Upstate New York’s Syracuse Airport: Yawn!

Syracuse is the fifth most populous town of the state New York and as pretty much all US towns of that size, it has an airport. Well, of course it does, otherwise we wouldn’t be writing about it. The airport, Syracuse Hancock International Airport (IATA: SYR) is, according to Wikipedia, a joint civil-military public airport located 7.4 km (4.6 mi) northeast of Syracuse. The main terminal complex is located at the eastern end of Colonel Eileen Collins Boulevard.

The first impression of the airport is that it’s fairly spacious but looks quite tired. The latter is no surprise as it was built just after the WWII and opened in 1949. In summary, there are two really great things about the place: it offers free WiFi and operations are fairly efficient, so you won’t need to queue too long anywhere.

Generally, however, we advise not to spend too much time there as there simply isn’t terribly much to do. Sometimes you’re forced to stay a bit longer though, so in true LateDeparture style, we found a few tips for you to kill some time:

  • If you’re with children, check out the “Discover the Airport” display between the two sections A and B of the arrivals & check-in hall. Whilst it’s a bit dated, it still offers a few interesting displays and a few interactive buttons for your kids to press.
  • After security there’s not much at all. Even air condition seemed patchy when we were there. In summer, choose to wait in an area that’s well tempered.
  • Go to gates 8/9 and play “plain spotter” – mind you this is no JFK with constant aircraft movement
  • Check out the various vending machines featuring electronics or beauty products
  • If you’re hungry, there’s a small snack bar offering a few breakfast/food options, newspapers, magazines and books
  • If none of the above are your thing, simply surf the web on your phone or laptop – after all, WiFi is free throughout the airport – so you could even check out further tips from the Foursquare community

Airport Facts and Ratings

Airport Name Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Design Plane Award Plane Award Point
Shopping Plane Award Point
Toilets Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Overall Plane Award Plane Award Point
Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum, 100ml at the Duty Free Shop n/a
Bottle of Veuve Cliquot at the Duty Free Shop n/a

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by waitscm]

  • Zaw Lin Hteik

    Lol. That’s the airport I entered united states for the first time about 10 years ago. Much tinier than I had expected!

  • Tom Merkli

    That’s funny, Zaw! What were you doing up there at the time?

  • Sorry to read your lackluster review of Syracuse Airport. Many’s the time I’ve flown in and out of there on my trips back home. I always appreciated its intimate size, cleanliness, brightness – and of course, the “Discover the Airport” displays. But it’s been several years since I’ve been there. Your review makes me want to fly back to see it for myself.

  • Mike D

    As a Syracuse native who still flies in often, the airport is an embarrassment…with all the empty space/gates, it’s a sad reminder of its heyday in the mid-late 80s. A new terminal should have been planned/built years ago. (It’s been nearly 20 years now since the last extensive renovations were made.) I would urge the new airport authority to fly to Raleigh-Durham and tour the new terminal that opened there this year…very inspiring and shows off the dynamic spirit of that area.

  • Shaun

    the expansion just recently opened and they made it a bit better, howver it’s stil not amazing. BUt it’s a big step forward from what it was before.