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Posted on 01.16.2015
Houston Hobby Airport

The HOU runways have maintained their paltry lengths, so you won't find aircraft larger than 737s here.  Southwest will schedule international flights soon.

Unfortunately, as much as I like HOU's in-and-out process, the area around it isn't the most scenic.  It's the same for the neighborhood of MDW in Chicago, but there are areas to the south of HOU I wouldn't want to get out of my car for any reason.

The terminal is spacious and light-filled.  There are plenty of shops to pick up books, sandwiches, whatever.  The bathrooms are plentiful and better designed than most airports I've been to.  Food options are the same chain places you see everywhere else.

Just so you know, Preflight Houston Hobby Airport Parking prices have just recently gone right through the roof. Shop around, get a park and fly package deal; you don't have to take it.

My biggest gripe: airport security.  Everyone has their own story of how bad a TSA experience is at different airports.  Houston Hobby is one of the worst.  The security lines are horrible...HORRIBLE.  My last trip, it took me 25 minutes from the end of the queue through the TSA security.  HOU has been consistently rated as one of the worst TSA bottlenecks of the 30 largest airports.  Why?  THREE TSA lanes open for travelers, and all fliers go through body scanners.  It looked like they could've had five open, but for some reason, they'd rather have (my estimation) a 600-foot line of people waiting to go through.  For comparison, MDW always seems to have 10 lanes open, and that airport doesn't mandate everyone go through body scanners.

* If your final destination is the west side of Houston--Westchase, Katy, Sugarland, etc., and you don't mind spending a few dollars, take the Beltway 8 which is also known as the Sam Houston Tollway.  You can go from HOU out to Beltway-8 & Westheimer in 20-25 minutes in good traffic.  HOU to I-59 (Southwest Freeway) in 15 minutes.
* I swear by Pappasito's Cantina.  Yes, it's cheap, barely Tex-Mex compared to it's bigger, non-airport restaurants, but it's consistently tasty, and the employees have always been pleasant.
* Do NOT arrive an hour before your flight and think you'll just waltz through security.
* If you're returning a rental car, and you are exiting from Beltway-8, you can fill-up your car at one of the two gas stations at the Telephone Rd. exit.



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