Navigating airports: a breeze

Ko Samui Airport in Thailand is pretty easy to navigate.

Thailand’s Ko Samui outdoor airport is a breeze to navigate.

Navigating a new airport is one of my biggest travel stressors.

I worry about:

  • not finding the luggage carousel;
  • not locating the correct gate and missing the flight;
  • not finding the ground transportation I need;
  • getting lost on my way to security and immigration;
  • getting lost in general.

This year, I travelled through two of the world’s busiest airports: Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok and Incheon in Seoul.

To prepare for what I believed would be hellish experiences, I found on the internet and read everything I could find about navigating these airports.

What I encountered when I arrived surprised me.

Turns out both are modern, clean, well designed airports with excellent signage in English, and helpful people ready to assist at the first sign of trouble. I couldn’t have gotten lost if I tried.

They offer plenty of seating and ample staff, the latter ensuring the security and immigration lines move quickly.

And while these airports see thousands of people every day, I didn’t feel crowded or rushed. (Take note Heathrow).

My luggage arrived very soon after the flights landed and finding transportation was easy.

Saved by the Incheon Airport customs guys

I’ve also spent time this year in several busy U.S. airports:  Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Seattle. LA is a nightmare, but finding my way around proved pretty easy at all of them.

I commend the world’s airport designers for taking some of the stress out of flying.

Now, if we could just get better behaviour from the airlines!!!

Air Bangkok gate at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Lot of natural light.

Air Bangkok gate at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Lots of natural light.

Air Asia lineup at Don Muang, the old Bangkok airport. Hellish scene at 5:00 am.

Air Asia lineup at Don Muang, the old Bangkok airport. Hellish scene at 5:00 am.

Incheon Airport in Seoul. Nice new airport. Bright, clean and roomy.

Incheon Airport in Seoul. Nice new airport. Bright, clean and roomy.

Incheon. Another view.

Incheon. Another view.

2 thoughts on “Navigating airports: a breeze

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