Think About It: Air Fair - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

November 9, 2016

Think About It: Air Fair

Stunned. That's what I was last week when I saw that travelwebsite ranked Honolulu International airport as the 5thbest airport in the country. I've been to three of the top five in the rankingsthis year- including Portland, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona, and I've also beento the three worst recently- Newark, JFK and La Guardia in the New York area.It's hard to fathom that we rank in the rarified air of the top group whenlooking at the general condition of our primary state airport- aesthetics, foodchoices, dark bathrooms, impotent water fountains, decaying seating areas,baggage claim malaise, unmarked international parking lot spaces, congestion insecurity areas, lack of air, yellow tape strewn throughout the place, brokenescalators, and construction cones everywhere.

Alas, this web survey focused on data, not perception or publicopinion, using official results in timeliness, accessibility, and amenities obtainedthrough counting and via well-known or official sources- like J.D. Power andthe FAA. So yes, HNL gets high marks as most flights do seem to leave andarrive here on time, it's pretty easy to get to the airport, and the foodchoices at HNL have increased, though we're still 6th worst of thetop 30 U.S. airports in restaurant choices per capita, but simple airporthygiene factors surely leave much to ponder. One good sign- people working atHNL are some of the nicest around- in all different areas of the facility.

So I'll eat a bit of crow after excoriating HNL Airportnumerous times over the years. I know there are plans to fix a lot of theon-going problems in the dilapidated facility, but a top five airport? That'sjust hard to believe even with statistics provided. Adding gut feel and visualsto the official stats provided reminds us that there's work to do at the placethat's the first and last seen by traveling locals and guests alike. Thinkabout it…

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