11 thoughts on “Airports suck because rail service is so poor

  1. It’s not even the time spent in the air that sucks the most. It’s all the other stuff—expensive cab rides to the middle-of-nowhere airport, long lines at check-in, customs, and security, invasive TSA searches, overcrowded concourses, pricey yet terrible food and drink options—that makes air travel the worst.

    All told, just getting from your point of origin to your final destination can take upwards of four to five hours depending on time of year and distance to and from the airport. That doesn’t even include the actual travel time. Yet, given the complete lack of other options for medium- and long-haul travel, we’re stuck flying.

    The experience of taking a high-speed train in Europe or Asia is better in almost every way imaginable.

    Here's Italy. I've been on it. It is wonderful.<img src="http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/90188191.jpg"&gt;

  2. Next time I go to San Francisco, I'm either driving or taking the slow train. LAX is a nightmare under the best of circumstances FFS.

    1. The new international terminal is pretty cool. We drive up from San Diego rather than fly, and then park at one of the offsite lots. Anything is better than changing from a commuter flight to a big plane at LAX.

  3. Living in Europe, I can attest to how much better it is to take a train. The trains are fast and mostly easy to get to. I live in practically the middle of nowhere, and there is still a train station in my town, with a podunk local train, that will then take you into the big city where you can transfer to the high-speed line. It's not perfect, though. Probably because of population density and predicted usage, the local only runs three or four times a day, early mornings and afternoons. Which means that if you are trying to catch the high-speed, you have long waits or you'd have to stay overnight in the city. And right now, they've cut the high-speed line to only three runs a day, which has really caused an uproar with folks that want to live in the country and take the train to Paris or Bordeaux for work. AND another issue is that at least in France, close to all major xfers need to be done in Paris, so you end up going very far north out of your way to get to other EU cities. Still, I do prefer it to flying. It's so much less stressful. And if you do need to fly, there is a train station right in CDG, which is so much easier than taking a cab or transferring a bunch of subway stops or taking a spur line bus or train out of the city like they do in the US.

    1. Le TGV est magnifique, or so I've heard, but I'm always willing to believe the best about train travel and the worst about air. I spent some time in W Germany in the 80s, and you could tell if you were on the wrong train there if it didn't start rolling at exactly the appointed time.

      We took il Freccia Rossa (shown above) from Stazione Centrale Milano (also shown above) to Naples coupla years back, and the experience of two trains passing each other at 300 kph while you sit in your spacious seat looking out a huge window at the Tuscan countryside is pretty nice.

      1. Oh, it's true that they wait for no one. You've gotta be in and out within the 7 or so allotted minutes for each stop, or you are SOL. One time I went to meet my elderly parents at the train, and they weren't paying attention to the stop, and when finally found them and waved to them, it was just too late. The train was leaving, and they weren't going to wait around for stragglers, even confused American tourists. We had to drive all the way to Bordeaux to go get them. But at least the conductor was nice enough not to charge them for the additional fare for the longer ride.

        Hmm, the rest of my comment got eaten… Mods, is there another one pending in the queue?

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