Friday, July 22, 2005

Fixing IAH terminal confusion

Well, I'm back from Ottawa and have time for a short post. One thing we noticed at Intercontinental Airport with the parking shuttles is common confusion over the terminal letters because they're easily misheard. B, D, and E all sound very similar and it's very easy for misunderstanding to ensue. I'm sure tons have people have had similar problems with bad cell phone connections and ended up at the wrong terminal.

Solution? Well, since our airport is named after former president George H.W. Bush, why not rename terminal D to H and E to W? We would then have terminals A, B, C, H, and W. They're audibly distinctive, and on a map H and W will be right next to each other spelling out his initials. Who says terminal letters have to be sequential? It would clear up the confusion and be a nice honor to our hometown president.

8 Comments:

At 10:27 AM, July 22, 2005, Blogger kjb434 said...

Good concept. I much more in the camp of knowing the airport and terminal setup before I get there. I do this for our local airports plus any I travel too. Any major city in the US has great websites that depict terminal and gate layouts and readily printable.

 
At 11:56 AM, July 22, 2005, Anonymous RJ said...

Forget letters... I recommend the Mission Burrito approach. You know how when you place an order there, they give you an object, and then when your order is ready they call out the name of the object. "Squirt gun, your order is ready!" "Barbie doll, come get your nachos!" "Hot wheels, we have a grande burrito for you!"

So let's rename the terminals after Houston-flavored objects. What would those be? Cowboy boot? Rocket ship? Art car? Chili pepper? Oil derrick? Barbecue pit?

 
At 4:07 PM, July 22, 2005, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Good one! ;-)

I was originally thinking in similar terms, but the names of Texas heros. The bottom line is that there is very limited sign real estate and space for printing on boarding passes. It's pretty much got to be single letter combined with a gate number. Too bad though. You're right: names would have more personality.

 
At 4:27 PM, July 22, 2005, Anonymous RJ said...

Ah yes, there's that... printing "squirt gun - 24" won't quite work on the ticket.

So you could number the terminals instead. Lots of airports do numbers instead of letters.

Or we could choose single characters from the keyboard for terminals - "#" or "*" or... just kidding.

 
At 4:51 PM, July 22, 2005, Anonymous nmainguy said...

..or, you could just keep them as they are; enunciate so you are understandable-thus perpetuating the myth that bush is a "good 'ol" home boy.

 
At 8:02 PM, July 23, 2005, Blogger Ring Zero said...

Use colors to name and label the terminals. Color names are easy to distinguish from each other when spoken, and the visual connection between your, say, yellow ticket and the yellow-themed terminal would be very strong.

 
At 9:27 PM, July 23, 2005, Blogger Matt said...

Sorry, nmainguy, but B, C, D and E inherently sound similar over a speaker. Thus, we have the international phonetic alphabet, which was not invented by Texans.

Terminal Alfa, Terminal Bravo, Terminal Charlie...

Okay, Terminal Charlie sounds like a cartoon character with cancer. Still a valid concept, though.

 
At 2:11 PM, July 30, 2005, Anonymous Evan said...

I think comedians would mock us.

 

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