Doesn't really surprise me that much, I guess. Both new terminals are really nice. I hope everyone has ventured through that trippy ass tunnel in McNamara that crazy light show thing going on.
OT: Detroit has the best airport evaaaaarrr!
Sort of makes me forget that I'm having to go out to that other terminal and probably get on a small cramped plane. I strongly prefer the main terminal...
Honestly, my favorite thing about that airport is that they are typically much faster than other airports at delivering checked bags to the baggage claim. Seems like a small thing, but once I get off the plane, I hate standing around and waiting for bags...
Overall, I generally have a very good experience when I travel to/from/through DTW.
Second the bags. I generally just walk from the gate to the baggage claim and ignore the train no matter how far down the gate is, and by the time I get to baggage claim, bang, there's my bag. It's pretty good. Signage is another thing DTW does extremely well - not that it's even that hard to find your way around the terminal.
When it comes to overall airport operations - ticket lines, security lines, bags, etc. - there's only one airport I know that rivals DTW: Providence. (PVD is small so the lines are nonexistent nine times out of ten, and the parking is cheap, but they're really slow with bags.) Lucky me, those are the ones I currently fly back and forth from the most.
You should try the tunnel on Xanax; it makes a special trip an even specialerer trip.
So I'm walking through this tunnel with my sister and 3 year old niece. We get through the tunnel and my sister asks her what colors did she see in the tunnel? She starts naming them off "blue and red and purple" one by one and then she says, kid you not, "and yellow, like your teeth," to my sister. I almost choked on my gum I was laughing so hard. And my sister is not from Ohio, so there is no way her teeth are yellow. Pretty damn funny though.
We aren't terrible at everything! YES!
Detroit won in the Large city category while Kansas City took the Medium size city category and Indianapolis took the small city category in that survey.
Has an incredibly nice airport. And they have free internet and a ridiculous food court. I like DTW too though.
I have to say I'm surprised to see K.C. taking top honors for medium sized airports. Never had a bad experience there, but it lacks the glitz and glamour of the other #1's in their respective categories.
Is Kansas City that much larger of a city than Indianapolis? I thought they were about the same size.
after all the bad news about Michigan, Midwest and UM - its great that at least something is going well around...
Detroit is my absolute favorite airport. Amsterdam Schiphol is close but too busy. O'Hare sucks BTW. These days I fly out of the tiny Mitchell airport in Milwaukee - and there is something about walking through security in 2 minutes and being able to drink beer next to your gate.
agreed. that's why i love grand rapids' airport.
My father and I have definitely gotten drunk at Gerald R. Ford while waiting for a plane to Florida--good times.
Amsterdam's airport is awesome! You can gamble there. The setup does suck though--it's really, really long with no transit between terminals IIRC.
I think I used to hate BWI because I would always get held up in security just by chance.
don't try to get a lap dance there. 'cause that ish ain't happenin
I wish more airports did free wifi like Portland's airport.
New Orleans does as well. i agree that such joy is few and far between.
So does Charlotte
Orlando has it too, or they did the last couple of times I was there.
Fort Lauderdale has free wifi IIRC and Philly might--the free wifi I had there might have been because of a national holiday.
I mean, I get that these are opportunities for airports to make, but stuff like that still embarrasses me. I particularly hate how in a number of US cities and other countries the carts for luggage are free but in Boston and NY they charge like $3 to use the smartcartes.
This is good to see...usually when there are city rankings in just about any category Detroit is always last. Sometimes I wonder if they even bother doing any research beforehand or just put Detroit in last automatically.
I've flown out of Detroit a bunch, and never had any issues. The new terminals are great. I had a staffer in the bookstore tell me that she's pretty sure the Smith terminal was haunted. Regardless, it was kind of a sh!thole.
The worst airport I've ever been to was Washington Dulles.... it took 3 trams to get to a McDonalds... and I almost missed my flight on a 3 hour layover.... never again.
The first time I got on a tram at Dulles I thought it was cool, until I ended up in the wrong terminal and ended up missing my flight. Overall though, JFK is the most inconvenient airport in the states.
it has to be, despite all its glitz and shine, De Gaulles. the whole 50 min mandatory layover is about 10 minutes too short and i find myself sprinting through the damn airport every time. families literally recreate wartime moments as their children and elderly fall to the wayside... "LEAVE HIM BEHIND, HE'S A GONER! HE'LL NEVER MAKE IT!"
they do sell cuban cigars.
still worst airport ever.
The main terminal at Dulles is a masterpiece even if you despise the field terminals. I don't know of many architecturally better and more appealing airport terminals in this country.
Also for anyone that's had a fun ride on the moon explorers cum terminal shuttles they use, they just opened an underground train system that services both of the field terminals and departs about 15 feet from security (also recently massively expanded and faster).
