Is it geeky to write posts about airports?
Probably. But I travel a lot, so this stuff affects my life. There are airports so horrible I'll spend money and time to avoid them COUGH Charles de Gaulle Paris COUGH, and others that are so nice I almost look forward to spending time there.
Anyway, Amman's airport is one of the good ones. It's small and old, but that's no big deal. The main thing is, it works. Let me list the ways.
- Easy immigration process. You change some money, stand in a short line to buy a visa (no application to fill out, just hand over $15 and your passport), then stand in another short line to pass immigration. (Contrast Armenia, where the immigration line is never less than 15 minutes, and let's not even talk about the visas.)
- Bags arrive quickly (Contrast lots of places)
- Airport is easily navigated, with a short walk to immigration, baggage claim and out. True, this is partly because it's a small airport. But it's a well designed small airport.
- You are not forced to walk through Duty Free.
- Luggage carts are free. -- I'm looking at you, America. Luggage carts should be free. This is not a profit center. Forcing customers to decide between spending $3 or hauling our stuff around makes us cranky and hateful. The rest of the world understands this.
- No mob of creepy taxi drivers assaulting you when you get out. (Contrast lots of places, but especially Romania, which is now rich enough to do better.)
- Road from airport to town is broad and smooth. Okay, this isn't really about the airport, but it's amazing how many places get this wrong. Albania? The road from the airport to Tirana is like driving on the Moon -- it's basically a string of potholes with bits of asphalt in between. First impressions count, people. Fix the damn airport road.
None of these things are a huge deal, but the cumulative effect is quite noticeable: I don't dread flying through Amman Airport.
This has been a geeky travel post. I won't do this again for a little while. Thank you.