Now that I live on the West Coast, I find myself regularly traveling through my least favorite airport, Denver (airport code DEN, not DIA — apparently airport authority marketing people never learn). Every single time I have to spend time in the place, I find something else that just doesn’t make any sense. DEN just reinforces the fact it is simply a poorly designed airport for the humans that must suffer through it.
Today’s WTF moment: the flight information boards in Concourse B.
In Concourse B, the airport authority updated the flight information displays to portrait flat panels (good) that are suspended for what seems are two stories from the ceiling (odd). That, although visually strange, is not the problem. The real problem stems from the fact that they placed them over the main walking corridor where it is rather impossible to view the information from the gate areas without entering — and blocking — the walkway. Add in gate area seating adjacent to the moving walkways and you have a recipe for concourse travel hell.
You see, everyone gets off of their flights, spills out into the walkway, gets confused, looks around and up for the information board, only to back up and block the people trying to get to flights and the carts attempting to zoom from one end of the stupidly long terminal corridor to the other. With the seats in the corridor, the situation becomes worse as all logical paths are generally blocked during peak travel times. So if you’ve got 30 minutes to make your connection, forget it. It’ll never happen. And if you’re on the moving walkways to get by the mess, forget checking the board for your gate. The displays face AWAY from those areas so to see where your flight might be, you need to get off the moving walkway and double-back, thus adding to the blockage and confusion.
Now a logical place for such information displays might be under the escalators to the upstairs lounges or even in the old locations facing out, but nope. You need to get into everyone’s way to figure out where you need to go. So in the infinite wisdom of the Denver Airport Authority, it screwed up an already screwed up airport once again.
I don’t care what the surveys say — Denver International Airport is a miserable place to spend any time. And sadly, I’m spending a lot of time within its poorly conceived confines.