Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
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Never can figure out the SkyTrain
Oh, by the way, last time was at this airport a year ago I was not able to get online on the airport free WIFI network. A year later, still was not able to go online.
PHX Sky Train is undiscovered
I’ve arrived at the C Gates concourse and wanted to take the PHX airport sky train to take me to the light rail station at 44th street. The only sign coming out of the jet bridge you see is for Ground Transportation. Followed the sign and ended up at the luggage pick up carousel area 2 levels down. At that point one sees signs for left or right curb transportation options but not for the Sky Train. Walked all the way to the end of the luggage pick up area to an information kiosk where I asked for the Sky Train. A guy told me that I had to walk all the way back to the opposite side of the building where I came from and go back to Level 3. Wow, are you serious!? All the way from the C gates to the luggage area I did not notice an easily visible sign for the Sky Train. As I expressed my frustration to the information kiosk guy he admitted that “this airport is just like that.” I am not sure what he meant by that, but apparently there is something really wrong with this sky train signage thing.
Walked back to the other side of the building and got in front of the elevator doors and there it was: a sign showing that at Level 3 you can go to the Sky Train. Got to the Level 3, looked up at the signs again and none of them was giving you directions to the sky train. I even thought I got out at the wrong Level so I walked down the Main Terminal and at about 10 meters I saw the Sky Train sign and thought to myself: What’s wrong with you people? Don’t you understand that at airports places and signs should be clearly visible and no one should feel lost at a major airport such as this one!?
WiFi at Terminal 4 sucks
Was able to connect to the free wifi and had to take off for couple minutes. Returned back to the same gate at the terminal, sat at an opposite side of where I was before and the signal was weaker. Well, they offer you to pay for “premium” connection for close to $5 but I was using it free, so what am I complaining about? :-)
Checking in with American Airlines self-service terminal
Did not know my flight booking number and when wanted to make self-check in at American kiosk, no matter that I consider myself travel savvy, I had a little difficulty figuring things out. The display gave me 3 options: swipe my loyalty card I didn’t have - not an AA member, scan reservation bar code I didn’t have, and last option some loyalty number to type in, also I did not have. I had only my departure time and flight number. Well, I was at a loss and did not want to wait on a line to be checked in as I had only carry on and lines were only if you have baggage to check in. Only after I asked a guy at the AA counter I found I could use any of my credit cards into the card reader of the kiosk to find and finish my check in. American, please write it down somewhere on the screen…
boarding hassle with American at Terminal 4
The inbound flight was late, as we were told at the gate, which delayed the departure of my SFO bound flight with more then 20 min. Not much of a delay some could say but it created enough pressure and unrest in an already fully booked plane during the boarding.
American boards by group number. When boarding started the ground crew at the gate did not explain to us the procedure of group boarding, probably thinking that we are all American loyal travelers and we might have known already what was going on. So, when first class and all other “executive” passengers were loaded onto the plane they started calling the group 1 but at that moment all passenger got up, crowded the boarding line and that point everyone wanted to get on the plane as fast as they can.
At some point, many of us were wandering that group were they boarding since the intercom was very hard to hear. I saw some passengers tried to board when their group was not even called.
To add fuel to the flames, we were bombarded with messages that the plane is completely full, the overhead bins will get full and many carry-on bags needed to be checked at the gate for that reason. But guess what? No one, of course, wanted to give up their bags to be check in and deal with the hassle to pick it up at SFO, I guess. So everyone tried to get ahead of the boarding line to increase chances of finding a spot for their carry on on-board.
American, how easy would have been if you asked people to remain seated at the gate until their respective boarding group is called for boarding? Wasn’t that the easiest things to do? Wouldn’t it save us the unpleasant boarding process and stress one gest from overcrowded planes and not enough overhead bin space? I mean, how simple is that to set a procedure that is followed just to make our travel a little easier.