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Thursday, August 27, 2009

BNA refuses to modernize

My new job requires me to travel quite a bit more than my last job (which required basically no travel at all). I've begun the life of a road warrior to a small extent, already going in and out of BNA (Nashville's airport) a couple of times a month in the last little bit.

Anyone that knows BNA and knows me, knows this means frustration. You see, i'm a geek and like my power-hungry gadgets, and BNA is practically void of convenient power outlets. While most airports in the country have rows of waiting area seats complete with A/C and USB power outlets, BNA has only a few power outlets scattered under payphones, behind doors, and at the base of columns, like the picture to the right. With few exceptions, all of these require sitting on the floor to access.

So imagine my surprise when my dad (who also travels a good bit) sent me this. He decided to ask about what i think we all assumed were impending upgrades to the waiting areas. Apparently, we'll be waiting a while:

I was talking to a gate agent at Southwest Airlines today, and he tells me that Southwest has requested that they be allowed to add outlets and USB charging devices in their gate areas and were denied. They have even installed some of the chairs, but were not allowed to connect the power to them. I have experienced these at other airports and wondered why they had not installed them in Nashville. To find it is our own airport that is keeping these from being installed is frustrating and embarrassing.

If you are like me and want the airport to allow these needed improvements, take a moment and write a short message to the Nashville Airport Authority here:
So there you have it. Your call to action. Let's all let BNA know how ridiculous this is, and bring Nashville's airport into the 21st 20th century.

My dad just heard back from the BNA authorities. Looks like they do have "plans" and their infrastructure is presenting challenges. About what i assumed, but this still should have been prioritized and implemented a while back.
We were very excited when Southwest approached the Airport Authority with the charging station project however the installation required would have involved significant core drilling of the floor plates to accomplish implementation. The nature of our infrastructure doesnt allow for surface electrical runs which would have continued to be a factor down the line if the charging stations ever needed to be relocated. Realizing this is an important and necessary customers service enhancement, we have taken on the project ourselves through our wireless services provider and hope to be rolling this out throughout the terminal (not just Southwest gates) in the very near future. Thanks for you interest in our facility and our program. We welcome your comments.

Rebecca Ramsey
Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority
One Terminal Drive, Suite 501
Nashville, Tennessee 37214-4114


Christy said...

Amen! I want them to add a nursing mother's room, too, but I guess I shouldn't dilute the message.

Anonymous said...

I guess I better make sure all my batteries are charged before I fly outta there in late September!

Garrett said...

In other news, I think I may need to update my OpenID stuff.

I guess I better make sure all my batteries are charged before I fly outta there in late September!

Jonathan Chu said...

Wow... that's just crazy. In Chicago O'Hare there's a terminal very similar. Lots of nice recliners with USB plugs and outlets and none of the chairs plugged in. Very frustrating to find a plug there.

I will have to make my voice heard!

Cool Springs said...

It really is the dumbest thing ever. Not only would it inprove the customer experience at the airport, they are missing an opportunity to monetize as well. Ive seen dozens of "charging stations" at other airports with advertising built in and around the charging booth/stand.

Paul Nicholson said...

Just updated the post. Looks like they have "plans" but haven't gotten around to it given the infrastructure challenges.