Airport Report- The Pittsburgh Airport

by - Sunday, July 08, 2012

Ok, so I have been trying to think of  ways to put our travel experience to good use, so I think I am going to do Airport Reports! I always think, especially in the big ones, that it would be nice to know the best treats and places to go in every airport, and you slowly build up a big chunk of knowledge, so I will give my opinions and people can add, because other than San Francisco, San Jose, and my beloved PIT, I certainly only have a couple experiences with each airport. 

Anyway, let's start with the Pittsburgh Airport because I love it best.

Airport Details: The airport used to be popping when it was a hub for United. It has a pretty extensive mall space inside which used to be accessible to everyone (I am pretty sure we went there on an elementary school field trip) but because of tightened security things are significantly more locked down. It now has a strange late 80's feel with more quirky randoms than you might expect from a small airport like that.

Length of time in Security: It usually goes pretty fast, though I can remember a couple of crazy days. They have a secret third security line that they will send you through on especially busy days. We in general have had really bad luck with the alternative security checkpoint, because people are a little overzealous (you do get to take a cool different escalator when you are done). Still, I would say definitely always under an hour. 

Best place to Eat: Michael Symon opened a new restaurant in the airport, but we didn't have time to check it out last time. It has a lot of the standard fare- 2 TGI Fridays, a McDonalds, and a couple Subways. They also have a Fresh Eats Cafe which has pretty good food, and at least is a healthier choice than McDonald's. My favorite place there is actually the Ben and Jerry's stand, which always has about 5 really bored high school kids working, and has great milkshakes and smoothies. They are the best airport day splurge in the world, and I can't wait to have another one in September when I am a married lady who can eat junk food again. 

Worst place: Eh, I would say the TGI Fridays is super gross. City of Bridges is the absolute worst- it tastes like it is fried in old oil and the service we had there was super slow. It's the only place I really have any complaints about. Charley's has a not bad (but greasy) breakfast sandwich, but I would go to subway before i would eat their other sandwiches.

Magazines and Candy/Shopping: A lot of the old Air Mall stuff is gone, but you can still get kitschy socks, crocs, and swaroski crystals, so what else do you really need? You can also buy luggage and old lady accessories. They have Hudson Booksellers and News where you can get most of the more common magazines, but none of them are huge so you don't have tons of options.

Coolest feature: When you head toward baggage claim after you arrive, the first thing you run into is the wax football player and george washington. Then you head down the escalators and there is a giant dinosaur skeleton. If you are really lucky, it is football season, and he is even carrying a terrible towel!

Ease of Layovers: It's small and has lots of moving walkways, so it would be a snap to move through.

In-Airport Transport: they have a super awesome tram that my brother and i just thought was so cool as kids. It's less exciting now, but it is still fun!

General Cuteness: PIT gets bonus points for the Mr Rogers and Andy Warhol displays (they shouldn't work so well together, yet they do). 

Other comments: It also has great signs calling itself the airport of the future. PIT is the best place in the world when we are coming home, and the worst when we are leaving (except for the milkshakes, which are a big help for a hurting heart).

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