Why I LOVE airports!

I love airports. Always have. When I was a child, during the summer months, my dad would pile the family into the car, buy dinner from an A & W Drive-In and head out to the airport for us to view the air traffic from the parking lot. I’d scarf down my hamburger and fries while staring at those big metal birds taking flight and touching down. 

When I am on the airport track of the Canada Line monorail in Vancouver (which overlaps with part of the downtown area) I smile inside at all those with their luggage. They are en route or returned from a journey full of stories. I wish it was me on that train, full of anticipation and wonder of what my next travel journey will bring. 

When I am the one traveling I have a sense of excitement and contentment. That this is where I should be, taking in the world while I wander. Airports represent part of the journey. Of getting to where you want to go. Yes, airports can be crowded, cold and expensive but I overlook that (unless I am dead tired) and look to what they mean to me in my quest to see the world. I sometimes arrive a bit earlier to just take it all in. I know it may sound crazy to some but I do really love airports. 

In honour of my dream-inducing love of airports, here are some tidbits of information:

Airport and City Codes: Have you ever wondered what those 3 letters on your luggage tag mean? They are airport codes determined by IATA (International Air Traffic Association). They are a location identifier for specific airports. Some codes are similar to the name of the city where the airport services: SFO for San Francisco/Oakland or SYD for Sydney. A city with more than one airport, the codes are often based on the airport name: CDG for Charles De Gaulle Airport and ORY for Orly Airport, both in Paris. Then you have Canada, where the majority of airport codes start with the letter “Y”. For example: YVR for Vancouver International Airport and YYZ for Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Airport. Odd eh?  I don’t know why either. For more info on how they are determined, click here for the Wikipedia link.

World’s 5 Busiest Airports 2011 (based on passenger traffic):

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  2. Beijing Capital International Airport
  3. London Heathrow International Airport
  4. O’Hare International Airport (Chicago)
  5. Tokyo International Airport
World’s Best Airports 2012 (as chosen by Skytraxx World Airport Awards):
  1. Incheon International Airport (South Korea)
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Hong Kong International Airport
  4. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  5. Beijing Capital International Airport
Sleeping in Airports: No I don’t mean the hotels that are located at airport terminals. I mean, literally, sleeping in airports. I have mentioned this before. You can sleep in airports and there is even a website to give you the lowdown. Kinda cool!

The next time you are headed to the airport, either to pick up/drop off someone or heading on an adventure yourself, think of me and how glad I am that we live in a time where we can easily experience the big blue marble we live on and how airports are a part of it.

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