taking purses when you’re at your most vulnerable, so you want that shelf that is way out of reach, like those at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
  3. A sani-seat. I’m one of those people who carry their own paper toilet seat covers and a purse-sized can of Lysol just in case they’re not available.  But I love the toilet seats at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, because they have the automatic plastic sleeve that covers the seat — the ultimate in cleanliness and sanitation.
  4. The Dyson Airblade hand dryer.  Paper towels are messy and wasteful. The old-school hot air hand dryers take too long and leave your hands dry.  I tested this hand dryer on the exhibit floor of an airports conference and was sold.  It dries quickly and leaves your hands soft, so I’m glad to see airports like Los Angeles International installing them in restrooms.

I can’t end this post without mentioning the bathroom attendants at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.  I had come off a US Airways red-eye and was desperate for a bathroom. I go in and I’m startled by a bathroom attendant in NASCAR clothing.  But she turned out to be a lifesaver, since she had some mouthwash, among other necessities, on her tray. And yes, I did leave a tip.

So what do you like to see in your airport restroom?

The Truth About Free vs. Paid Airport WiFi

On Sunday, I was checking my Facebook account when I saw a post from my friend Michelle, who was upset about having to pay for WiFi at Los Angeles International Airport.  She had left her hotel early (which DID have free WiFi), so she could do work at the airport.

I explained that just like at home, or if you own a WiFi card, it costs airports to provide that service.  And in the past 10 years, airports have been squeezed on the revenue side thanks to airline mergers and service cuts, paying for unfunded mandates and underfunded Federal Aviation Administration programs that cover a facilities.

So with that, airports have to find a way to cover those costs.   Some, like Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, offer free WiFi in exchange for looking at on-screen advertising.  Some have a company or companies sponsor their WiFi.  Others, like Boston Logan, ask you to fill out a survey or watch a video to get free WiFi for an hour, then switch you over to a provider where you pay  from there.

Others — including LAX, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and my hometown Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport — partner with companies like Boingo for paid WiFi.

So before your next trip, check out the websites below to see if you’re getting free WiFi or if you’re going to be shelling out for the privilege!

 

Business Travelers – And Aviation Queen – Pick Their Favorite Airports

Back in March, Gary Stoller of USA Today did an article entitled Business travelers pick their favorite airports.  I know I’m a bit behind on my articles, but I saved this one because it was all about airports.  I have spent my fair share in many airports, and I know what I like — and what I don’t.  So I’m going to weigh in on five of my personal favorites.

  1. Kansas City International Airport: this one is my hands-down favorite of all time.  Why? It’s the ultimate in easy in, easy out.  Each gate has its own TSA screener checkpoint AND its own baggage claim.  So there’s never any long lines for screening and for those who check baggage, there’s never a long wait.

  2. Jacksonville International Airport: this is one of the most customer-friendly — and focused — airports I’ve ever been in.  Everyone (and I MEAN everyone) from the janitorial staff to the concession employees to TSA screeners are warm and friendly.  And the airport is nice to look at and it’s very easy to get around.
  3. Terminal A, Boston-Logan International Airport: (full disclosure-I worked at Delta and did the PR on the grand opening of this terminal.) This was one of the first terminals built after 9/11.  You can see this at the TSA security checkpoint, which was built as part of the terminal’s design, not just cobbled together after 9/11.  The terminal was the first to gain LEED certification.  It’s light and airy, has a nice mix of concessions, and again, has easy in, easy out access.

  4. Orlando International Airport: I know, I know–this is a leisure airport.  But the last few times I’ve been there, it has been for business, and Orlando is serious about getting you in and out — quickly.  For example, the airport was the first in the nation to have a registered traveler line under the old Clear program.  They monitor their security lines to keep them moving, and they have a great selection of concessions just in case you forgot to buy that last-minute souvenir.
  5. Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport: yes, I’m throwing a bone to my home airport.  The ease to get in and out of Pier A (controlled by Southwest Airlines) can’t be beat.  It’s the first terminal you  see when arriving at the airport, and has two checkpoints that are pretty speedy.

So, do you agree? What other airports are easy in, easy out?