What’s the deal with the Providence, RI airport? I’ll cut the chase with some advice: If you can, avoid the Providence airport. I’d rather spend my time doing something other than ranting, so I’ll keep it short. The employees, I’m sure, are swell, but the check in and security processes are something out of early 2002. The folks who run this place really need to get out and travel some. Even Southwest’s typically efficient check-in process here is like stepping back in time. For example, if you need to check luggage, you can’t use a kiosk to check in. After going through the bottleneck that is guaranteed to create, the TSA crew requires you to wait until your bag goes through the one and only scanner they have — another 10-15 minute bottleneck. And that’s before going through security. Did I mention no free wi-fi? That’s the least of this airport’s problem. (And Sprint’s mobile broadband is working for me.) I’m traveling in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day. I can only imagine the horror of this place on a Friday or Monday.
I’m sure the airport authorities will claim that construction is a drag on its operational efficiency. But airport construction is something travelers run into nearly constantly these days. I’ve seen airports in worse states of construction operate more efficiently.