Reader: DIA sucks, and not just because it's practically in Kansas

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Patricia Calhoun's recent post about Denver International Airport slipping down the busiest airport list -- from eleventh place to thirteenth -- attracted comments about DIA as a whole. Included among them was this not especially positive review.

Andrew Malouff writes:

Personally, I hate DIA. I can't stand the way it's set up. Seems like it maximizes delays with the one big security area, then the weird, dungeon like underground tram you have to ride forever to get to your gate. Not to mention the airport is practically located in Kansas, making visitors who fly in ask the age old dumb and dumber question "shouldn't the Rocky Mountains be a little rockier? That John Denver is full of shit man!"... AND you almost have to take the toll roads to get there if your flying out, which is expensive and still takes forever and amazingly, are heavily patrolled for speeders. Then when you get there, the parking situation sucks and takes forever too. I always dread having to fly in or out of DIA. Which is why I will gladly pay a few hundred more to fly out of Springs. You suck DIA!

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64 comments
AJ Olson
AJ Olson

I disagree. I fly a lot, which means I originate and connect in a lot of places. DIA is a big airport that's more of a hassle than say, Wichita, San Luis Obispo, or Sioux Falls. But for a big airport, it's spacious, easy to navigate, clean, well lit, and easy to spend a long layover in. Chicago, Atlanta, LAX, and I'm sure many others are far worse (I've slept in LAX once - shitty night). The reason the airport is so far outside of town is to allow for expansion room and to keep the general public from bitching about airplane noise for as long as possible. If you don't like airplane noise, don't live next to an airport, duh. DIA is the largest airport by land size in the country, which allows for TONS of expansion room in the future, and allows the economy of the Denver metro to grow comparably. In general, if you want to bitch about airports, don't fly. I really like DIA compared to other big cities.

Karen Trujillo
Karen Trujillo

Haven't flown out of DIA in over 20 yrs....flagged, there, in the late 90's for construction, etc. It had "good vibes", then. Your comments have me thinking twice about wanting to be there again.

jenniferantoniou
jenniferantoniou

I think compared to other airports it's not a bad set up. I fly in and out of DIA. It is lacking in connections to public transport, but like it's been said with time it will come. 

It has free Wi-Fi which is very handy when you have to sit around all day waiting to catch a flight. 

The bathrooms are large enough to wheel my bags into - (something you can't do when you go to LGA airport) 

The light in the space is nice. The terminals are long but they have included the moving walkways for people. 

The gates all offer enough space for passengers to sit without feeling overcrowded. 

A few more electrical plugs would be nice for those of us that travel with iPad, laptop and phone. 

A place to take a nap in the terminal would be nice. (what if I miss my flight and need to spend the 6-8 hours but I don't want a hotel room... just a place to rest. In Munich airport they provide sleeping pods... and they are very nice to use. 

http://news.airtreks.com/2012/04/munich-airport-installs-a-sleeping-pod/


Candie Bernard
Candie Bernard

DIA is much easier to navigate than many airports.

pitchman101
pitchman101

Slipping down the list from 11th to 13th?, My guess would be that it will be smoking the competition once Marijuana tourism takes effect.

They should have put the light rail running to it first. not doing this first was a lack in judgment by planners.

Give it 20 more years and DIA wont be to far out. the city will be coming to DIA!

Half Aspen
Half Aspen

I use the Colorado Springs Airport. I've even found some flights a cheaper from there but it wouldn't matter. DIA does suck.

Stacey Bloomfield
Stacey Bloomfield

As someone who grew up out east I have to say that DIA is easy to navigate and take no time to get through security (especially if you fly Frontier). The people complaining about getting overseas really need to think about the fact that they are adding hours to their flights and that they aren't popular destinations from here. We all want what we want but we're in the middle of the nation we aren't going to get coastal prices.

Steven Fowler
Steven Fowler

The biggest problem at DIA is the security check...why they don't do it on the concourses is beyond me. I don't mind the tram but the other big problem is the expense. I can get decent prices on direct flights from Austria or Germany to the east coast, Great Lakes, or the west coast and Vegas but never to Denver. The other big problem has nothing to do with the airport but the airlines...United is terrible.

