Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Last month I spent three out of four weekends on a plane, leaving me lots of time to think about what makes a good airport.

Over the past few years, since my job requires a decent amount of travel and my friends and family have scattered a bit, I've been through 20 airports around the country, give or take a few. From coast (LAX, SFO, SJC, SAN) to coast ( BOS, BWI, CLT, DCA, JAX) and a bunch in between (AUS, IAH, CMH, BOI, DEN, TUS). From good, to so-so to bad. Very bad.

So among all of my airport experiences which do I like the most?


For those of you who spend most of your time on the ground, that's Nashville.


Well, here are my reasons:

1. As soon as you leave security you are greeted by live music. I mean, what better way to feel welcomed to Music City than by a little stage right there, with a guy and his guitar just playing some tunes. When I was leaving a few days later I noticed several other stages around the airport, one in a food court area and another in a sit down restaurant. Love it!

2. They have Starbucks. I told one of my coworkers this and she commented that she knew I liked Starbucks, but didn't realize I was a "Starbucks Snob." I'll admit it, I guess I am. I'm generally not opposed to local coffee shops, but with Starbucks you always know what you are going to get. And when I'm paying $5 for a drink, I like knowing that I'm going to like it.

3. It's a good, sized, not too big, but not to small airport. I think there are three concourses, all accessible by a central security station and hallway. There's enough to see if you have time to kill, but overall it's a pretty reasonable size making it easy to get around without monorails and shuttle buses or marathon walks from your plane to the exit.

4. You can get a pretty good massage there. That's right, there are two (at least) Massage Bars in the airport. I learned that when I was last there four years ago and stopped in again this March for a 15 minute chair massage before my flight. Ahhhh.

5. From there I can fly home, direct, in about 2 hours. That's right, location, location, location. No matter how nice your airport may be Boise or Tucson or San Francisco, you have zero chance of being my favorite because you are too far away and likely require a connection. Yuck. Proximity certainly isn't enough to get you a good vote (I'm looking at you Dayton), but when you've got a lot going for you, it can certainly put you over the top.

So there you have it, my favorite airport. Thus far. I'm back on the ground for a few months (YAY!) but will likely hit 2 or 3 new airports for me before the year is out so we'll see if another can top good old Nashville in the coming months. At this point I can't imagine what it would take for me to love it more, but I'm certainly going to keep an open mind as I travel the friendly skies!

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