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Remember the day when Airports had almost no shops and restaurants?

Remember the day when Airports had almost no shops and restaurants?

Old Apr 3, 06, 2:01 pm
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Remember the day when Airports had almost no shops and restaurants?

I went through the Airport terminal at MSP Minneapolis/St Paul recently with a relative who has not been on an airplane for 35 years. He was shocked at the changes to the Airport since the 1970s. He told me that he remembers the main terminal at MSP had only a Barber Shop and one fast food place throughout the 1960s and 70s. For some reason even though there was quite a few people walking through the terminal they never really thought that putting in shops and restaurants was a good idea.

When did all the Airports start turning into Shopping Centers? Why was there so few shops and places to eat- up to somewhat recent times? Anyone with a story of their hometown Airport Terminal 20-30-40 years ago?
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Old Apr 3, 06, 2:20 pm
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When the "airport mall" at the new PIT airport opened in '92 - with 80+ shops and restaurants - I think it was one of the first with that concept, iirc.

===

Hmmm - looking over http://oldterminals.topcities.com/pittsburgh.html, it claims the old PIT had "a doctor's office, beauty parlor, florist, drugstore, photo studio, post office, even a branch bank and music store. There was also a 62-bed hotel and a movie theater seating over 300 people. On the top floor was a terraced restaurant and dining room with a dance floor and a runway to accommodate fashion shows. The terminal was a destination in itself and was widely acknowledged as the finest aviation facility in the world." - when it first opened. Not much there when I started flying in 1991.
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Old Apr 3, 06, 2:32 pm
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I still miss the old Midway Airport...it was TINY, with an almost total absence of services, and to go to the restroom from the gate, you had to go through Security again. It was so convenient, though...you were almost always only a few steps from your gate. Compared to the original, the "new" Midway is a mini-O'Hare.
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Old Apr 3, 06, 2:45 pm
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Airports were much smaller and we spent much less there in them then.
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Old Apr 3, 06, 4:09 pm
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The odd thing about MSP is that it's like DFW, where all the businesses are behind security. It's been like that for years and there are no plans to do anything about it.

You would think that with the heavy-handed enforcement of parking in front of the terminal, there would be enough people in the airport waiting for arriving passengers to support something outside the secure area.

Criminy, even tiny little airports like ERI or GSP have a restaurant outside security (granted, there is no restaurant inside security). MSP and DFW -- both must have been designed by morons.
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Old Apr 3, 06, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by JS
The odd thing about MSP is that it's like DFW, where all the businesses are behind security. It's been like that for years and there are no plans to do anything about it.

You would think that with the heavy-handed enforcement of parking in front of the terminal, there would be enough people in the airport waiting for arriving passengers to support something outside the secure area.

Criminy, even tiny little airports like ERI or GSP have a restaurant outside security (granted, there is no restaurant inside security). MSP and DFW -- both must have been designed by morons.
Recall that pre-9/11 (and most airports were designed pre-9/11), most airports in the US did not require a BP (or some special form of permission) to get through security. You just walked through the metal detector (no need to show ID, take off your shoes, etc.) and that was that. In that era, which side of the screening points shops, restaurants, lounges, etc. were on was of little consequence.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 6:13 am
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The mass development of shopping facilities in airports is generally felt to have been led by British Airports Authority (BAA), operator of London's and other UK airports, and now several round the world as well. Although there have always been retail facilities provided, BAA took the concept of maximising the revenue they make to new levels, certainly to the point where their retail revenue is now way ahead of their aviation revenue.

A pioneer revenue stream for European airports from the 1960s-on was duty free sales as many intra-Europe flights were international, unlike the US experience where most passengers have always been domestic. With the ending of this for most European flights by new EU regulations in the 1990s many European airports felt pushed into different areas of revenue. European airports still seem way ahead of US ones in this respect.

