Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Size Matters?

While waiting for my plane to Germany at the Atlanta airport on Sunday, I snapped this pic of the control tower, hoping to God I wouldn't get arrested! It looked pretty spectacular for the busiest airport in the world since 2005: the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The next day, Monday, I landed at Hannover's airport, the 8th largest airport in Germany. This is the tower I snapped on my very first visit here in March of 2005.

DreamWalker asked on my last post what airports were the best organized in my opinion. That led to a conversation about how the smaller airports, like Hannover's, seem to be easier to navigate. That's a no-brainer, I think. But I'd like to know how people feel about getting around in Atlanta's airport, since it's the busiest in the world. We're used to it by now, of course, so we natives don't count.

At any rate, I was glad to see the size difference of our two towers, adding some perspective to the question!


  1. Since I've never been to Atlanta, I couldn't respond to that. I always thought that Chicago O'Hare was the busiest. Maybe before 2005? :)

  2. Ginnie - you are too funny! I've never been to either airport so I really don't know. And I too thought that O'Hare was the busiest. Personally I can't stand the busy airports as you almost always have a delayed flight.

    I much prefer small airports for many reasons. Even parking is usually cheaper. For instance, Geneva and Basel are both treats to land in...

  3. CS: I think Chicago's O'Hare WAS the busiest for the longest time. How Atlanta took it over I have no clue. But it did.

    ET: I actually prefer the smaller, quaint cities of Europe, so that would mean the airports would be smaller as well. I agree.

  4. Atlanta's airport sure has some fancy control tower! That's amazing that the airport is the busiest in the world. It must have become a major hub or something lately with a lot of connecting flights. Just imagine how many people go through there every day. Wow.

    I have to admit I had no idea what Vancouver International Airport's control tower looked like so I went and looked it up and found that VIA is the second busiest airport in Canada next to Toronto's. Who knew. It has quite a small feel and is very easy to get around in and we love the architechture and native scuptures. Can't remember if you and Donica landed or took off there?

  5. We LOVED Vancouver's airport, Christina! It was so different from any I've ever been in, especially with all the native sculptures. I totaly agree! And to be honest, I really like Hannover's as well. I have happy memories of getting my latte macchiatos while waiting for our flight. Not even Paris' airport has those!

    See you tomorrow and hope we don't have to swim!

  6. I don't have a comment about airports, except that please, please, please don't ever make me go through JFK again. (Not that YOU did last time.:)

    I like the comparison of these two towers, very interesting.

    All I can think about Hannover's is that it looks like UM colors to me!!

  7. I never thought of the UM colors, Ruth! HA! No wonder I like it. We'll have to make sure we don't use JFK when we fly to NYC in April! Glad you mentioned it.

  8. Hee! My December flight out of Atlanta was the first time I've ever been to your airport. I can't remember specific details because I was a tad under the weather and really just wanted to be home, but I do remember being a bit confused going through the security line, which was tremendously long and snaked back and forth. Then there was a secret line that it seemed like only military personnel and dressed up people where going thru. I decided to follow them since there was no signage saying I couldn't (plus I asked the man in front of me after a bit, just in case) and happily, I got through a lot quicker than had I stayed in the other line.
    Then...was there a train that I had to take to the terminal? I think so. That was confusing, too, but there was an information booth so I asked. Funnily enough, a sweet Puerto Rican lady with 2 little kids, one in a stroller, asked if I could help her find her terminal. It was sort of the blind leading the blind but she needed more help because her English was limited. But we both found our terminals and I had about 15 minutes to spare before I had to board. Which left on time, always a bonus! Oh, and the flight was empty, I had a row all to myself. :)

    Phew!! I thought I had forgotten all about that. Till I started remembering and it all poured out.
    I hope you're not sorry you asked! Heehee. :-P.
    I didn't know that Atlanta's airport was the busiest, but now it makes sense. There were sooo many people!!
    Despite being a little confusing, there were a lot of people helping if you needed direction. And I'm not afraid to ask. It was perfectly fine because it wasn't at all frustrating. I can totally handle confusing as long as frustrating doesn't accompany it. It obviously wasn't a big deal since I had forgotten all about it till I started spilling open about it here. heehee!!

    The absolute worst airport I've been to was Dulles in Washington DC. Talk about frustrating! Don't even get me started on that one! :)

  9. I'm quite sure, Mad, that every large airport has its very frustrating days, especially Atlanta's! It was as you described everything that I realized we really do have a BIG airport with lots of geography to cover!! It could be very confusing, especially to people who never fly at all, or, as you said, who don't speak English. I know you weren't feeling well that day, so I'm very glad the Universe was there to make it a bit easier for you!

  10. Definitely an impressive size difference in the photos. About four years ago I went through the Atlanta airport when the US Mennonite Church Convention was held there.

  11. I've been having trouble posting comments again...d*rn blogger!!

    There certainly is a big diference in size. No wonder, I didn't know that Atlanta was the world's busiest airport!

    The largest airport I have been in was Kuala Lumpur.

  12. Tim: Too bad I didn't know you 4 years ago because I would have made a point to meet you! :)

    DW: So sorry you've had problems with Blogger. Aargh! Thanks for being persistent enough to leave a comment.

    Hmmm. Kuala Lumpur. I see that their airport is fairly new (1998) and "the 130 meters high tower is currently the second tallest air traffic control tower in the world" behind the New Bangkok Int'l Airport. And it's shaped like the Olympic torch. WOW! I like stuff like that. :)