Top of the morning, Jan. 18, 2014
Sunday's News-Gazette is headlined by CHRISTINE DES GARENNES' detailed look at Willard Airport and its future. As an appetizer, we asked four frequent travelers from the area for their favorite airports:
Associate director of admissions at Illinois spends about 80 nights a year in hotels and logs more than 100,000 miles in the air. His pick: Hong Kong International.
"The express train serving downtown Hong Kong is not only slick and quick, but you can check your bags downtown so you don't have to carry them on the train. The terminal is wonderfully modern: It's airy and efficient with lots of amenities like restaurants and bars and coffee shops. But the main amenity is space. Nothing is overcrowded."
Recruiting coordinator for Illinois football, the assistant coach said he's on a plane about 50 times each year. His pick: Charlotte (N.C.) Douglas International.
"I judge airports based on food. They've got a really good sushi spot. Nobody will tell you O'Hare because it takes too much time to get from one end to the other — there's no time to stop and eat. There's always time to eat in Charlotte."
An international flight attendant for American, the Champaign mother of three averages a whopping 450,000 miles a year. Her pick: Dallas/Fort Worth International.
"It's clean, updated with a lot of food choices. There's a Starbucks about every eight gates. They have a lot of plugs near the seats at each gate to charge whatever it is you need to charge. And the agents are seasoned. They whip out those foldout cots and blankets if people are stranded overnight. They even get people toothbrushes."
A commercial lender at Busey Bank by day and Missouri Valley Conference football official on the weekends, the former Centennial standout keeps mostly to the Midwest — although he does venture out for vacations. His favorites: Heathrow and Central Illinois Regional.
"London is basically a huge mall, a great way to pass time. Getting through BMI (Bloomington) is easy — there's never a line at the gate. And the free parking is always nice."