DTW was cut out of the rankings of busiest airports on Wikipedia. They should be #14, as referenced by the footnote.
It's probably some Ohioan. Someone who knows how should correct this wrong!
Fixed. Was just a messed up formatting issue.
Just so long as it's DTW.... Not City.
Is City Airport even in operation still?
Evidently. It's now the Coleman A. Young International Airport.
I guess I get both ends of the spectrum. I get to fly in to the awesome McNamara Terminal when I fly into DTW, and when I go home, I get to see the dump that is Newark Airport.
The aspect of Newark that is so mind-boggling is that they make passengers go through security AGAIN when they swap terminals. Unbelievable.
Same thing at SFO. Made me miss my connection flight because I was so in a hurry from my one flight to the next that I forgot to take the half drank Coke out of my carry-on. Combine the partially full liquid container with the frantic look in my eyes, I must have deserved that pat down. I watched as the doors closed and my plane drove off down the tarmac...
When I first looked at UM for college, it was my first time in MI and I flew through the old Berry/Smith terminal. I was like, So this is Detroit. McNamara was already in use by then but I wouldn't fly through there until my freshman year. The new Berry/Smith terminal was built after I graduated but I've flown through the new terminal since and it's really nice.
The reason that DTW will always have a special place in my heart, however, is that I was once picking up my friend from there and the policeman there let me leave my car for a minute so I could take a piss. They never bug people waiting at arrivals. In Boston, the cops start flashing behind you (but they scared of a brother so they mace you to blind you) just about a second after you get there and start threatening you with a ticket. Fuck 'em.
because they're leaving Detroit :-\
I rarely have any problems getting through check-in and security, and the terminals are both very straightforward. Grand Rapids is also nice, as well as Lubbock, TX, but that is probably a function of size and minimal traffic. In LUB I can show up 20 minutes before takeoff and have plenty of time to get a coffee and maybe a small breakfast before I board.
Wow, that's a long way from where it was 10 years ago. Before they build McNamara, the airport sucked. It would have been the bottom of that list back then. I remember my parents would always complain about how much it sucked, every time we would go (which was relatively often). I agree, it has been much better the last several times I've been there.
Salt Lake and Denver are still my favorites. Denver has a sweet subway system to move between terminals, and Salt Lake is really fast and easy to get your bags and get out of the airport.
Not long ago, DTW was an absolute shithole. In fact, it actually was ranked the worst airport in the country by one service in the mid-90s. They have done great work there.
Are we traveling through the same airport?
I abhor the music in the tunnel to the B & C gates. It's frantic-sounding and jangling, and the flashing lights make it worse.
I've waited an hour for bags. Yes, a full hour. Granted, it was from one of the smaller planes out on C, but that wait was excessive. It's frequently a pretty long wait if you're not getting off a plane on the A concourse.
I hate the way you have to take an elevator/escalator UP from baggage claim to get to the bridge over the first road and then take an elevator/escalator DOWN to ground transport--horrible for traffic flow. IMO the signage on this process sucks. We're used to it but it's not intuitive to visitors.
The revolving door into MacNamara from ground transportation is too frequently broken. The space between the escalators and the outside doors in this area is way too narrow, too.
The air circulation at ground transportation is horrible--I'll bet I've taken years off my life breathing those fumes. I feel sorry for the Metro car guys.
The only good thing is that they have instituted a "family line" at Security when the lines are long. If you've got a kid they'll pull you out and put you in a separate line. On the one hand, you're behind people who are wrangling their strollers and 17 various bags which makes for a slow-moving line, BUT it's still shorter and faster than the regular line. It's fabulous if you can endure the red-hot glares burning into you from the poor bastards still stuck in line.
I've been doing Detroit to Philadelphia frequently lately and the difference is night and day. PHL is in the process of being renovated, but I fly into Terminal E, which hasn't been touched yet, and it reminds me a lot of the old Davey Terminal. Lots of concrete, and just downright ugly. That and their check in process is a nightmare: go down, and back up again if you need to park, and the drop off point is a nightmare.
I've only had one problem with Detroit (post renovation), and that was flying out the day after Christmas. It was just busy as heck and took me 40 minutes to stand outside and check in. Otherwise, Detroit usually works fine for me.
Having been an out of state student I have flown through that airport more times than I can count. I never had any trouble of any kind.
My memory may be failing, but didn't Dennis Archer have a lot to do with improving DTW? Too bad he was run out of the mayor's office for not "keeping it real".
Milwaukee and Cincinnati also have surprisingly nice airports. SFO was pretty good, but felt very large and complex to navigate when I was there. I was surprised what a pit Sea-Tac was, very dark and dingy in most places. I must've been in a field terminal at Dulles, because I've been in at least a dozen regionals that were nicer and more impressive than the Dulles section where I caught a connecting flight a few years back.