Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Can Airports Be Fun?"

That's the attention-grabbing headline of this design-and-architecture column in the New York Times describing details of the redesigned international terminal at SFO (San Francisco International Airport) that is scheduled to open this spring.

Without getting into all the high-falutin' ideas about using recycled water in the toilets and how it's a "terminal designed in part to spark ideas about how people can live sustainably," we noticed immediately some features we'd like to see in all airports.

There will be convenient "hydration stations" allowing people to refill their plastic water bottles (we carry ours empty through the TSA check point and then refill to save money). Speaking of the TSA, there will be a "recomposure zone" immediately after the check point with ample room and seating for people to put on their shoes, belts, and outer garments.

Those of us with laptops will "enjoy lounge-and counter-seating options with places to re-charge electronics, and will no longer be forced to huddle on the ground near power outlets." Last but not least, those traveling with small children will be pleased to discover "well-considered play areas."

We've seen all of those "innovations" (hydration stations excepted) in various airports around the world. Wouldn't it be great to see them in all airports?

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