North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Lack of Security

  • From: Kevin Day
  • Date: Thu Sep 13 01:31:59 2001

> | I have a feeling this one isn't going to stick. Most airports weren't
> | designed for this. I pick people up from O'Hare at least a few times a
> | month. Other than the baggage claim (which is nearly packed during busy
> | times) where can you meet someone? I'd venture to say at least 25% of the
> | people hanging out in the gate areas are there to pick people up. 
> Most international airports have separated the baggage claim from the 
> publicly accessible terminal halls. Changi  by glass walls, others
> (Frankfurt) by steel doors etc. There is no need for the public
> to be in those places!
> | Adding to the fact that after this alot of people are *really* 
> | nervous about
> | flying, and having a friendly face there at the gate for them is 
> | important.
> | In addition, this requires you to coordinate *where* you're going to meet
> | someone, rather than just being able to be at the gate they're 
> | arriving at.
> It works internationally, so why not in the US?

Just to clarify for those who don't travel in the US frequently:

US airports seem to be designed quite differently than many other places. I
spend a large amount of time in O'hare, so I'll use it for an example.
O'Hare is huge. Really really big. Other than the check-in counters and
baggage claims *EVERYTHING ELSE* is behind the security checkin point. I'd
say less than 10-15% of the space in O'hare is accessable without crossing
the checkpoints, and those 10-15% comprise the checkin counters, the baggage
claims, and hallways/tunnels between parking garages and terminals. There is
nowhere to go to to meet passengers other than the gate area.

Contrast this to the last airport I was in outside the US (Winnipeg,
Canada). The gate/baggage claim  area is relatively small, and all the other
airport services are outside the baggage claim, as well as a *waiting area*
to meet people there.

US airports seem designed to have people waiting at the gates to pick people
up, others have areas specially meant for this sort of thing. Changing the
policy without first changing the layout of the airports is my complaint.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but without crossing a security checkpoint in ORD,
LAX, MSP, etc, there's virtually nowhere for non-passengers to go. I've
spent more than 6 hours waiting for people at airports before, and without a
place for food and/or somewhere to sit, I'd go insane. It's a design problem

This is pretty far off topic now though, if you guys have any more questions
about this sort of thing, feel free to take this off list with me.

-- Kevin