Harriet Baskas is an award-winning writer and radio producer and the author of a half-dozen travel books, including Stuck at the Airport. She's a regular columnist in msnbc.com (“The Well-Mannered Traveler”) and USATODAY.com (“At the Airport”) and writes the popular blog, “StuckatTheAirport.com.”
1. What types of information do you think should be included in an airport guide?
The airport guides I put together have basic information - i.e. maps, parking information and ground transportation options, but also tips on where to get something good to eat, where the best shops are and where to find entertainment such as an exhibit, spa, or a quiet corner to take a nap.
2. Normally, where in an airport can transit passengers get information on amenities and facilities offered?
Many airport websites have complete and up-to-date information (and some even have information about sales). My guides on USATODAY.com are also good at-a-glance options: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/airportguides/index.htm.
3. What types of amenities do airports normally offer their passengers?
Everything from shops and restaurants to wine-tasting bars, massage bars and business centers.
4. What more do you think airport authorities can do to help transit passengers stay occupied during their waiting time for flights?
Movies, bowling, speed dating, and napping pods would all be great!
5. With respect to amenities offered, which airports do you consider your top five? How different are the amenities offered at these airports from others?
In the US, I like Austin-Bergstrom (great art and live music); Orlando (free wi-fi, great theme-park-style shopping); and Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (there are lockers there so you can store your stuff and go shopping or grab a bite to eat). And Singapore Changi has everything!
6. What types of food do you think should be offered to transit passengers at airports?
It would be great to have more healthy options.
7. After 9/11, how have the amenities offered at airports changed?
People spend more time at airports (waiting), so airports have steadily been adding more amenities.
8. What things do you think transit passengers should take to keep themselves occupied should the airport fail to offer interesting amenities?
Always carry a book, notebook/notepad, an mp3 or iPod-type music player, and comfortable shoes so you can walk/exercise at any airport.
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