I fly an average of about 120,000 to 150,000 miles a year. That’s roughly equivalent to flying round trip LAX-London at least a dozen times. I shake my head ruefully whenever anyone politely inquires “did you have a nice flight?”. To me, there are two types of flights: flights that suck and flights that crash. And THAT’s in first class.
When you travel as much as I do, the airports, restaurants, and hotels blend together into a gray miasma of mind-numbing mediocrity.
There are, however, a few places and things that make road trips a little more pleasant. As well, there are a long list of places that just plain suck. Heathrow is the first place that comes to mind when I think about places that suck. It is THE WORST airport I regularly fly through, although I’ve certainly experienced others way worse (Cairo and Moscow Shermetyevo come to mind. YECCCCH). Unfortunately, within the AA/BA system, Heathrow is difficult to avoid. One of the few ways to avoid Heathrow is to fly through Madrid on Iberia, which sucks equally, but differently, as compared to connecting to British Air via Heathrow.
Staying with friends, rather than in a hotel, is a nice treat. You get to catch up with friends, have an occasional home-cooked meal, and have a little fun. Staying with the The Coopers in Calgary, The Fletchers in Sydney, and The Clarks in NY is something to look forward to.
Munich (MUC) is a rare bright spot, as far as airports go. A nice selection of airport hotels, a huuuuuge shopping mall immediately adjacent, a major Deutsche Bahn train station within the complex, and several restaurants which would be worth going to even if you didn’t have a flight to catch.
I fly through DFW about four times a month. I’ve always liked DFW. There are 3 different Admirals Clubs. They have a great train system, Skylink. The Admirals Club in “D” Concourse is big enough for the Yankees to hold batting practice therein. And not one but two Hyatts, right in the airport.
This year I’ve also discovered a place called Smoothie King, one gate down from the “D” Admirals Club (across from Gate D22), which makes absolutely fantastic smoothies. Today I arrived at “D” and had to make a beeline for “C”, but before I boarded a Skylink to C, I stopped at Smoothie King and grabbed an XL Peanut Chocolate smoothie, which made my day.