Cheers and Jeers: Top 10 Jeers of Air Travelers

Looking at passenger pain points

Anyone who has traveled regularly knows the good, the bad and the ugly that goes along with it, both on the ground and in the air.  So below I compiled a list of the top 10 jeers of travelers, based on the observations of me and my traveling friends. My next post will cover the cheers.

 

  • 01 of 10

    Bad Wi-Fi

    Person using laptop at airport cafe
    Thomas Maier/E+/Getty Images

    I found myself caught in a Facebook discussion about why airports have such varying -- and mostly bad -- Wi-Fi experiences. The thoughts are one, that Wi-Fi should be free, and two, free Wi-Fi should be modernized with faster speeds, like what’s available at Las Vegas’s ​McCarran International Airport.

     

  • 02 of 10

    Long Security Checkpoint Lines

    1127306430_3048dd74b1_b.jpg
    Photo by Benét J. Wilson

    As a member of Global Entry, I’m automatically enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, plus I have status on Southwest Airlines that lets me use a special line. But for those who don’t have either of this, long lines can cause stress and even possibly missing your flight.

     

  • 03 of 10

    Can We Go Yet?

    Cell Phone
    Oscar Wong / Getty Images

    Air travelers face a lot of anxiety, including getting through security, finding food (since airlines don’t offer much anymore) and making their flight. Travelers would like more apps or systems that offer personal information on these questions to reduce the stress of air travel.

     

  • 04 of 10

    No Thanks, I’ll Stand

    Seating at Ottawa International Airport
    Benét J. Wilson

    There are airports where there just isn’t enough seating at gates. So this means travelers either have to stand for longer periods or sit on a dirty airport floor. As airports modernize, more are offering better seating options (thank you Orlando International), but it’s still not nearly enough.

     

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Power to the People

    Power outlet at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
    Benét J. Wilson

    Travelers now carry at least two electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. And all those gadgets need power. I’ve been in airports where I see people huddled around outlets near trash ​cans or at gate desks. Some airports and have boosted the number of power outlets (nice job, Hartsfield-Jackson in the International Terminal), but we still need more. Airports can kill two birds with one stone by offering more of those comfy chairs with built-in power outlets.

     

  • 06 of 10

    Parking Pet Peeve

    Valet parking at Washington Dulles International Airport.
    Benét J. Wilson

    One of the stresses of travel, especially during busy travel dates, is “will I be able to park my car?” I’d like airports to get rid of that particular stress by offering guaranteed parking options for those willing to pay for the privilege. 

     

  • 07 of 10

    Customs Crush

    american passport and map
    Yenwen/E+/Getty Images

    For those who travel internationally -- and don’t have Global Entry -- Customs and Immigration lines can be a nightmare. Budget cuts have affected the number of agents available to process travelers. Some airports have started installing automated passport scanners, but either more need to be installed or schedules for Customs officers should be adjusted to cover peak travel times.

     

     

  • 08 of 10

    Better signage

    Signage at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
    Benét J. Wilson

    One of my favorite airports on the planet is Amsterdam Schiphol. One of the main reasons is that it has great signage that makes navigating the large facility easy and non-intimidating. But signage in other airports is so bad you’re better off using the GPS o​n your smartphone.

     

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Can You Hear Me Now?

    The photo is of travelers stuck at JFK Airport during the travel meltdown in 2010 when ash from a volcano in Iceland caused cancellations of thousands of flights to Europe.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    We need better and more reliable communications from airlines and airports. For example, when it comes to flight delays, my airline app may say one thing, the airline’s gate agent may say another thing and my FlightView app may have something else entirely. And what if I need to use the restroom or find something to eat and miss the gate announcement? Let’s find a better way to get information out via smartphones and social media.

     

  • 10 of 10

    Let’s Talk Toilets

    Empty Public Restroom
    Lode Kuylenstierna / EyeEm/Getty Images

    Sorry gentlemen, I can only speak about the experience in the ladies room. Airports need restrooms with stalls big enough to bring in a ​roller board. We need to have a purse shelf behind the toilet and either seat covers or seat wrappers. Finally, I don’t need flowers (nice touch, Baltimore-Washington International Airport), but is it too much to ask to clean bathrooms regularly?