BlondyVanWeirden
BlondyVanWeirden

I've been through better airports...and, I've been through worse (JFK for instance).  I find that the worst part of DIA is the nasty, snarky attitudes of too many employees who are in position to interact with the traveling public...both vendor employees (airline counter staff), and government workers (TSA agents) are the worst.  This airport needs to have a "niceness" campaign to train those lucky-to-be-employed jerks how to treat us.


David Ulrich
David Ulrich

It's not a bad airport for a short layover. Used to do it twice a week.

Hedge Haug
Hedge Haug

Holy crap - DIA certainly is not the best airport on the planet but by far not the worst. Echoing other comments above- god help you flying into LAX, San Fran, Seattle, St. Louis, O'Hare, Newark, Miami, Orlando - the list goes on and on. All major airports now are away from downtown.

BitterDonkey
BitterDonkey

What an idiot, so anything west of the city is Kansas?  2hour + drive nimrod.

Lakota Sage
Lakota Sage

That article was shitty. Just sounds like they had a bad day and just wanted to bitch about it. DIA ain't that bad.

Stephanie Sarad
Stephanie Sarad

I'm assuming you have never been to LAX, JFK, or Charles De gaulle- shit... to any other airport!

Patrick Solano
Patrick Solano

Sorry Justin, but why would we build a billion dollar light rail system that leads to nowhere? DIA was built long before we even considered light rail. It takes 45 min is you're heading there from Golden. Everybody is so dramatic it's hilarious. It takes 30 min to get from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac...it's not like DIA is the only airport that's "far away." Love that our society has become such whiners. Don't bother mentioning all the horrible food in the concourses...you know, like the restaurants and variety of food (that is horrible too).

Ben Gude
Ben Gude

Why are we arguing with this guy's baseless opinion? "Weird, dungeon like underground tram...". What's weird about it? And it takes forever? Um, no it doesn't it's actually very efficient. And I've never had a problem with parking. This is dumb.

Kym Bloom
Kym Bloom

It will suck a lot less once they FINALLY get the light rail out there. I can't believe it took almost 20 years for that one. It used to be that giving someone a ride to the airport was something you could do on your lunch break. Now you need to take a day off work, pack food, and plan on being gone for a good chunk of the day.

Legen Dairy
Legen Dairy

I like DIA. Try Running thru Sky Harbor because when you land on one plane you find out your next one is leaving in less than 10 mins

Justin Miller
Justin Miller

Its to far. If Denver was smart they would have made the light rail go there first. I bet most other international airports have trains to and from theirs.

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

And we care about the opinion of someone from CO. Springs, why?

c.mccahill77
c.mccahill77

I have always found parking near to the doors and have loved that the baggage claim is on the same level as the parking area entrances. Yes it's a bit far from society but that is for safety sake as the previous DIA location was dreadfully dangerous for stalling out after takeoff due to necessary steep climbs in altitude. If you had mentioned that Horse statue entering DIA territory I would agree with your sentiments! The Horse statue has a tragic backstory and it's a bit creepy to think of death and omens as I enter the airport. Hope your future DIA flights are trouble free.

Schittphaiç Magü
Schittphaiç Magü

Even IAH & Hobby aren't that bad when compared to shit holes like LAX or LaGuardia.

Justin Day
Justin Day

Haha never had a problem with DIA. Lets take this person to Ohare and see how they feel

Gina Pietramale
Gina Pietramale

DIA is fine. There's waaay worse out there.I'm looking at you, SFO.

Cody Phifer
Cody Phifer

If you think DIA sucks, you haven't been around

Mista D'Mac
Mista D'Mac

DIA is great. Try flying in and out of LaGuardia on a regular basis and then you'll appreciate what Denver has.

Ryk McDorman
Ryk McDorman

So many things wrong with this -- where to start? True, it's not smack dab in the middle of the city, but it takes me only 30 minutes door-to-door from southeast Denver. Not bad for a major metro airport. It's not necessary to take toll roads, and they're only a possibility if you're coming from the northwest or eastern Aurora. And the security lines? Really? There's not "one big security area", there are three! (North & south terminal, and one at the end of the sky bridge to concourse A. I usually buzz through in 5-10 minutes. Oh, and that interminable train ride that takes like 5 minutes if you're going all the way to concourse C -- yeah...that's a killer!

