Navigating an airport is an unpleasant experience. People will do as much as possible ahead of time to get through all of the bottlenecks. Checking in for your flight in advance and paying extra for CLEAR and TSA Precheck will help you get to your gate faster. If you’re there early, you can stop at the lounge or grab something to eat or drink before your flight.
But what happens when you’re stuck at the airport after your flight? There are several reasons this could happen:
- You checked baggage and it didn’t arrive. If it’s coming on the next flight, it may be easier to wait at the airport instead of having it delivered.
- If you’re meeting someone traveling on another flight, there may be a difference when you arrive because of scheduling or delays.
- You rented a car, but there are no cars available, so you need to wait for one to get returned.
- If you’re picking up someone and their flight is delayed.
I’m sure there are other reasons but regardless of why you’re stuck in the landside area, some airport terminals are missing something important. The “landside” is the part of the airport before the security checkpoint where the airline counters and baggage claim are located.
Why do some airports not put any food or beverage offerings before security?
I know this isn’t all airports. Orlando has several restaurants and a food court before security. Even LaGuardia Airport has plenty of places to eat at Terminal B that are before security.
That’s not true at JFK Airport. When we were staying at the TWA Hotel, we looked to see if there was anywhere pre-security to get something to eat. One place showed up, but there were conflicting reports if it was open due to COVID issues. No one picked up the phone when I called so it wasn’t worth it to take the Airtrain to another terminal to find out.
Other airports have only limited landside options.
When we flew to Austin, we were meeting friends who were flying in from Atlanta. Our flight was delayed because of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. While we had several Plan Bs in place, we eventually took off and they waited at the airport for us to arrive. We were messaging them from the plane and they told us that they found the one airport restaurant/bar that was open and would wait there for us.
Austin airport has several excellent local places to eat in the terminal but they’re all past security. There’s only one no-name place if you’re stuck on the outside.
Charlotte Airport has an atrium mall past security but landside there’s only the Charlotte Bistro located by baggage claim.
Come on, airports. No one spends time landside because they want to. At least give some decent food and drink options while people are waiting.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary