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As ugly as an airport...

As ugly as an airport...

Old Oct 5, 2023, 6:11 pm
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As ugly as an airport...

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "as pretty as an airport".

Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only exception of this otherwise infallible rule) and the architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs.

They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve jangling colours, to make effortless the business of separating the traveller from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current position of the Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not

Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
Do you have an entry in the list of airports that perfectly fit into the description above?

I'll start - LAX.

Last edited by invisible; Oct 5, 2023 at 6:28 pm
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by invisible
Do you have an entry in the list of airports that perfectly fit into the description above?

I'll start - LAX.
GVA and the LCC terminal in Lisbon.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible
Do you have an entry in the list of airports that perfectly fit into the description above?

I'll start - LAX.
PHL
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 12:47 pm
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For me, PHL, LAX & JFK. I hate them all, just horrible. Construction and reliance on busses just add insult to injury. I guess, if you stuck a gun to my head and said pick one, it'd be LAX. Even during my earliest memories, I just don't understand the concept of designing an airport in a bunch of independent separated terminals in a way where traffic congestion is sure as death and taxes.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 3:19 pm
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 3:34 pm
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Lax, sea, hnl
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 3:57 pm
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BUR may take the cake, unless we're only talking about airports over a certain size.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 4:10 pm
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I'll do a partial defense of LAX. There are few terminals in the US that are as nice inside as LA's Bradley International facility.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 4:32 pm
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If were talking aesthetics, or the lack thereof, then I have to go with OAK. It would have been KCI, but thats been fixed. Internationally, Ive been to a lot of bad airports, but MAN is my least favorite.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 4:51 pm
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LAX....what a dump. Why is it when I leave an AA plane there I really don't know where I'm going through a maze of tunnels only to come out back on the concourse, back down again, and through a maze of tunnels that look old and beat up.

oh...and what GENIUS designed a world wide airport with a U shape that traps all traffic to a standstill. That might work in Biloxi, MS but not Los Angeles. DFW is an engineering dream logistically speaking.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
LAX....what a dump. Why is it when I leave an AA plane there I really don't know where I'm going through a maze of tunnels only to come out back on the concourse, back down again, and through a maze of tunnels that look old and beat up.

oh...and what GENIUS designed a world wide airport with a U shape that traps all traffic to a standstill. That might work in Biloxi, MS but not Los Angeles. DFW is an engineering dream logistically speaking.
LAX worked in 1961. It actually was modern then. I remember as a kid being so excited to go to the airport. I thought it was so impressive.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by MrSpicoli
LAX worked in 1961. It actually was modern then. I remember as a kid being so excited to go to the airport. I thought it was so impressive.
Definitely built in a day when passenger volume was much lower. One wonders what growth projections LAX's planners had back then. And the space-age-ish Theme building probably had a great view at that time.

Similarly JFK was built when airlines had their own terminal. PanAm World Port might have been great in its time but was soon obsolete.

Other space-age but didn't age too well. Original CDG (T1).

I'm sure LAX may want to do a fresh sheet design but it's kind of difficult unless you can built a new terminal somewhere else (e.g., DTW and PIT).

As for terminal buildings expanded in a cobbled-together fashion, have a look at the results at YYC and YUL.
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 5:41 pm
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 5:54 pm
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SAN Terminal 1 - the Southwest terminal. Cramped and soul sucking. Thankfully it is in the process of being gutted. What is astonishing about Terminal 1 in San Diego being so awful as that Terminal 2 is gorgeous. What a contrast!
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Old Oct 6, 2023, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped
CDG is a real looker.
I like the look of CDG!
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