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Most Central, Serviced and Accessible Airport in the US?

Most Central, Serviced and Accessible Airport in the US?

Old Aug 8, 17, 11:31 am
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Most Central, Serviced and Accessible Airport in the US?

I work for a company that has a large decentralized work force and about 3 offices. About every quarter we do a massive gathering of team members 20+. Typically we like to do these meetings on "neutral" ground so no one group is over burdened with the supporting the meeting.

Ideally the airport would be serviced by a ride share company, have nearby city hotels so you aren't just sleeping at the airport Hilton, have a decent restaurants, and a large number of direct flights so our people don't spend all day getting to and from the location. My gut says Kansas City, but I figured I should check with the pro's first.

TL : DR, I am looking for a central airport for the entire team to fly into with, minimum number of hops, decent hotels, restaurants and a conference room.

Cheers!
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Old Aug 8, 17, 11:43 am
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You could do MSP and have people stay/meet at either the JW or Radisson Blu at Mall of America. It's a short and pleasant light rail ride from the airport, with the light rail also connecting MOA to downtown. Of course, there is also a good selection of downtown hotels.

ORD and MDW are also connected to downtown and near north areas by public transportation, but IME it's less pleasant.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by TinyZombie View Post
I work for a company that has a large decentralized work force and about 3 offices. About every quarter we do a massive gathering of team members 20+. Typically we like to do these meetings on "neutral" ground so no one group is over burdened with the supporting the meeting.

Ideally the airport would be serviced by a ride share company, have nearby city hotels so you aren't just sleeping at the airport Hilton, have a decent restaurants, and a large number of direct flights so our people don't spend all day getting to and from the location. My gut says Kansas City, but I figured I should check with the pro's first.

TL : DR, I am looking for a central airport for the entire team to fly into with, minimum number of hops, decent hotels, restaurants and a conference room.

Cheers!
Are you concerned at all about air-travel costs? Airports that have service on low-cost carriers might have lower fares -- even on mainline carriers -- than airports not served by LCCs.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
You could do MSP and have people stay/meet at either the JW or Radisson Blu at Mall of America. It's a short and pleasant light rail ride from the airport, with the light rail also connecting MOA to downtown. Of course, there is also a good selection of downtown hotels.

ORD and MDW are also connected to downtown and near north areas by public transportation, but IME it's less pleasant.
If MSP/Bloomington is an option, then ORD/Rosemont ought to be as well.

Honestly I have trouble understanding why O'Hare isn't the obvious choice here, as it has been for decades whenever far-flung people need to come together for a brief meeting. As a baseball fan I remember hearing for years about the owners always gathering at the O'Hare Hilton, to the extent where it was a bit of a thrill the first time I had my own business meeting there
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Old Aug 8, 17, 1:09 pm
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We just had a similar meeting in an ATL hotel (actually the airport Marriott). Perfect.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 1:17 pm
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Can you provide any additional info about the areas in which team members are based? That could seriously impact the ease of travel. If most people are close to secondary airports, you'll probably want to focus on one of the ~10 largest airport destinations, since that reduces the likelihood people will have to make connections. If most are based in major metro areas, they're likely to have non-stop service to secondary destinations. And if 90% of the team is located in the Northeast, for example, suggesting you all fly to Dallas might not be the best use of time.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 5:11 pm
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I'll throw DFW out. West coasters and east coasters each have approx. the same flight time. I've had similar meetings held there for just this purpose.

DAL is serviced by Southwest and Virgin as well, making the metro DFW area open to plenty of options.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Are you concerned at all about air-travel costs?
Not really, we are staffed with die hard road warriors.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by chgoeditor View Post
Can you provide any additional info about the areas in which team members are based?
All US timezones, we are legion.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 6:29 pm
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The specific areas would be of relevance because different airlines serve different cities in a different fashion. Would be silly to recommend ATL or MSP for example if the 3 offices are in or near United or AA hubs
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Old Aug 8, 17, 7:04 pm
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Your best is to pick a hub City, SLC, DEN, DTW, ORD, MSP, ATL, SFO, etc.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 8:27 pm
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Two Strategies

Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Your best is to pick a hub City, SLC, DEN, DTW, ORD, MSP, ATL, SFO, etc.
I have to agree. If you are looking to minimize the travel for all your road warriors, then hubs give you the best chance of optimizing most of your criteria. (Personally I think Denver -- aka the "Western Nebraska International Airport" -- is a bit too far from Denver, but that's just me. Still missing Stapleton, I guess...)

The alternative, since all of your folks are veteran travelers who have transited the major hubs countless times, is to hold you meet-ups in destination cities -- Seattle, Boston, San Diego, Portland, New Orleans, etc. -- even if that means some years are "easy" for some and "hard" for others. In the long run it evens out for everyone and at least they have a location to look forward to visiting.
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Old Aug 8, 17, 11:28 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
You could do MSP and have people stay/meet at either the JW or Radisson Blu at Mall of America. It's a short and pleasant light rail ride from the airport, with the light rail also connecting MOA to downtown. Of course, there is also a good selection of downtown hotels.

ORD and MDW are also connected to downtown and near north areas by public transportation, but IME it's less pleasant.
As someone who also lives in the MSP metro, I do think that it has a fair amount going for it. If a downtown hotel near nightlife, etc. is preferred, it's easy to get to downtown either on the every-10-minute light rail or via Uber or Lyft (or taxi.) Outside of the standard rush hours going to/from MSP wouldn't experience a lot of congestion either. There's also plenty of nice hotels near Mall of America that could work, many of which would have an airport shuttle and also be near the light rail to go to Minneapolis.

ORD/Rosemount is certainly more convenient if you're looking at a place to drop in and leave from easily, but ORD is so far from downtown Chicago if you want to actually experience Chicago.
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