Airport reviews

Page 3 of 28<123456>Last »
April 21st, 2014 at 8:56:21 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
I took a look at how many US domestic flights are done with widebodies. Surprisingly it was about 2% of the passenger load.
Of those nearly 2/3 were on obsolete Boeing 767, which are not much larger than the largest narrowbodies.

Nearly 1/4 of the widebody flights were to Hawaii.

Qantas flies from JFK to LAX before going to Sydney, but I don't think they can carry domestic passengers. It's just two collection points for international passengers.

Basically, only 5 flights per day were between two hubs that just carry a lot of people (on a newer widebody plane than a Boeing 767)
2 AA Los Angeles, CA Miami, FL FL
1 DL Los Angeles, CA Atlanta, GA
1 UA Chicago, IL San Francisco, CA
1 UA Denver, CO Houston, TX

The practice of using large airplanes stuffed with coach seats for short domestic flights is common in Asia. In 1985 a 747 with 15 crew members and 509 passengers was flying from Tokyo to Osaka (250 miles). It crashed and there were only 4 survivors.

The only reason I can imagine Mexico flying a segment on a widebody is from Mexico City to Tijuana outbound to Asia, or Tijuana to Mexico City on the way to Paris and Madrid. Especially after the bridge to San Diego is built. That will assuage some of the gringo fears about having to change planes in Mexico City. If they know that they are already in their seat to Paris and Madrid and they can't miss a connection, they will probably use TIJ airport instead of changing planes in LAX or SFO.
May 9th, 2014 at 4:29:27 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
Las Vegas McCarran, Terminal 3.

A big improvement over the old T2.

Like at many Mexican airports, arriving passengers in T3 are herded into the immigration area without being allowed access to the departure area. I suspect this is so for international flights and not for domestic ones, but I can't be sure. Immigration is huge, though not all booths are in operation (naturally). Unlike the old T2, there are long walks involved from immigration to baggage claim and thence to customs and the exit. On the upside, shuttle booths are both plentiful and open at T3, unlike T2 where one usually had to schlepp one's bags to T1 in order to catch a shuttle.

The concourse is rather sparse, with a few seating areas available, but only a couple of shops and one Starbucks. I'm guessing T3 just doesn't have anywhere near the passenger load as T1. Waiting to pick up someone there can get boring. But free WiFi is available and works reasonably well. Bring a tablet.

Past security things improve, with lots of shops, restaurants and another Starbucks, in the part that I saw which encompasses the gates from E-6 to E-1 (I departed from E-5). There are a couple of recharge stations, where one can plug one's gadgets to recharge them. Besides normal electric outlets, there are USB ports as well. Nice touch.

This being Vegas, there are also slots and VP machines available at regular intervals out in the open. By gate E-2 there is an enclosed section with slots and VP where one can smoke freely. This is a big improvement over every other airport I've been in since 2010. Now instead of waiting at the concourse, and the smoking area outside, I can go through security earlier and grab a bite or get coffee and then smoke if I want to. I know smoking is becoming a pariah activity (though not at the casinos yet), but it's nice to have a niche where our rapidly extinguishing kind can gather.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 9th, 2014 at 4:47:08 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
Toluca airport.

I'm sure it has a name, but I forget what it is.

This is a small airport with only one runway. For years it stood shunned by commercial aviation, and subsisted with some cargo airlines (not UPS, DHL or FedEx) and some general aviation. It exploded when Voalris and Interjet debuted in 2005, when the current terminal was built. By 2009 or so, the terminal was expanded and the parking lot replaced by a larger parking garage. The Interjet shuttle was a common sight on the highway between Mexico City and Toluca back then.

This all collapsed when Mexicana went bust and Interjet and Volaris moved almost all their flights to Mex City in 2011. Interjet has kept many tourist routes there (Vegas, Acapulco, Cabo, Zihuatanejo and so on) plus one business route to Monterrey (albeit with only two flights as opposed to a dozen in 2010). Volaris has almost vanished, keeping only a couple of routes. Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico have moved in but only in a small way, as has Spirit Airlines with flights to Ft. Lauderdale and Dallas. I forget whether Continental has kept its Houston route there.

Anyway, the concourse is a large square with some shops, restaurants and a fast food area. Some seating is available. Smoking is allowed only outside. Parking is plentiful and never a problem.

There are two departure areas, designated as N and I. This seems odd until you realize they mean "Nacional" (Domestic) and "Internacional." Actually the current I was formerly N and viceversa. The current I is the bigger one. The current N is small and mostly unused these days. I hear the Mexico State government hopes for slow but steady growth in Toluca, as Mex City's airport's woes continue to go unaddressed and either a second or replacement airport for the capital remains a distant mirage.

There are shops, including a small duty-free area, and some restaurants. The "gates" are mere doors to the outside, leading to canopied paths to each airplane. One boards through stairs (I wonder how they handle disabled passengers or those needing wheelchairs). Buses for remote boarding spots are available but rarely used anymore.

The one advantage of the low level of traffic here is that the flight rarely needs to wait its turn to take off.

BTW general aviation, other than police and military (the latter includes presidential planes), has been banned from Mex City's airport. Most of it moved to Toluca, though some, I gather, operates off a small strip at Atizapán (which is really inside Mex City's metropolitan area).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 9th, 2014 at 8:06:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
Quote: Nareed
BTW general aviation, other than police and military (the latter includes presidential planes), has been banned from Mex City's airport. Most of it moved to Toluca, though some, I gather, operates off a small strip at Atizapán (which is really inside Mex City's metropolitan area).


