Tuesday, June 2, 2015

In Passing

As my family gathered for the Memorial Day weekend, we made a total of 24 visits to five airports over five days. How many jobs did that support? I wonder.

It's famous carpet aside, PDX (Portland, OR) is my favorite airport.

In fact,
" Travelers named Portland International Airport (PDX) the best airport in the United States in Travel + Leisure surveys in 2013 and 2014* and four times from 2006 to 2010 in the Condé Nast Traveler Business Travel Awards. "
Travel Portland 
It's not as though I'm a world traveler although I've had my share of traveling the world. I've been through many an airport and, without equivocation, an airport - or any public place, for that matter - can be judged by its bathrooms.

Chicago, for example, has been on the forefront of hygiene safety since 2000 with automatic toilet seat covers. How space age is that? Seriously, why has this not caught on?? (Maybe, because they're pointless.)

I used to live there, Chicago. (Well, nearby.) But that was thirty-odd years ago and I've forgotten how big it is. In fact, the last time I was there, we taxied nearly into Indiana before we actually took off.

The Vegas airport isn't big at all but they're also big into taxiing for miles for some reason. I think they just want all the tourists to see the strip before deplaning. It's that, or they want you to think it's a really big airport. Might as well taxi about for as long as possible because a) that's the last time you'll be allowed to look out a window, and b) that's the longest you'll be able to hold onto your cash.

But Portland is my favorite. It has really great restaurants and very nice shops (worthy of a trip even if you're not going anywhere). And the restrooms are clean and well laid out. The stalls are big enough to drag your luggage into without having to brush up against the (non-automatic) toilet bowl. There are enough sinks and driers so that you don't have to stand in line. And, there are coat hooks as if you could expect your coat to still be there if you were to separate from it long enough to wash your hands. (Really, why don't more public restrooms have coat hooks?)

Listen, there are a lot of reasons to visit Portland (most of them weird). If you're traveling by air, make sure to get to the airport early - not because of long lines but because you'll want to shop, taking in some live music, have a meal, and linger just a little longer. And because you'll probably have to use the bathroom before you take off.

*Don't click on the "2014" link unless you want to be tempted by some very expensive travel ideas, btw. But if you do, let me know how the restrooms are.

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