This week we found a great mix of interesting airport news for you: there’s Atlanta (again), San Jose Airport with a private investor, a new foodie solution, an impromptu performance in Europe and a lesson from Hong Kong. Sounds intriguing? Read on!
Throughout 2012 LateDeparture shared some interesting airport stories and news via our blog but this year we want to give our readers the chance to really experience the airports as a destination in their own right. Our founder and Chief Blogger, Tom, has developed a world-first trip in conjunction with OutTrippin.com that visits 4 of the best airports in the world in 48 hours and we wanted you to be the first to know about it.
We try to stay out of global politics, however, when those politics affect flying passengers at airports around the world, we surely want to report it. So this week we have a story involving troubled Syria for you. Other than that we found more of the “regular” news bites from Dubai, Taipei and Glasgow.
This week has been a mixed one. While it certainly wasn’t a quiet one for the US East Coast airports, elsewhere, things were more on the normal side with one notable exception: China. But enough of the vagueness, let’s get straight into it:
It’s been another week full of planes for me. But this week I’ve actually been on the planes. I’ve travelled through 3 airports including one that I’ve been longing to review for quite some time: Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX). And I was lucky enough to meet up with the airport’s public relations person who gave me a fantastic tour through the airport and even showed me some real secrets of what to do when you have ample time at LAX. Watch this space for the detailed review!
The story of the week for me though was when we found out about Continue reading This week’s airport events: Lauper sings in Buenos Aires and more
Have you ever seen an entire departure gate transformed to a popular children’s brand theme? No? Then you haven’t been to Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport airport – terminal 2.
When you get dropped off from the busy streets of Taipei at Taiwan’s largest, international airport (IATA: TPE) (traditional Chinese: 臺灣桃園國際機場; simplified Chinese: 台湾桃园国际机场), you expect a very crowded scene, but when I was there on a regular Thursday evening, the airport was surprisingly quiet. Who knows, maybe the large check-in hall and the usual Asian way of building airports for the future (read: big) might have deceived my senses as my flight to Hong Kong was full to the last seat.
After the equally quick security check (luckily the stupid liquid restriction hasn’t arrived in Taiwan yet), you end up in an area between two main arms to the right and left containing all the departure gates.
I first walked left to the A & D gates where I discovered an art exhibition of Chinese (errr, probably Taiwanese) hats painted by children from the “Taoyuan County Sinpo Elementary School” followed by a good selection of shops and a rich media & internet access lounge (close to gate D2).
On my way back to the other arm of gates (B/C gates) I stumbled onto an interesting nursery room. It was turned into the Hello Kitty theme. This surely is a nice alternative to the usual dull, grey rooms provided by airports (don’t worry, I’m not going to become a nursery room expert any time soon though…).
The B/C arm overall is nicer than its sister on the other side as it appears to have been renovated. However, it contains a similar selection of shops. Mind you, there is one really big reason to visit this side of the airport: gate C3. Yes, that’s the Hello Kitty gate with an adjacent shop. See this blog’s picture for an impression of what awaits you there (or our previous cover of the gate earlier this year). How cool is that? But the climax was that my flight actually departed from this gate. Fear not, you don’t have to dress up for boarding although the atmosphere does lend itself to silly, childish fun! Travellers seemed delighted, they smiled, laughed and took photos. What else could you want in a usually stressful environment like an airport?
Overall, if you have some time to kill at the Taipei airport terminal 2, here are my favourites:
- Buy some authentic Taiwanese Oolong tea from one of several “Hsin Tung Yang” shops (e.g. close to gate D4)
- Visit the pharmacy and beauty store for your last minute travel needs (close to gate C4)
- Buy the latest gadgets from the Electronics store (there is one on either gates side)
- Play a round of Xbox games at the Chimei rich media & internet access lounge (more mature travellers might divert to checking their emails)
- Speaking of emails, WiFi is free throughout the airport, so download your latest episodes of Britain’s next Top Model on to your iPhones
- Purchase the latest sports gear at the 3 adjacent sports stores Adidas, Nike and Puma on the C/D gates side
- Lastly, a must see, check out the Hello Kitty gate C3 (as mentioned above)
|Airport Name||Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport airport|
|TWD 4,030 (£74.65)|
|TWD 2,300 (£42.60)|
[Picture from LateDeparture – all rights reserved]
Well, nothing is impossible and that definitely holds true for Asia: Terminal 2 of Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE) features a full-blown Hello Kitty Lounge with adjacent – wait for it – Hello Kitty souvenir shop. Apparently you can even board some planes directly from the lounge. I guess one of these planes here. Up to you now to decide whether that’s a great sign of what we can expect at airports in 2009 or not…
[Original Post from the Hello Kitty Gifts Blog]
Airport statistics are a fine thing as they give you an indication of where potential problems lie. Especially if you have the choice of different routes, it makes sense to take the on-time statistics of a particular airport into account when planning your travels.
So, which airport is the worlds most efficient one? According to a Forbes Travlerer article, the winning airport is Haneda airport in Tokyo (HND) with 90% of its arrivals and departures on-time. Never heard of Haneda? Me neither, but according to the article, the airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world primarily handling domestic traffic. It’s bigger sister airport, the well known Narita International (NRT) makes it on to the 2nd place. Well done, Japan!
Interestingly, 6 out of the 10 most on-time airports are located in Asia, only two from the US (Orlando and Houston) and one from Europe (Munich) make it into this elite group – maybe some of these airport managers should have a summer exchange class organized in Asia…
- Haneda (HND), Tokyo, Japan – 90%
- Narita International (NRT), Tokyo, Japan – 84.2%
- Taiwan Taoyuan International, Taipei (TPE), Taiwan – 80.3%
- Kingsford Smith International (SYD), Sydney, Australia – 80.1%
- Hong Kong International (HKG), Hong Kong, Hong Kong – 79.7%
- Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK), Jakarta, Indonesia – 79.3%
- Suvarnabhumi International (BKK), Bangkok, Thailand – 79.3%
- Orlando International (MCO), Orlando, USA – 79.8%
- Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC), Munich, Germany – 77.8%
- George Bush International (IAH), Houston, USA – 77%
Read the full Forbes Traveler article here.
(Picture by Flickr)