Saturday, June 20, 2009

Inchon Airport is #1

I do like Incheon International Airport (and when writing about the airport, that's the only time you'll see me write that extraneous ee for evil, I say! Otherwise it's Inchon). My ex loved that place, and we'd planned several times to go out to the airport just to hang out all day (my ex was quirky; I'd only go along with it if we were already picking someone up). There's bowling, spas, E-Mart, affordable eats, etc., etc. And the parking is way cheap.

Anyway, it's nice to know that this great airport — clean, efficient, not too crowded even when it's full of people — is getting recognition. I recall the disastrous predictions about how bad the airport would be and how ill-prepared things were for the upcoming World Cup. Kudos to Linkd and globalvillageidiot for admitting they were on that bandwagon and they had been wrong. 

I do agree, though, that the airport needs that airport-to-city-centre railway line (AREX) to open up posthaste, though the limousine bus system should remain in place, of course. As r.rac mentions, there needs to be more good Western food (and good Asian food) on the airside as well as the main part. And while he's wrong that you have to travel to Kimpo Airport just to get a domestic flight, the airlines do need to expand some of their domestic air service from Incheon International Airport to better serve such people. Not everyone lives in the capital.

And speaking of the discussion at Marmot's Hole, I also want to give a shout-out to Hong Kong's airport. It's railway system is excellent, especially with the network of hotel-bound buses that feed into each terminal in the city. My mother was impressed. 

And I will defend Honolulu's airport, which has plenty to do once you're on the inside, and instead of ensconcing passengers in an air-conditioned hermitage, it basically is a giant lanai, using the air from outside to cool the passengers inside the terminal. That is Hawaii, and it distinguishes the airport from all the other look-all-the-same airports in the US. 

And if it may seem like an Asian airport, well, that's Hawaii, too. In many ways Honolulu reminds me more of Seoul or Hong Kong — with just a little Los Angeles thrown in — and that's nothing to be ashamed of, since that's the culture and flavor of this central Pacific metropolis. 

Maybe one of these days I should re-check out Orange County Airport (which I would like to have renamed from John Wayne Airport to Richard Nixon International Airport or Junípero Serra International Airport), which I haven't flown in or out of since high school. Ontario is nice, though, it does resemble a glorified bus terminal.


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