As regular readers (surely there must be at least a few) know, I have been right pleased with airports recently. They have adapted to post-9/11 security beautifully. Remember at first how chaotic everything was after that date? It was awful, particularly for non-frequent flyers. Now it goes rather smoothly, and I appreciate that.
On the other hand, it is time for my annual diatribe about my pet peeve at airports in recent history. This is one of the few ways in which airports — in my not-so-humble opinion — have gone downhill.
Back in the late 1970s, I wrote a letter to a hospital saying they could improve things by using signage as airports do. “From any part of an airport,” I wrote, “I can see signs directing me to the nearest men’s room and anywhere else — gates, baggage, ticket counters, restaurants, for example — that I want to go.”
That is no longer true. The signage to ticket counters at airports today is sometimes non-existent and more often difficult to find.
Why is this? I don’t know. Did the guvmint mandate it for some secret reason? Or, is it because of a sinister movement by a bunch of artsy architects who prefer form over function? I’ve asked more than a few airport directors, and never heard what I would call a suitable answer.
Remember when counter signs were at right angles to the counters? I do. Some of my favorite airport directors keep trying to tell me the new way is — in this case — just as good as the old way. It ain’t. My frequent-flying friends agree with me on this.
This is one of those cases where the provider likes the new, but the customers like the old.
Bah, humbug, sez I (again).
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