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I have travelled quite a lot under similar circumstances as well, and I would disagree. For an airport it's age (the terminal is almost 30 years old now), it has held up splendidly. Have you flown through since they completed the overhaul of the interior space? The recent renovations are extremely well done, I believe. Detroit's main hall is quite impressive, but a terminal like that is beyond what we need right now unless a major carrier turns Nashville into an international hub. Minneapolis's airport is quite nice, but also much, much larger than the Nashville airport. Either way, the layout of both airport terminals (long, straight halls) is very land use intensive, and the space for that simply doesn't exist on the land that BNA is built on.

 

Nashville's airport is as nice as it's going to get without a completely new terminal, and there are things the city needs to spend its money on before that. Unfortunately, terrain is also against us in this case. You'll note that the country's biggest, busiest airports (DEN, ORD, and DTW to name a few) were built in areas that benefitted from having large, flat, expanses of land to build a massive airport on. The other major airports in the country that are equally as big are shoehorned into whatever terrain they can get, and are only built that size at such great expense because the populations they serve (Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, etc.) require an airport with an overly large capacity.

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Having traveled alot while being in the military, I'm alway underwhelmed by Nashville's airport, especially inside. I would propose an overhaul of the interior atleast. I say this because as I travel almost all the airports I visit are generally nicer. I submit airports like Minneapolis and Detroit (yes Detroit) as examples of interior designs that are very nice. Maybe I'm wrong though. I just see the mundane interior and limited offerings for travelers becoming an issue down the road when larger carriers and traveler population increase.

 

I disagree about MSP but agree about DTW.  MSP is like a rabbit's warren with concourses and corridors all over the place.  There is nothing remarkable or redeeming about MSP's design nor its appearance.  DTW, however, was built from scratch to be a highly efficient hub for Northwest (now Delta).  It was from DTW where NW (now DL) launched flights to Asia, and DTW was designed to be a showplace for NW.  They succeeded.  The old DTW was dark and dingy, but the new one is full of natural light, soaring ceilings, bright colors, and a sleek tram (in NW red) that floats above the concourse.  I even like the psychedelic light display in the pedestrian tunnel linking the two concourses.

 

I think BNA is a pretty nice airport.  It's much airier and lighter than MSP.  It's not as sleek as newer airports like DTW or HKG (or even the newer concourses at CDG in Paris), but it's nothing to be embarrassed about (unlike MEM).

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I have travelled quite a lot under similar circumstances as well, and I would disagree. For an airport it's age (the terminal is almost 30 years old now), it has held up splendidly. Have you flown through since they completed the overhaul of the interior space? The recent renovations are extremely well done, I believe. Detroit's main hall is quite impressive, but a terminal like that is beyond what we need right now unless a major carrier turns Nashville into an international hub. Minneapolis's airport is quite nice, but also much, much larger than the Nashville airport. Either way, the layout of both airport terminals (long, straight halls) is very land use intensive, and the space for that simply doesn't exist on the land that BNA is built on.

 

Nashville's airport is as nice as it's going to get without a completely new terminal, and there are things the city needs to spend its money on before that. Unfortunately, terrain is also against us in this case. You'll note that the country's biggest, busiest airports (DEN, ORD, and DTW to name a few) were built in areas that benefitted from having large, flat, expanses of land to build a massive airport on. The other major airports in the country that are equally as big are shoehorned into whatever terrain they can get, and are only built that size at such great expense because the populations they serve (Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, etc.) require an airport with an overly large capacity.

I concur with most of what you are saying. I guess my opinion is derived mostly from my initial impression upon getting off the plane. I'm currently home in Nashville right now, so I have been through the terminal recently. Personally, I just dont get the wow factor from Nashville as I do with other airports. We will get there when the time and money are right. Our city has major wow factor on a national level.

As routes and airlines increase through BNA, more people will have that one impression of Nashville, especially if they are connecting. THe wow factor should match the rest of the city.

 

I disagree about MSP but agree about DTW.  MSP is like a rabbit's warren with concourses and corridors all over the place.  There is nothing remarkable or redeeming about MSP's design nor its appearance.  DTW, however, was built from scratch to be a highly efficient hub for Northwest (now Delta).  It was from DTW where NW (now DL) launched flights to Asia, and DTW was designed to be a showplace for NW.  They succeeded.  The old DTW was dark and dingy, but the new one is full of natural light, soaring ceilings, bright colors, and a sleek tram (in NW red) that floats above the concourse.  I even like the psychedelic light display in the pedestrian tunnel linking the two concourses.

 

I think BNA is a pretty nice airport.  It's much airier and lighter than MSP.  It's not as sleek as newer airports like DTW or HKG (or even the newer concourses at CDG in Paris), but it's nothing to be embarrassed about (unlike MEM).

I think the reason I enjoyed MSP so much was because I was stuck there for 18 hours in January, Delta terminal, with a load of frac miners... Several beers and stories later, we were all best friends lol. Seriously though, I've been through MSP probably a dozen times, all with Delta, and that terminal is very nice.

