The UK out-commercializes the USA

In airports, at least.

In all the British airports I’ve used recently passengers are carefully managed through retail experiences. You are forced to walk through the center of duty free before reaching the departure area and, once there, you’ll find that the reader boards only exist in areas surrounded by retail.

Your departure gate won’t be posted until the last minute so you’ll have no choice but to spend as much time as possible in retail areas – where there’s almost no where to sit other than in a food or drink establishment.

By comparison an American airport appears to exist primarily to convey passengers to their destinations; acre upon acre of departure gates with seating only occasionally interspersed with places to get a snack or light meal. Reader boards are dotted liberally around and flights are posted hours in advance – plus the wi-fi is free!!

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