Airport anecdotes, and other random experiences

I‘ve spent a decent chunk of my lifetime in airports. Remarkably, I’ve come to develop a profound fondness for them — long security lines and passport queues are superseded by anticipatory excitement about embarking on a new adventure. Duty-free shops mean last-minute souvenirs and, shamelessly, free perfume during long stretches of travel. Give me a coffee shop and an outlet, and I am one happy girl.

Hong Kong International Airport is the most intuitively designed of them all. Clear signage delineates the average walking time between restaurants, shops, and gates — a beacon of light that reads “eat your McDonalds in peace, it’s only a 5-minute walk to Gate B5.” In an environment so traditionally riddled with chaos, whomever designed this space took travelers’ pain points and needs deeply into account. Simple yet effective tweaks, like better signage and an open floor plan, facilitate a more “zen” airport environment. Apparently its designers had expensive taste, as well, considering the airport’s plethora of luxury stores (does anyone actually shop at these? …


Molly Vierhile

Product Designer. Carnegie Mellon MHCI ’19. 46 countries in the books!

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