Edited by bellinibean
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I just wish that BNA would get some canted-,inclined-surface plate carousels, of the closed-oval type, instead of the flat "Mario-and-Luigi" conveyors.  Some argue that the rotating carousels, unlike conveyors, wreak havoc on luggage, as it's piped up from below and slides down the plates against the rotating bumper.

 

I find the sloped, overlapping-slat type of carousel easier for old folk like me to snatch up luggage, without my having to hunch over, because the luggage tends to become better curbed at the points of retrieval for easier reach, than with the flat serpentine-conveyor carousels.  But this is just my preference.  The way that the baggage floor-bay is engineered at BNA, oval carousels of sufficient capacity probably won't fit, since the front-to-rear depth of the baggage-claim area is not deep enough.

-==-

Edited by rookzie
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Once this terminal becomes obsolete, what will the new plan be?  Will they close off a concourse and totally rebuild that concourse...1 at a time...until they've rebuilt the entire airport...or will the terminal have to be built elsewhere on the property?

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Obsolete?  I understand there is a whole underutilized wing... If memory serves, it was the wing used by United back when the AA hub was still at BNA... or is that still the case?

I'm talking about the design / feel of the current terminal.  There will be a day in the future when the current terminal will be outdated with future designs of newer terminals making our terminal obsolete in comparison.  I don't expect that to be for decades...but it will happen.  Just wondering what the city will do.  Refurbish the current terminal or do a total rebuild somewhere else on that land?

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I think the new carpeting actually makes it appear more dated  :sick:

 

concourse-b_zpsydrab4ve.jpg

That's new? I was there late April and even my co-worker was amazed that the terminal was carpeted.. Buy yes, I agree, that carpet is very 1990s suburban mall.

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I agree BNA doesn't have to the wow factor of some hubs with soaring height, etc. And I do agree the baggage hall feels a little closed in. But I'm in the camp of liking BNA's look and feel overall. It's clean, well run, and well maintained. I like the general design; I like the artist PA announcements they run welcoming visitors; and I like how the airport conveys a sense of place. You know you're in Nashville. Of course, I travel a lot for work, so it could be that I like it because it makes me feel like I'm home ...

 

I agree. Our airport could certainly be better, and as the city grows and airport traffic grows, we should update the airport appropriately. 

 

I've been to a number of airports, and I think ours is alright. It doesn't, as you say, have the wow factor that some hub airports have...but I find it comfortable. I like the carpet....it's a lot more comfortable than airports with tile. 

 

Perhaps when they update/renovate it, they can take some examples from the Music City Center. I thought when it opened that the main corridor of the MCC kind of looked like an airport terminal.

 

Take the pic from gannman, raise the roof (pun intended), add more natural light, and finish the walls with more modern materials.

 

16754120323_e45a10cb5f_b.jpg

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BNA does have long term plans of another runway and terminal building east of Donelson Pike way down the road to likely support more international flights, sort of like what Atlanta did with their new int'l-specific terminal.

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This link to the airport's long-term master plan map may be of interest:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/2012%20Masterplan/05%20BNA-ALP-LAYT.pdf

 

Among other things, it seems to show a relocated Donelson Pike (pushed east) with a new freeway interchange, significantly expanded terminal facilities, a future fifth runway, and a "future people-mover" rail line.


Other files on the same topic can be found at this link:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Pages/master-plan-2012-update.aspx

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This link to the airport's long-term master plan map may be of interest:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/2012%20Masterplan/05%20BNA-ALP-LAYT.pdf

 

Among other things, it seems to show a relocated Donelson Pike (pushed east) with a new freeway interchange, significantly expanded terminal facilities, a future fifth runway, and a "future people-mover" rail line.

Other files on the same topic can be found at this link:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Pages/master-plan-2012-update.aspx

 

I don't get why they're moving the road, what is going in the space where it was?

 

I'm a fan of people-movers.  For some reason whenever they're mentioned people refer to the troubled one in Detroit, as though you're going to get much ridership in a city with so many problems and so few people downtown, and not the one in Miami, which has totally blown the doors off with over 100,000 riders a day.  I think DT Nashville could totally use this.  At least they wouldn't reroute it every 10 minutes.  

Metro%20Mover2_zpsbnhdmdv3.jpgMetro%20Mover_zpswfuwgywf.jpg

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This link to the airport's long-term master plan map may be of interest:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/2012%20Masterplan/05%20BNA-ALP-LAYT.pdf

 

Among other things, it seems to show a relocated Donelson Pike (pushed east) with a new freeway interchange, significantly expanded terminal facilities, a future fifth runway, and a "future people-mover" rail line.

Other files on the same topic can be found at this link:

 

http://www.flynashville.com/about/Pages/master-plan-2012-update.aspx

Is there a date for the additions and upgrades or is it fan as needed thing? All of those upgrades including the new runway would top $1B I would think...

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Changes are coming, but current leadership is slow to react.  I find myself more frustrated with them than pleased.  I will give them credit, though, landing the n/s to Seattle via Alaska Airlines was a COUP!

 

The Southwest flight to Oakland is a joke.

