I don’t fly as much as I used to, so it’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t at the Minneapolis Airport every time I travel.
Construction. I moved here in 1980 and I believe that some portion of the airport and/or the parking structures have been under construction every single minute. Currently it’s the entrance to the parking shuttle area (and probably more, but that’s what I saw).
Check-in. If you’ve flown in the last few years you’ve experienced the little kiosks that guide you “gently” through the check-in process on your own. Now you even get to put on your own bag tags. A little embarrassing how long it took me to figure this out after watching ticket agents do this for 40 years. And you get to put your own suitcase on the conveyor belt, unless you run into an agent who is chatty and willing to do it for you.
Security. This has changed and not for the better. Long long lines (which I don’t understand – the only people going through security are ticketed passengers. Certainly the airlines know how many bodies they are expecting on any given morning, afternoon or evening? Why isn’t the security area ever properly staffed up?) By the time they finally diverted some of us to the other security area, which had been closed earlier, the line went the entire length of the airport.
More Security. No more plastic bins to put your stuff in. And no more taking your laptop, tablet, kindle, etc. out of your bag. But you still have to take off your shoes if you wear Birkenstocks that always make the security scanner go off.
Shopping & Eating/Drinking. OMG! Considering that the only things I ever buy in an airport are bottles of water and the occasional refrigerator magnet, it is mind-blowing how many shops (and expensive shops at that) and restaurant/bars there are in the airport. With the possible exception of rolls of toilet paper, I think you can get just about anything at the airport these days.
Connectedness (if this a word). Well, there are a lot more places to plug in and get online at the airport, especially in the international gate areas, but considering that every single person that I can see from where I am sitting is online somehow, it’s still not enough.
The changes seem to happening faster and faster so I suppose in a couple of years, this blog will be completely obsolete.
What changes would you like in future airports?