Once you arrive at your gate there are few chairs and fewer outlets to recharge your phone or iPod. Some of the gates are jammed together so it's hard to tell which gate is which and which flight is departing. It's the usual set of shops with some newer food choices none of which have so far been outstanding. Even the club closes relatively early.
So I always dread changing planes in Phoenix unless I check all my bags and have a very small carryon and have plenty of time to get from gate to gate and then my flight leaves almost right away. My vision of hell is being loaded down with bags and trying to change planes in Phoenix with little time to spare and then once getting to the gate discovering my flight has been delayed.Probably my least favorite major west coast Airport because of its lack of amenities, long waits on the runway, always using US Airways (heard someone call it useless airways - boy, that's poularity!) here I feel like this place has more planes being shut down with service problems than any other airport around
There are gorgeous views of the red rocks and mountains of Phoenix. But all that beauty is overshadowed by the poorly organized airport. All of the information boards only provided flight information for that terminal. Which is great if you're staying in one terminal but when you have a connecting flight or you're switching carriers then it's really frustrating.
And now, for the cherry on top, Phoenix International Airport Parking. Where do I begin. Its expensive and slow, but the thing that makes me really happy is the $3.00 "fuel fee". I didn't see any mention of this on their website (however, it is written on the coupon, and next time I will be sure to pull out my electron microscope to make sure I catch the microbe print). Why did I think there wasn't a fuel fee? because their website goes out of its way to say "FREE (their caps) 24 hour shuttle service". The website not only says it, but it is listed first on their list of attributes. But there's actually a $3.00 fuel fee (which equates to almost another 50% on top of their daily rate). This sort of thing is like death by a thousand cuts. Kind of like saying my plane ticket is free, but all I have to do is pay for the jet fuel before I can get off the plane. Don't tolerate these shenanigans, get yourself a park and fly and have the last laugh.
Also, back in the airport, there was no way for me to find a way to another terminal. There are no information booths and if there were then they're well hidden. I finally asked a TSA security guy if he could help me find my flight. He told me I'd have to take a shuttle to another terminal. I was surprised that in 2012 this airport that seems so modern did not have a train that connected all of the terminals. My surprise quickly turned to anger because if you are switching terminals then you must go through security again! I had purchased jam at the airport and presented my receipt showing that it was a purchase within the airport but it was still confiscated. This nonsense is like the stories they used to tell us in school about the USSR to make us scared of them and appreciative of the U.S. Only now these stories are about us.
Phoenix, please embrace all parts of modernity and build a freaking tram between terminals. And, as for TSA, which can't really protect you from anything unless you're getting attacked with jam; poor America, too bad everything is so lame.
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