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Lexy, Are you hearing anything on the BA direct to London flight? How is the one they introduced last year in Austin performing?

Changes are coming, but current leadership is slow to react.  I find myself more frustrated with them than pleased.  I will give them credit, though, landing the n/s to Seattle via Alaska Airlines was a COUP!

 

The Southwest flight to Oakland is a joke.

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The Southwest flight to Oakland is a joke.

If, by that statement you mean that it's a joke that we got a flight to OAK instead of SFO, I would strongly disagree. It is a godsend for residents of the Bay Area. There was no direct service from Nashville to any of the 3 Bay Area airports. That trip was a 7-8 hour nightmare. And with the time change, that makes for a hard day.

True, it doesn't give us many international connections like SFO would, but I would argue that OAK is the better domestic airport in the region and I know that many Bay Area residents agree. Alaskan has direct service to 4 Hawaiian islands from OAK vs. only Honolulu from SFO. Southwest has a big presence at OAK, and it's all around an easier airport to deal with than SFO.

Additionally, as far as access to the Silicon Valley, either airport is fine. It's a short drive from either one and transit to the SV doesn't really connect to either airport, so there is very little advantage there to serve SFO vs. OAK. San Jose would be ideal for the valley, but that's not a very busy airport, quite a haul from SF and is kinda the red headed stepchild of the Bay Area.

Besides, LAX has tons of international departures, and we have several daily non-stops to there.

Edited by nashvillwill
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If, by that statement you mean that it's a joke that we got a flight to OAK instead of SFO, I would strongly disagree. It is a godsend for residents of the Bay Area. There was no direct service from Nashville to any of the 3 Bay Area airports. That trip was a 7-8 hour nightmare. And with the time change, that makes for a hard day.

True, it doesn't give us many international connections like SFO would, but I would argue that OAK is the better domestic airport in the region and I know that many Bay Area residents agree. Alaskan has direct service to 4 Hawaiian islands from OAK vs. only Honolulu from SFO. Southwest has a big presence at OAK, and it's all around an easier airport to deal with than SFO.

Additionally, as far as access to the Silicon Valley, either airport is fine. It's a short drive from either one and transit to the SV doesn't really connect to either airport, so there is very little advantage there to serve SFO vs. OAK. San Jose would be ideal for the valley, but that's not a very busy airport, quite a haul from SF and is kinda the red headed stepchild of the Bay Area.

Besides, LAX has tons of international departures, and we have several daily non-stops to there.

 

 

It's a joke in that that's not what we needed.  A non-stop flight utilizing United to SFO would've been much better since you take out two birds with one stone.  You get the local domestic connection to the bay area PLUS a chance to connect to the United Asian flights leaving SFO.  Now, essentially, no airline will touch it thanks to Southwest.  That's why it's a joke.  Southwest offers ZERO in real global economic connectivity.

 

Todd, I think the chances are pretty good, but it's a wait and see what happens situation with British Airways and the city.  I think a company here in town will need to underwrite the flight regardless.

Edited by Lexy
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I see your point. I guess I'm just a little salty about some of the bigger airlines. Last time I flew United, they stranded me in O'Hare and lost my luggage. The time before that I flew a puddle-jumper from Denver to Nashville, which I had to board through some weird subterranian gate when it was -5 outside. American, Delta, United, they all have this way of grumpy service on Emberer A-3-tiny's with unreliable service which, while charging me $50 per bag. Southwest has it's faults, but I find them to be reliable, efficient and more or less comfortable.

Granted. I'm not a constant world traveler, so I'm sure I miss a lot. But as far as domestic travel goes, SW is always my first choice.

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I see your point. I guess I'm just a little salty about some of the bigger airlines. Last time I flew United, they stranded me in O'Hare and lost my luggage. The time before that I flew a puddle-jumper from Denver to Nashville, which I had to board through some weird subterranian gate when it was -5 outside. American, Delta, United, they all have this way of grumpy service on Emberer A-3-tiny's with unreliable service which, while charging me $50 per bag. Southwest has it's faults, but I find them to be reliable, efficient and more or less comfortable.

Granted. I'm not a constant world traveler, so I'm sure I miss a lot. But as far as domestic travel goes, SW is always my first choice.

I totally understand that.

While Southwest is somewhat limiting, I have always had a generally pleasant experience flying with them (their flight attendants are amazing -- on no other airline have I played a trivia game for coupons where you ring in via the flight attendant button!). The staff, in general, just seems to be more easy-going than you find at a lot of airlines. After a SUPER-long taxiing (is that a word?) at McCarran (Vegas), the pilot announced over the PA that "the reason Southwest is so inexpensive is that we drive you half the way, and fly you the other half". Little things like that can make a long, boring flight more enjoyable.

 

The last times I flew each American and Delta, I had to deal with delayed (and later cancelled) flights on the first legs of my journey...both times I had to connect through a different airport, once with an 8 hour layover, and the other with two 30 minute cross-terminal Olympic sprints. 

 

And don't get me started on those CRJ's. I'm 6'6" tall, and the amount of legroom in those sardine cans is nothing short of criminal.

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