Having facilities airside or landside is hit-and-miss. At London Heathrow Terminals 1 to 3 have most landside whereas T4 is mostly airside. There is no real consensus.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 7:25 am
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I would say Schiphol Amsterdam is one of the first to market itself as a shopping destination airport - the Schiphol company also exploits other airports around the world (including temrinal 4 at JFK). They are taking it a step further with a large mall outside of security (for those dropping off/picking up passangers) - which includes a supermarket, drugstores, etc.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 7:30 am
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Old Apr 4, 06, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by erik123
They are taking it a step further with a large mall outside of security (for those dropping off/picking up passangers) - which includes a supermarket, drugstores, etc.

They built that mall after Schiphol became a major railway hub in addition to being an airport.

A nice example of non-aviation-related business on an airport was the Dorian Gray nightclub at FRA.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by WHBM
The mass development of shopping facilities in airports is generally felt to have been led by British Airports Authority (BAA), operator of London's and other UK airports, and now several round the world as well. Although there have always been retail facilities provided, BAA took the concept of maximising the revenue they make to new levels, certainly to the point where their retail revenue is now way ahead of their aviation revenue.

A pioneer revenue stream for European airports from the 1960s-on was duty free sales as many intra-Europe flights were international, unlike the US experience where most passengers have always been domestic. With the ending of this for most European flights by new EU regulations in the 1990s many European airports felt pushed into different areas of revenue. European airports still seem way ahead of US ones in this respect.

Having facilities airside or landside is hit-and-miss. At London Heathrow Terminals 1 to 3 have most landside whereas T4 is mostly airside. There is no real consensus.
And is Heathrow T3 any better for this redevelopment? Is it heck!

Shops Shops Shops, No Windows, just more shops and if you want to sit down, well there's a bit of mess in the middle you can scrunch down in.

Have more shops made our travelling any easier or pleasant? When they take relaxation space away for a Bvlgari jewellery store or whatever other useless retail outlet for 0.01% of the passengers I doubt that it does!

What more do you really need than
a Duty Free Shop selling some stuff that is actually cheap!;
A Restaurant and Bar selling edible food and grub;
a book and magazine store;
an "I forgot to pack shop"; and
a local curio's shop for souveniers
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Old Apr 4, 06, 8:18 am
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Pre 9/11, we used to take the kids to CLT to watch planes and eat a meal. I don't think that would amuse them today but I'm sad that the option no longer exists for other families.

Thinking back to my early flying days in the 60s (as a kid) and 70s, I remember not being able to find anything to eat (that wasn't a big overpriced hot dog) in most airports. I'm pleased that that is generally no longer the case.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 10:25 am
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Originally Posted by Kettering Northants QC
And is Heathrow T3 any better for this redevelopment? Is it heck!

Shops Shops Shops, No Windows, just more shops and if you want to sit down, well there's a bit of mess in the middle you can scrunch down in.

Have more shops made our travelling any easier or pleasant? When they take relaxation space away for a Bvlgari jewellery store or whatever other useless retail outlet for 0.01% of the passengers I doubt that it does!

What more do you really need than
a Duty Free Shop selling some stuff that is actually cheap!;
A Restaurant and Bar selling edible food and grub;
a book and magazine store;
an "I forgot to pack shop"; and
a local curio's shop for souveniers
The shops do make a trip to T3 unpleasant, running around them at christmas certainly added to the stress of running to catch a flight. I don't remember what it was like beforehand though so I don't have a point of reference.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 10:46 am
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In Cody, WY the airport was TINY! This was a few years back, but we were flying out to a dude ranch, and a ranchhand was meeting us there. I asked how we would find him, and he said, "Don't worry, it't not going to be a problem." Sure enough...there were only Gates 1 and 2, and Gate 2 looking like it had been out of commission for quite some time. All he had to do was look for the lost-looking city slickers.
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Old Apr 4, 06, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by Analise
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What's wrong with its 5 star rest and gift shop,,, Dont they count?
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