Friday, November 30, 2007

Miami Airport: How bad is it?

A letter in today's Readers Forum on the Op-Ed page says it all.

Mortin I. Teicher of Miami writes:


    Why does Miami have to put up with a Third World airport? Miami International Airport is a disgrace. Unlike most decent airports, MIA has few moving walkways to help cover the long distances between arrival gates and baggage claim or between check-in counters and departure gates.

    The few golf-cart-type vehicles in some concourses speed around without passengers and are of no help. Wheelchairs are rarely available. Waiting for luggage after arrival is a disaster. And there is no one to provide information about delays. Finally, the taxi lines are scandalous. Police and dispatchers contradict each other, shouting at cab drivers and giving passengers different information, ignoring any sense of orderly procedure.

    When are we going to get a decent airport?



As just about anyone who regularly uses MIA will tell you, the place is a pit.

I say this with apologies to the many hard-working employees there. (The new manager at the Starbucks on Concourse D is a marvel: Cheerful and efficient!)

But let's face it: the laundry list of nightmares stretches to New York. Travelers worldwide complain about it; I've heard earfuls about our airport in Europe, Asia and South America.

Among my own less-than-cheery experiences in the past year or two:


  • Luggage handling. Last Saturday we waited more than an hour for our bags (after the caroussel designation had been switched thrice.) Not sure whether this was MIA's fault or American Airlines, but the result was the same.

    (While we're on that subject, can someone explain why the caroussel designated is almost invariably the one furtherest from the gate at which you arrived?)

  • Non-moving moving sidewalks. This is not to be confused with non-moving escalators, also a problem.

  • Food choices. You know things are meagre when the opening of the Au Bon Pain in Concourse A was cause for celebration.

  • Cranky workers. I've been snarked at by workers in two languages who pretend not to speak either when it turns out that I can manage both. (Kudos to the tourism promotion folks, who have started a friendliness and service campaign for all workers who relate to tourists.)


To be fair, things are getting (slightly) better, and hopefully will improve with the full operation of the new terminal. And there is one thing I really like about MIA: All the places its flights can take me.

Got a MIA beef? A practical suggestion? Praise? Click to Comment below.

39 comments:

patrickogle said...

I cannot think of an airport I like less than MIA....except the one in Reno...

Anonymous said...

And what about Super Shuttle? I have never seen such an inefficient system, customer unfriendly, sullen staff. I once apologized to some French tourists on behalf of all other US citizens, for the treatment they received from these people. I pay the extra $30 for a cab to get me home. La Guardia seems to have a very efficient system for dispatching passengers on the correct van.

Anonymous said...

MIA is starting to scare me. My husband and I were on our way to Maui, and my husband to his backpack as a carry one. He had 2 colognes in there (and he did not put them there on purpose). The TSA worker only caught one and let us slide!!! That should not slide! We only noticed the second bottle once we unpacked in Hawaii. For such a large and busy airport, the security should be tighter. I mean who knows what else "slides" even after security caught it

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