Sorry for my clunky thread title, please suggest a better one.
I don’t fly much, haven’t been in airports too much. I haven’t studied architecture.
I did fly this past June from Raleigh-Durham (RDU). The terminal I left from is brand new, very pretty. Very simple too. One long rectangle with gates all along it.
My gate was at one of the ends of the rectangle, along with about 4 other gates, all radiating off the end of the rectangle, each gate having seats, as well as common seats in the middle of all of them.
As I waited, almost all the nearby seats at all the nearby gates filled up. Then three or four planes began boarding about the same time. The result was an enormous clusterfuck of all these people bunched at the end of the terminal trying to thread themselves into lines headed into the proper gate.
Not enough room had been left for forming lines, especially not when more than one gate was in use.
Eventually I made it on to my plane, but had plenty of time in line to wonder how such a malfunctioning design came into being.
In Designing Airports 101 surely the first point they make is “your job is to get people from the inside of the airport to the inside of the airplane as easily as possible”
There are thousands of airports in the world, surely this design challenge has been addressed many times. How could a brand new airport in the first world have such a basic error?