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Springfield, MO Airport

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Traveling from the Ghost Airport


**The Person(s) Responsible for Communications at the New Springfield, MO Airport, Should Hang their Head(s) in shame.** Springfield, MO has a brand new airport. This is to be commended. They were definitely outgrowing their old airport. But, I'm surprised at how well they made it a very bad experience. **Imagine this:**On May 1, you land at the Springfield airport. You do hear something about a new terminal coming. It is not uncommon to add new wings/buildings to airports. Even Missoula, Montana has enlarged their terminal considerably. So, you expect that next time you will be redirected to a new part of the airport. For the next week, you travel across Missouri for meetings and events. The airport is not something at the top of your mind. On the return, you drive to the airport, follow all the signs. Nothing seems changed, but maybe the new part is in the back. The signs are the same. There are cars in the parking lots, but not as many as before. You park your rental car and take your things out of your car. The door swishes open for you just like before. The airport is completely empty of people. All the signs are on the walls. There are the rental car signs. There are the signs directing you to the gates. The signs on the baggage carousel are the same. But, there are no people. It's like one of those movies where people go back to a town that has been through a nuclear holocaust. No indications of what has happened. The signs directing you throughout the airport lwere for ghosts. You stand in the terminal looking for a security guard, a workman, anyone there???? Then you remember the new terminal. Where is it? Where is someone who can tell you. Now, you only have an hour to catch your plane. Is there anyone in the empty building who can tell you? 911 knows. The gentleman on the other end of the phone tells you it's not just a new terminal, it's a whole new location. They have been advertising it on radio and TV in Springfield for three weeks! I guess they have never had anyone from outside Springfield use that airport before. But, he gives you directions - the first hope you've had. You have to drive back on Kearny, turn right at Alliance, and turn right again on Division. OK, put everything back in the rental car. Drive down Kearny and turn right on Alliance. And, Alliance ends before any signs say "Division." There is a sign that says "EE" or something like that, but it just goes down a country road - a narrow country road. Go back down Alliance looking for Division - no Division, but there is a Marriot. The gent at the desk gives you directions. Lo, and behold, it turns out that Division becomes a country road called EE! The old change the name of the street trick - works great to confuse out-of-town folks. Down the country road a ways, it suddenly turns into something that looks like it might be going somewhere besides a bunch of farms. I have great memories of my Grandpa's farm, but there were no airplanes there. OK, follow the signs around. Now the sign for Rental Cars points right. There is a road going off to the right; so, you follow it around. Back on another country road, that turns off to Employee Parking. Ask a workman going out to his car. He doesn't know where the rental cars go. Ask the taxi driver. He doesn't know where the rental cars go. The Rental Car sign is probably laughing at me. It meant which lane, not which road. Now you have a half hour left. Get out of the employee parking lot. There is the front of the new terminal. You just want to leave the rental car in front of the new terminal and catch your plane. Maybe a security person will notice the abandonded car and do something. Oh, there's a policeman. They have always served me well before. This one tries to help by telling you just to follow the signs! Right! When you mentioned that you have already been misdirected by signs, he says that all their signs hadn't come in, but that it should all be fixed next week. Want to come back next week for another go? A possible solution is at the end of this article. Drive the direction he pointed, and there is a parking lot that that might be rental cars. Park the car at the curb because there isn't much indication of where anything is. After getting out of the car, notice small, dark signs at car level that indicate a rental car slot. No signs on the outside of the terminal building indicate anything, except that you need to pay attention to security notices, etc. Only 20 minutes to get to the plane. The gent at Enterprise is very nice. He will bring your receipt to you at the checkout counter. There are no signs that indicate where to check in, but he points in a general direction to some lines of something hidden behind walls. Geesh, these aiport designers need to take a lesson from grocery stores. Overhead signs are very helpful. They could have even pulled some of the signs off the abandonded airport terminal and used them!!! You make the plane at the last call. When you ask the lady at the gate if others have missed their planes entirely, she says, "Not too many. Only two yesterday!" **Possible solution**The management at the Springfield, MO airport could hire a team of local graffiti artists to do some signs for them. They'd probably do a better job than what is there - and more quickly. As a reward, they could have the old airport to decorate to their hearts content - even make a graffiti art museum. (Provided they cover up all the old misleading signs first.)That would give people more indication that there is no airport there, than the excellent signeage they have abandonded!

Missoula, MT


Springfield, MO Airport

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