Griff2
Griff2

So many things wrong with this -- where to start?  True, it's not smack dab in the middle of the city, but it takes me only 30 minutes door-to-door from southeast Denver. Not bad for a major metro airport. It's not necessary to take toll roads, and they're only a factor if you're coming from the northwest or eastern Aurora. And the security lines?  Really?  There's not "one big security area", there are three! (North & south terminal, and one at the end of the sky bridge to concourse A. I usually buzz through in 5-10 minutes. Oh, and that interminable train ride that takes like 5 minutes if you're going all the way to concourse C -- yeah...that's a killer!  

Kellie Lankutis
Kellie Lankutis

I love how the writer says the underground tram takes forever. Really? 3 minutes takes too long to get the last terminal? Obviously this person has never flown out of Houston-Hobby. Worst.Airport. Ever!

DougHubka
DougHubka

Andrew: I think the nicest thing that can be said is that you are completely full of shit and maybe you should grow up.. Hello: DIA is a big airport, The Denver Metro SMSA covers a lot of people.  Ever been to Dallas or Atlanta ? not much difference. We live in the 21st Century and you are expecting a cowtown airport where you can walk 10 feet and get on your airplane. Jeez , why have we become  such  a nation of complainers.?

ksmustng50
ksmustng50

The only thing I have to complain about is the parking tolls.  Otherwise DIA is great.  Long security lines...  Have you ever been to any other airport??  The underground tram.  Again I ask..  Have you been to any other airport??  Once they get light rail put in it will make things much more accessible.  

I think driving along Pena is a great view of the front range.  Are you blind?

Laura Finger
Laura Finger

DIA is my second last favorite after LAX. Long security lines and very confusing to navigate.

Michael P Lee
Michael P Lee

DIA is a fine airport. It's location is logical. The city in the long run will build out to there. The fact it's has took so long to get light rail built out to there is the only problem with it.

Dominica Hagelberg
Dominica Hagelberg

One of the best airports I've been in. Yeah it's a haul to actually get to, but that will change once the light rail is finally installed.

bluemoonpie
bluemoonpie

Let's just focus on this, shall we: "underground tram you have to ride forever to get to your gate".

What. It's so you don't have to WALK to the other terminals. If I EVER have to go back to Dallas-Fort Worth WITHOUT my disabled grandmother who needed to be driven in a golf cart, I'm in big trouble. Don't get me wrong, walking's great. But not when you have limited time and heavy bags.

And this little gem of a comment: "making visitors who fly in ask the age old dumb and dumber question "shouldn't the Rocky Mountains be a little rockier? That John Denver is full of shit man!"" Last time I checked, I don't really want to be landing at an airport in the middle of a mountain range. That would probably be considered "crashing". The first time I flew into DIA when I moved to CO, I came out of the West side gate, saw the Denver skyline against the whole Rocky Mountain range and I was like, "Daaayuuummm. I LIVE here now?"

And finally, we close with this: "Which is why I will gladly pay a few hundred more to fly out of Springs." A FEW HUNDRED MORE? Where the fuck does this reader work that they'd basically pay twice the ticket price JUST to fly out of a different airport that is not only an hour outside of Denver (which DIA is not, as much as people want to bitch that it is), but is about the same distance away from New Mexico as DIA is from Kansas, to go back to the reader's earlier point. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd much rather be closer to Kansas than New Mexico. DIA is great, efficient and the people who work there are nice as shit.

Actually, on second thought, this reader should fly out of the Springs. Then they won't be crowding my security line with their negative-ass attitude.

Pamela Millard Priest
Pamela Millard Priest

I think we must compare INTERNATIONAL airports to INTERNATIONAL airports to be fair. Colorado Springs and Vail are not INTERNATIONAL airports.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Patrick Solano Thanks for the perspective, Patrick. Much appreciated.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Patrick Solano People complain about getting to experience the modern marvel known as human flight.  Makes sense to me.  After all, having to take a shuttle from a parking lot and standing in a security line or two makes traveling across an entire continent in 5-6 hours totally not worth it.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Ben Gude Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ben.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@Justin Day O'Hare is a black hole of despair and malaise built to crush your spirit and make one contemplate suicide.  They have good hot dogs, though.

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