- May 26th 2009
I spent most of last week in Chicago attending a conference for one of my clients. That was partly the inspiration behind my post on O’Hare International. So did the airport and the trip in general live up to expectations?
I found the airport pretty well organized and on my way in, it was easy to find my way to the luggage carousels, the exit and the airport parking lots, outside which my bus was waiting. From there it was a short ride to Hilton Indian Lakes in Bloomingdale. While not as fancy as the Cancun Hilton, this hotel was more than adequate, with good food, a nice pool and a great jacuzzi. The conference wasn’t half bad either.
At the end of it, I had one more day before it was time to fly home, so I headed downtown. Driven by a cabbie who, in his own words ‘used to have a problem with road rage’, we sat on the highway for more than two hours to make what should have been a half hour drive. Memorial Day weekend is a bad time to travel and although we thought we’d left early enough – we hadn’t. Read more »
- April 9th 2009
On my recent trip to Cancun, I had two layovers in Miami International Airport – one on each leg. To give a bit of history, I’ve been flying in and out of that airport for a number of years and for a long time I found it a complete nightmare. For a non US citizen, if MIA is your first landfall in the States you have to clear customs and immigration – that can take a while. There have been times when I have barely made my connecting flight – and that was even before the security got beefed up. So I was dreading the hassle of connecting in Miami, and even warned my UK travel agent that I would need at least three and a half hours between connections to be sure of making the onward flight.
Not Just Any Line
So imagine my surprise on my last trip when I managed to get through all the formalities and get to the departure gate for my onward flight in about an hour. Read more »
- March 31st 2009
The Caribbean Sea in Cancun, Mexico, is more of a lion than a pussycat, at least at the edge of the hotel where I stayed. This can be something of a shock to those used to the placid waters where the same sea laps against the shores of Caribbean islands. In contrast, this water releases a constant roar and pounds against the large, flat rocks at the shoreline. During my four day visit, there was no possibility of swimming, though I did dip my toes in the water just because it was there before returning to the safety of the spacious pool at the Cancun Hilton.
Cancun impressed me from the moment I landed. Many travel experiences feature bleary eyed voyagers whose faces fall at the prospect of another long queue (can anyone say Miami International?) but this was different. I’d filled out my forms on the plane and as I entered the bright, well-signposted airport, I was directed to a bank of security desks where the people on duty quickly scanned the form and let me pass. The whole process took less than 10 minutes from la nding to luggage collection, and passing through customs was equally smooth.
Once into the main airport, there were people everywhere directing travelers to the best mode of transport. It took only another five minutes to buy my shuttle ticket and get a seat on a bus for the hotel zone. I’ve never seen an operation quite as slick, and unlike many airports where you can look for officials in vain, there were help desks all around. Read more »
- February 3rd 2009
I took my first flight at the age of four and, though I can’t remember it, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there was a delay. Late flights and missed connections seem to be a normal part of travel these days, and they are no fun at all. I remember a student trip to Venezuela where, having arrived at the airport with only a few bolivares in our pockets, we were greeted with the news of a four hour flight delay (which turned out to be even longer). Trying to remain cheerful while splitting a couple of sandwiches among eight is not an experience I’d like to repeat in a hurry.
Travelers In The Dark About Delays
More planes and bigger airports have resulted in more delays rather than fewer, with a recent New York Times article putting the number of stranded US passengers each year at 400,000, with 25 per cent of domestic flights delayed. To say that this is frustrating is an understatement. The information you need is out there, but it can take a while to get to you. As the New York Times puts it: ‘there is a convoluted flow of information that often leaves travelers in the dark.’ Read more »
- October 7th 2008
Indianapolis – the name means Indiana City – has been the state capital of Indiana since 1820. It’s the largest city in the state, one of the largest in the US and is best known for hosting the Indy 500 race and other sporting and musical events such as the Indy Jazz Festival.
If you’re planning a trip to Indianapolis, you will soon be lucky enough to fly into the new Indianapolis International Airport (IND) passenger terminal which will open within the month. This is part of an airport redesign which has been underway since 2002. There’s also a brand new Indianapolis airport parking facility to go along with the rest of the planned improvements.
So aside from checking out the spanking new facilities, what else can you do on a layover in Indianapolis? Since Indianapolis International Airport isn’t far from the city, why not take the 15 minute ride to see what’s on offer downtown? Read more »