San Jose Airport renovates, not a moment too soon

Having had the pleasure of flying through SJC a few times in the last several weeks, I can now officially name Mineta Airport as my official “Worst Airport in the United States“. It takes a fair amount of effort to deserve this distinction from blogger Grant, as I try to be fairly forgiving of travel and airport related issues. But listen Mineta San Jose, for the airport of the great Silicon Valley, you’ve got some serious, serious problems.

  • There are no jet bridges! The last time two times I had to walk onto the tarmac to climb steps into my airplane were in Houghton, Michigan and Marrakech, Morocco. The former’s population is 7010 (that’s 0.7% of you) and the latter is a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.
  • You have no airline lounges in terminal C. Business and first class travelers are stuck milling around the rundown concourse trying to get mobile and wireless reception while families stream around and trip over laptop cords. Yes, I know it sounds elitist to say that, but airline lounges are a proven, profit making device for airlines and help keep everyone sane.
  • No gas stations exist between the expressway and the rental car return. So if you want to avoid the egregious gas refill fees you have to exit the grounds and drive aimlessly around surrounding roads looking for a station.
  • Connection to public transportation is weak. Sure the public 10 bus makes a free connection to the light rail and Caltrains, but it comes infrequently, is poorly labeled and is confusing to catch.

What do business people from around the world think when they come to visit some of the nation’s top technology companies?

Luckily, San Jose recently got the message and is working furiously on the new additions; the first section should be complete some time this year. May the new facilities be ripe with bars, restaurants, lounges and jet bridges, may the wireless flow freely from the walls and may honor be restored to the great Valley of Silicon.