What airports tell you
I don’t remember airports much. As a market analyst, I try to fill out other people’s survey forms. But a few days after a flight, I normally can’t recall anything about it at all.
Yet airports do tell you a lot. They are symbolic gateways to their country or region. Architecture reflects culture. The ethnic mix reflects trading patterns. So here’s what I’ve made of some recent experiences:
- Istanbul, Europe’s largest city – constantly bustling like the Bosphorus, but also very stretched like the roads.
- Dubai, a major global hub – all the style and scale you would expect, but increasingly endemic delays in flights and passport queues.
- Johannesburg, after three visits in a week – you can feel the regional economic strength of South Africa and you can sense the musical rhythm of its people.
- Maputo – modernising, but smaller and less active than my own local airport at Bristol.
- Heathrow – an enduring nightmare, but I’ve discovered a great new business lounge in Terminal 3.