Comments on: The Larry Summers view of airports http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: gamlet http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18941 Fri, 01 Oct 2010 05:12:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18941 So, you are a snob and an elitist if you prefer to spend hours and hours of your life in a functioning, 21st century facility instead of a dysfunctional shithole where nothing is done well?

It is like American airlines themselves. Are they crappy because they are old? No, they’re crappy because they are not run for the benefit of their consumers. The superiority of Asian carriers is about attitude; ditto their airports.

If there’s no edible food at JFK and there’s acres of sushi and champagne bars in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi it has nothing to do with how old JFK is. It’s because Americans don’t give a damn and Thais do. And to say that hub airports – by being opulent – don’t attract billions in revenue on many levels is highly questionable. I bet they do, and I’m sure they make money for their countries too.

But aside from that it’s also a question of pride. So American carriers and airlines are getting to feel distinctly third world. What’s the upside?

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By: Publius http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18917 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 13:16:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18917 On the other hand, it could be a lot worse:

http://www.theonion.com/video/pragues-fr anz-kafka-international-named-worlds-mos  ,14321/

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By: GingerYellow http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18912 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 08:41:59 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18912 American airports really are terrible though, at least for international travel. O’Hare’s international terminal, for instance, is one of the busiest in the world, and yet it has the feel of a tiny provincial airport. Almost all the (terrible) food is located on the land side of security, so if you get peckish while you’re waiting at the (uncomfortabe)gate you have to go back through security, which of course increases the wait for everyone else. It has almost none of the amenities you’d expect from a leading international airport. And God help you if you’re flying on a Sunday or out of office hours, because most of what there is will be shut.

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By: MarshalN http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18905 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 03:01:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18905 Just because an airport is expensive doesn’t mean it has to be wasteful. Hong Kong International Airport is easily one of the best in the world, and it was also incredibly expensive to build. While not all of the airport’s efficiency comes from the cost (after all, it’s about the people doing the work as well) there’s certainly a non-zero correlation there as well.

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By: maynardGkeynes http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18902 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 02:12:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18902 I hate to agree with Larry, but after being stuck on the Hertz bus for 25 minutes in the wholly inadequate departure area at Logan today, I’m for better airports. This is ridiculous.

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By: FifthDecade http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18901 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 02:11:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18901 “The really crucial infrastructure investment is in things like the national electricity grid” Is that why the US has so many brownouts?

There are limits to a throwaway culture where it is more important to extract profits for shareholders than it is to reinvest in the business. In some areas the US is in danger of copying the mistake made by British industry in the 1960s. A lack of reinvestment gifted many markets to the Japanese. Today, it’s China who benefits.

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By: chrismealy http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18900 Thu, 30 Sep 2010 02:00:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18900 Summers should have just stolen Galbraith’s line about private opulence and public squalor.

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By: KidDynamite http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18896 Wed, 29 Sep 2010 23:38:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18896 “Summers isn’t really even the customer of the airports he’s passing through: the airlines are the customers, and the passengers are the goods being transported”

interesting thought. I guess it depends where you live. In NYC, for example, that’s not really true at all – you have 3 choices of airports, and I certainly considered myself a customer of them. I would regularly choose flights based on what I knew about the specific terminal that each airline flew out of at each airport.

I guess the vast majority of America doesn’t have choice like that though (maybe the SF Bay Area does too, with SFO and Oakland)

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By: seewhydee http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/09/29/the-larry-summers-view-of-airports/comment-page-1/#comment-18894 Wed, 29 Sep 2010 21:42:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=5569#comment-18894 National governments, especially in developing countries, like to show off when it comes to the airports where luminaries like Summers arrive. But all that expense isn’t really necessary for the smooth functioning of the airport.

Except that US airports tend to be crummy AND dysfunctional. It’s not a matter of “it’s ugly but it works”; there really is a crisis in US air transportation infrastructure.

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