COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Small Airports are Awesome!

Old Nov 17th, 2011, 08:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Small Airports are Awesome!

Over the past few years i have done a lot of traveling throughout the united states and have come to one conclusion. Small Airports Rule. I fly out of the Muskegon airport every time i leave town and have never had a problem with them. I show up an hour before my flight, i am through security within ten minutes, and i have time to relax before my flight. If i could avoid flying in or out of any large airport again i would.
MelTraveler is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,661
I concur. I'll take a small one any day.
suewoo is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 309
Oh yes! I actively try to avoid Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta or the NYC area airports.

Let's name some of our small favorites, I'll start:

Bradley International Airport, Hartford, CT - airlines fly to Canada and Puerto Rico so I guess that counts as "international"

Waco Regional Airport, Waco, TX - tiniest luggage carousel EVER

University Park Airport, State College, PA
Patti is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,940
John Wayne in LA
jayne1973 is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,497
Years (decades) ago, I took a trip to Molokai. The planes were so small they asked the passengers for their weight before boarding. My luggage must have pushed the plane over the weight limit because they had to put it on the next flight. So I'm at the Molokai airport waiting for the next flight (which has my bag on it), and decide to sit on a metal bench while I wait. A worker came over and asked me to move because I was "sitting on the baggage claim."

This must have been 20 years ago. The airport is probably larger by now. But I hope not TOO large.
Jolie is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,972
Long Beach Airport in CA -- it's so laid back.

Bozeman Airport in MT -- feels like a ski lodge.

Bora Bora Airport. (Well, when I was there in '86 it was an old WW II Airstrip. I don't know if it's changed since then, but it was pretty cool).
panecott is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,423
Jolie, all Part 135 (air taxi) operators are required to ask the passengers what they weigh...some use bathroom scales to be sure. Weight and balance are far more critical in small aircraft than in transport category aircraft (airliners).

I can't say that everyone does it, but many airlines have transducers on the landing gear that "weigh" the passengers and cargo as they are loaded and transmit that information to the dispatch office where a computer tracks the center of gravity to be sure that it falls within the aircraft's operating envelope.

It is entirely possible for an airplane of any size to tilt nose-up enough to strike the tail on the ground if the loading is not done properly.
Bobmrg is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
Moab, Utah
Cortez Colorado

These places really crack me up. How they can operate with less than 75 passengers a day on 2 or 3 flights, I don't know. 1 gate, 1 auto rental agency, 1 or 2 guys at security. And yes, some of the flights have 1 pilot with no attendant. Great Lakes Aviation handles a lot of these type places. All seats are window seats and no bathrooms on the plane.

My two problems with smaller airports. They are almost always a lot higher to fly in/out of. If you do run into a delay due to mechanical or crew problems, then your delay can turn into a nightmare. I had a nightmare trying to get to Kalispel, MT this summer. I never made it and ended up losing about $2500 on lodging(VRBO)and tours that I had planned(even after getting my money back for the flight).
spirobulldog is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2011, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,497
Thanks, Bob. I did wonder whether they were secretly weighing us (I would never take my word for it!), or if they built in a safety factor like adding 20 pounds to everyone's answer.
Jolie is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,611
The Pellston Michigan Airport is very nice. Too bad its air service isn't.
Keith is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2011, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 159
South Bend, Indiana. Straight out the door and into my rental car within seconds. No fuss...
mscleo is offline  
Old Nov 27th, 2011, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
Bozeman, MT
Lexington, KY

After 9/11, the first day we could fly back into the U.S., only small airports were open--all the large airports were still closed. I couldn't get to my home airport (DFW) so I flew into Oklahoma City---I can't tell you how good it felt to land there.
Connie is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2011, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 11,203
Patrick Henry Field in Newport News, Virginia. That's what it used to be called anyway. I think it's now Newport News/Williamsburg.
Birdie is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2012, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 96
My favorite is Capital City Airport right here in my hometown of Lansing Michigan. Small enough for all the conveniences mentioned, but large enough for there to be options in the event of a flight being canceled.

Will be flying out of Grand Rapids Michigan airport for the first time several weeks from now - expecting the same scenario.

I always choose a small airport to start from if the price is anywhere near the price of a big one. No need to pay for parking, cost hardly anything in gas money, and can save four to five hours of time compared to flying out of Detroit due to short security lines and short distance. Well worth it!
BittenByTheTBug is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,031
I don't know if Tampa qualifies as small, but it's the best airport I've flown to, from, or through, hands down.

Jacksonville terrific too, as is Key West.

Worst small, Grenada, West Indies, perhaps because I spent 12 hours there with a one year old while they tried to fix our plane, though they eventually had to fly a mechanic in from Puerto Rico to get it done.
OO is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,611
I like Capital City Airport, but can never get a good fare there.
Keith is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36,385
I hear you Mel but IME some of those small airports have made my resulting airfare "awesome" and NOT in a good way, either.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,873
I did enjoy San Jose years ago, where we climbed down one of those metal staircases outside. And Burbank was also a favorite of my family's--smaller and friendlier than LAX.
5alive is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2012, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 50
Can't beat the view coming into the airport at Jackson, Wyoming. Or the view while you are having a snack before the flight, but can be crowded and hectic during peak season. I think it is STILL the only airport within a U.S. national park.
PatN is offline  
Old Mar 29th, 2012, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 49,221
I like Bradley too, though it is much bigger than it used to be. Albany, NY is still small , and served by SW . I'd rather pay higher fare than deal with the monster airports any day.
jubilada is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information