Airport Changes

By on 3 February, 2018 in City services, Kate and Stephen with 2 Comments

One of the benefits of living in Montgomery is our adorable little airport. It’s just a few gates, and nobody would accuse it of being bustling, but it’s ours and it’s surprisingly efficient. We wrote about it somewhat cheekily when we were new to Montgomery, almost a decade ago.

We’ve learned to love it in the intervening years. If you fly out often enough, the gate staff start to call you by name, and there’s rarely a line at any part of the process. Plus, depending on where you start from, you can usually get to the airport within 15 minutes – 20 if you have to park. It’s a lot better than trying to get through the scrum in Atlanta, and a relatively peaceful way to start a trip. Usually we’re flying Delta, so we’ve taken a lot of those short hops to Atlanta. And once you’re in Hartsfield, you can basically go anywhere in the world, so Montgomery’s easy as a jumping off place for global travel.

“Dream of Flight” by artist Lincoln Fox at the Albuquerque Sunport

Although many of the observations from our 2010 blog post hold up, there have been some changes. The airport’s been going through a little bit of upgrading recently. It shows. The signage is much better throughout, and there’s even a new giant TV monitor on the other side of security in case you need your weather forecast in a larger-than-life format. After you check it out, you can go to the coffee shop that used to be Montgomery Muggs, but is now under new ownership. Although construction was still underway when we were there in early January, they’ve done away with a lot of the clutter and evangelical devotional materials inside, making it a more clean and modern space. The coffee is still good and reasonably priced, and they’re open nice and early. We heard from the employees that the owner is planning to open a restaurant and bar in the space where the old bar (The Layover) used to be. It will be a welcome addition to the airport. We hope that this comes to pass.

Somehow, we always end up leaving from Gate 1, which is tucked away on the downstairs level. There and upstairs, the airport has installed a series of cellphone charging plugs, some with USB adapters built in. It’s a nice change from the days when you had to wrestle someone for the one plug behind the check-in stand, for sure. And it’s a nice sign that our airport is adapting to the new times of travel.

The wireless network remains free, and operational on nearly all of our visits to the airport. There’s no longer valet parking anymore, which makes some sense because it was always hard to imagine using it instead of simply parking and walking 100 yards to the terminal. Compared to other airports around the country, we are exceptionally lucky with the accessibility of ours.

We’re also hearing that there is now “skycap” curbside service, and the big F-35 decision for Montgomery means extended runways, which could increase our chances with an air freight company serving our airport too.

All in all, we’re pleased to see the airport continuing to improve and modernize. We’re glad to fly out of there, and always extremely happy to see it when we’re returning home from time away.

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  1. Lynne Zaris says:

    I find driving to Atlanta and parking at the College Park MARTA station is the fastest and most efficient way to fly from MGM. Over 15 years I have tried, and really want to, fly in and out of MGM, but 3 out 4 times flights are either cancelled or delayed for no reason. Modernizing the airport is not what will change this. Providing good, reliable, and needed flights is.

    • Sandra Nickel says:

      My friend, as a member of Montgomery’s Airport Authority, I see monthly “scorecards” on all our flights. Month in and month out, our “on time” and “as scheduled” scores are in the high 80 percentages. We understand those numbers are comparable to Atlanta’s.

      And I fully understand that when it’s YOUR flight that is delayed or cancelled, it feels pervasive!

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