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Bill Bergeman


10 Simple Things That Need To Be Improved At Airports

I'm at one right now. Airports make an already stressful environment more stressful than it needs to be. These ideas would help.

    1. Change the volume and timbre of alerts.

    The volume of alerts needs to be turned down somewhere south of 100dB and can be changed to something more pleasant than a flock of birds being run over by a semi-truck.

    2. Make it so announcements at neighboring gates are not so glaringly loud.

    It's impossible to tell if an announcement is from an agent at your gate or a neighboring gate because they are all remarkably loud and intrusive.

    3. Stop overbooking flights.

    I get that making a profit in the airline industry has been historically challenging, but I have heard a minimum of 30 (I'm not exaggerating) requests from the gate next to mine (again, intrusive announcements from nearby gates) for two people to volunteer to leave the flight because it's overbooked. Of course, no one is volunteering. Everyone knows airlines do this because people sometimes don't show up for their fights, but that's what standby passengers are for (of which there used to be many, but not so much since flights have become overbooked).

    4. When a flight is delayed, give a realistic time estimate.

    My flight is currently delayed with no information on how long it will be. Certainly, they can provide an estimate, but they don't want to share it for the risk of it taking longer than that time. Actually, it makes things worse when you don't give people any idea how long something will take. An estimate, even if incorrect in the end, allows people to plan and gives them something to look forward to.

    5. Provide enough seating.

    I can't remember the last time I was at an airport when there was enough seating for everyone.

    6. Clean the place.

    I've yet to be in an airport in the United States that appears remotely clean. I get it, there are many, many people who travel to an airport on any given day, and it's a challenge to keep up with cleaning after them, but I never see anyone cleaning the floors. Like, ever. Never mind the restrooms. Surely we can do better.

    7. Ditch the fluorescent light for natural lighting.

    This airport actually has a fair amount of natural lighting, but not everywhere. Open up more windows, especially higher up, and when you need lighting, switch out the flickering fluorescent bulbs for softer LED lighting.

    8. Improve signage.

    Navigating through airports can be a daunting task, especially for first-time travelers. Clear and concise signage is crucial to guide passengers to their desired locations, such as boarding gates, baggage claim, and restrooms. Improving signage can significantly reduce confusion and make the airport experience more pleasant.

    9. Better food and beverage options.

    Airport food has a notorious reputation for being overpriced and lacking variety. Enhancing the food and beverage options available at airports can elevate the dining experience for travelers. Offering a diverse range of cuisines and affordable options will ensure that passengers have a satisfying meal while waiting for their flights.

    10. Relaxation areas.

    Traveling can be stressful, and airports should provide dedicated relaxation areas for passengers to unwind. These areas can include quiet zones, meditation rooms, or even mini-spas. Creating spaces for relaxation will contribute to a more positive and rejuvenating travel experience.

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