Is There Any Better Airport Than Portland International?

I’m at the San Diego airport, waiting for my flight to New York. I flew in, wondering, how will the airport compare to Portland? Well, it’s not even close. Reminds me of Philadelphia or St. Louis. Is there an airport that compares at all to Portland? JFK seems pretty good. But, still, it’s really of no comparison.

Heading to New York for the Personal Democracy Forum. I get in late, not expecting to get much sleep at all. But, this looks like one of the most exciting conferences I have ever attended. It’s all about politics and technology.

11 Comments so far

  1. Steve (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

    There really isn’t any comparison to PDX. SeaTac tried to copy PDX back a few years ago and it shows just how much pull and how highly regarded our homegrown airport is.

    I can’t go to any Airport in California and pick up In-n-out, yet I can go to the Portland one and find local favorites like Big Town Hero, the only surviving Coffee People, Good Dog / Bad Dog and more. It’s also the only airport I know of where Wendy’s is the fast food chain of choice.

    JFK, LaGuardia, O’Hare, LAX, SNA, the list goes on and on.

    The only airport that has ever had anything as interesting or as innovative as Portlands IMO is Palm Springs. The only airport I know of that has outside walkways which is a joy in spring but a curse in summer. Everywhere else doesn’t come close, and everyone I know tells me that.

  2. mr (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    Plus it’s got a Powell’s in it!

  3. Truth (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

    PDX is the nicest airport I’ve been to in America, but there are some in Asia and Europe that are pretty decent (I can’t remember all of them).

  4. l (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

    PDX is the best but Orlando is also first class.

  5. RAH (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

    ABQ beats PDX hands down. The carpeting in PDX looks like it was taken from a 1973 game show set.

  6. Lizzy (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 11:55 pm

    Everytime I go to another airport I miss PDX. It has the best shopping and the best restaurants, no question!

  7. pdxrocket (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 10:27 am

    Just got back from Orlando, and that airport was a mess. I think it’s because they are doing some major renovation, but man! nothing to rave about. Not to mention the security checkpoint for the gates is atrociously bad.

  8. Hula (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

    Worst airport ever: MCI (Kansas City)

  9. DR NORMAL (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

    Great post! When I was growing up, PDX was considered one of the worst airports in the country. With 20 years of rapid expansion, it is now one of the best (the best?). I have been taking a lot business trips down to Silicon Valley lately, so I see a lot of the “Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport”. Well, if I were the former Clinton Secretary of Transportation, I would remove my name from that establishment, pronto! Here’s a tip if you fly into San Jose: fly Southwest. The Gordon Biersch brewpub is next to the gate (next to California Pizza Kitchen…yeach!). Have a few Beers with the ‘complimentary shot for a dollar more?’

    An airport that is close to on-par with PDX? It is AUS, the “Austin-Bergstrom International Airport”. Again, fly Southwest and the gate is next to local BBQ, Schlotzsky’s and the Austin City Limits outlet store.

  10. mark (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 11:24 am

    YVR is awesome:

    Vancouver, BC

  11. Steve (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

    I should have said best domestic airport.

    I like parts of YVR, but that airport has been in construction consistently since the early 1990’s.

    As far as ABQ goes, you have to be kidding me (aside from the carpet. Personally I think it was designed especially for them and that’s why it’s still used because they have so much. Look at the logo on their website and compare it in the airport. Eerie isn’t it?)… The airport looks like someone vomited all over the place in there. It isn’t warm, it isn’t inviting, it’s cold and unless you get Mexican food or TexMex there leaves much to be desired (I think no one there knows how to cook a hamburger to this day!).

    Plus they are the only airport in the US, ONLY airport I know of that makes you give your ID after you pick up your bags to ensure it looks correct. I’m off a 3 hour flight, I’m tired I want to get my rental car and I have more security to just leave the place??!?!?!?

    Oh, and PS, I hate the airports where I have to take a shuttle to get my rental car. Almost every airport has this problem, except a few including most rental places at PDX.

    Another one for nomination on the smaller airport (metro populations with less than 1 mil) is Albany, NY. I can always park to pick up a friend right in front of the airport, the rental cars are close by and the airport is very nice and easy to move through.

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