Old Dec 29, 19, 5:42 pm
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,156
Originally Posted by AADFW View Post
I expatriated to Asia starting in about 2008 and moved back to the U.S. earlier this year. Now I travel quite a bit domestically for work. While I realize that it certainly isn’t anything new in America, I have noticed one striking difference when it comes to airports and air travel here: the "gate wait."

When you land before your designated time pretty much anywhere else in the world and your gate is occupied, your aircraft is directed to a parking area where "air stairs" are used to deplane passengers, who are then promptly bussed to the terminal. Simple really.

This is true from Hong Kong to Geneva to Mexico City. Most third-world countries that I’ve visited also engage in the same practice. But this very rarely seems to happen at most major airports in America. While there are a few notable exceptions, it's mostly just f-you and wait as a general rule.

My flight from SFO to LAX earlier this week took 48 minutes in the air, but we spent even more time on the ground at our destination waiting for an open gate. It then took around 30 minutes to get our bags, and another 35 to (finally) get onto our shuttle bus to the rental car agency. In total, it took just over 7 hours from door to door. We could have driven faster.

By contrast, in cities like Phnom Penh or Da Nang, it’s not at all uncommon for the bags to hit the carousel before even the most customs-expedited passengers do. And there’s never a wait for an occupied gate.

I suppose this is really a question more than a complaint: WHY do Americans put up with this, silently suffering and accepting it as the status quo when the solution is SO easy? It just seems like passengers here are resigned to an inferior, less efficient process. It is embarrassing for our nation, and I truly don't understand it at all.

Anyone care to enlighten me?
It's a decent point but, on the flip side, American airports tend to do a few things much better than foreign airports (especially when arriving at the airport to go on our departing flight).

1) Our gates are listed hours before the flight unlike foreign airports where passengers are typically left walking and pacing back and forth until their gates are listed 30-45 minutes before departure time. That's super annoying.
2) At American airports, we don't need to catch a bus from the gate to the plane to board. We simply walk to our gate and board right there in a very orderly fashion. When having to bus to the gate, once you exit the bus, it's a giant free-for-all with people running to the stairs which creates quite a stressful environment.

So, my return question to the OP would be, why do foreigners tolerate the above?
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