For those of you unfamiliar with Mexican geopolitics: Mexico is also the name of a largest state in the country. Toluca is the capital of Mexico State. Greater Mexico city encompasses the federal district, and 40 nearby municipalities in Mexico state, and one in the state of Hidalgo.

Over 20% of Mexicans live in Federal District or the State of Mexico, which is slightly bigger than 1% of the country's land area.

May 10th, 2014 at 2:04:13 AM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 671
Quote: Pacomartin

I'm not sure how LAX uses it's doubled runways. I think that one plane is going down the runway to takeoff, and the second one starts up before the first one lifts off. That way in the extremely unlikely event that the first one crashes at the end of the runway, the second one can still stop in time.

In 2007 they doubled the south runway as well. I don't think that they double up on landings however, as that sounds dangerous. The doubling of this south runway met with years and years of opposition from neighbors.In 1993 the mayor suggested expanding the airport to 100 million passengers a year and tripling the amount of cargo it handles.


Replying somewhat late in the thread, but what the heck.

Departure/departure, assuming non-heavy jet aircraft; 6000 feet and airborne between departures if their flight paths will diverge by at least 15 degrees immediately after takeoff. And even if they aren't scripted to diverge, they will be given initial headings to force divergence so that they can be departed that closely. The runways there (not looking it up) are going to be 10-12K feet each, so it will look like near-simultaneous departures. The airborne part is so that, if the leading departure aborts, they will do it virtually always while still on the ground, and the trailing departure will not be given takeoff permission. If an air carrier does get airborne, it will virtually always circle for landing rather than trying to put it back down, so the trailing departure should be in the safest spot.

With jet landings, the leading aircraft must be clearing/clear of the runway before the trailing aircraft crosses the threshhold. With smaller aircraft, including a few small jets, it is possible to have simultaneous landings separated by at least 3000 feet. Generally, and specifically because of an LAX accident in (think it was 1991) where a USAir landed on a SkyWest commuter at midfield, runways at large airports are segregated into arrival only or departure only, but those operations are still sometimes mixed. The most common mix is to have an intersection departure available midway down the arrival runway for smaller aircraft, and depart the intersection immediately upon the arrival exiting on a high-speed taxiway, in front of the next arrival. It's fun. But you have to trust the pilots and tell them what you're doing.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
May 10th, 2014 at 4:44:30 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 132
Posts: 2947
My favorite airports (in no particular order):

Hong Kong
Shanghai (the new one)
Seoul
BWI (Baltimore-Washington)
Portland
Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)

My least favorite airports (in no particular order):

Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
JFK
San Jose (Costa Rica)
Reykjavik (Iceland)
Newark
LAX
Mexico City
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 11th, 2014 at 5:31:53 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
BTW there's a new airline in Mexico called TAR Aerolinea. It operates rather odd routes, and seems to like flying from Queretaro a lot (about time, too; Queretaro is 2-2.5 hours away from Mex City). It announced it will be flying to and from Toluca in the near future as well.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 11th, 2014 at 2:39:41 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 677
Posts: 7743
Quote: Nareed
BTW there's a new airline in Mexico called TAR Aerolinea. It operates rather odd routes, and seems to like flying from Queretaro a lot (about time, too; Queretaro is 2-2.5 hours away from Mex City). It announced it will be flying to and from Toluca in the near future as well.


http://www.aiq.com.mx/

That's good to know. The jets are all 50 seat kind, but it is good that there are more flights to that airport (including two to Texas).

It's now been three years since volaris started flights to Vegas. I assume that is the airline you take to get there.
May 14th, 2014 at 7:29:58 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
Quote: Pacomartin
That's good to know. The jets are all 50 seat kind, but it is good that there are more flights to that airport (including two to Texas).


Queretaro is fairly large, but not too big. The problem for people wanting to travel from there, is that the Mex CIty airport can be up to 4 hours away, depending on traffic conditions. A minimum of two hours by haighway, and then traffic within the city, at the toll plazas and at the exit from Queretaro can add 2 more.

Quote:
It's now been three years since volaris started flights to Vegas. I assume that is the airline you take to get there.


Hell no. I did in 2012 because it was cheaper than the alternative (Aeromexico). Thankfully since late 2012 or early 2013, Interjet started flying to Vegas from Toluca. That's the flight I've taken the past two years.

Volaris is a perfectly good airline, but they've gone fee-crazy and charge for luggage past 25 kilos. try stuffing a wardrobe for 2.5 weeks with such a meager allowance.

Interjet, in contrast, allows 50 kg. They also have more legroom. And flying from Toluca has its compensation, like shorter waiting times heading out.

ON the downside, Interjet's flights are only on Thursdays and Sundays, while Volaris flies at least once daily. That eans I have to stay longer if I want to arrive on Sunday and leave on Thursday (not that I complain).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 14th, 2014 at 8:10:36 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 312
Posts: 10510
I'm done with my reviews. I could add Guadalajara's airport, but it's almost identical to that of Monterrey, only a bit larger.

So if anyone wants to post their own reviews, by all means go ahead.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
Page 3 of 28<123456>Last »