Wherever the Road Leads

Airports, from A(TL) to (YY)Z

I got talking with a friend who does a lot of business travel. She said that she considered an airport in a particular American city, ‘huge’.

Even although it’s been a good number of years since I traveled through that airport and what was a just-started expansion when I was flying through it is now complete, I still wouldn’t consider it ‘huge’. To me, only Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Dallas’ DFW, where in each you have to take a train to go from concourse to concourse, would be considered ‘huge’, domestically.

Likewise, when the bleached-blonde, red-nailed, two-carat Ex described Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as ‘huge’, when I flew through it a couple of years ago, it didn’t seem big enough to be deemed ‘huge’, to me.

I started thinking about the airports I’ve been in. There’s been a few. I listed them in a spreadsheet.

Forty-eight. In eleven countries.

That’s a lot of rental cars and a lot of nights in a hotel room. I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed.

Here they are:


Calgary, AB
Gander, Nfld
London, ON
Montreal, Dorval
Montreal Mirabel
Sudbury, ON
Thunder Bay, ON
Timmins, ON
Toronto, ON
Vancouver, BC

United States

Allentown, PA
Atlanta, GA
Boston, MA
Bradenton, FL
Buffalo, NY
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Dallas, TX
Dayton, OH
Detroit, MI
Harlingen, TX
Hartford, CT
Houston, TX
Huntsville, AL
Kalamazoo, MI
Laredo, TX
Manchester, NH
McAllen, TX
Nashville, TN
Pittsburg, PA
Portland, Me
Roanoke, VA
San Antonio, TX
San Juan, PR
Tampa, FL
Washington Dulles


Acapulco, Mexico
Amsterdam, Holland
Cape Town, South Africa
Dakar, Senegal
Geneva, Switzerland
Glasgow, Scotland
Kingston, Jamaica
London Heathrow
Monterrey, Mexico
Rome, Italy
Zurich, Switzerland

The list does not include Chattanooga TN, visited – because I love to torture myself – but not flown through.

Other people had lives, joined bowling leagues, went to church on Wednesdays. I went to public restrooms and joined Frequent Flier programs. My traveling friend has a fancy new car that sounds a particular ‘ping’ as an alert when a door is ajar.

It is identical to the sound heard on an airplane and I was fully expecting to hear a female voice say, “Ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until the aircraft has come to a complete halt and the captain turns off the fasten seatbelt signs.”

When I was a teenager in the sixties, I sent off to Eastern Airlines for an employment kit to see what was required to become a steward on an airplane. At the same time, on television I enjoyed a program called “Along Came Bronson”, about a guy on a motorcycle who traveled from town to town, meeting new people constantly.

In a way, it looks like they both – Eastern Airlines and Bronson – became a reality.

(Regarding the title, ‘ATL’ is the airport code for Atlanta, ‘YYZ’ is the airport code for Toronto.)

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  1. Alistair Mair  December 30, 2012

    Always informative!!!


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