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West Michigan Diary: A tale of two airports

I’ve flown into or through about 50 airports over the years, including the one in ultra-chic Aspen, Colorado. But I don’t think I have seen a terminal as beautiful as that possessed by the Cherry Capital Airport, in Traverse City.

It helps that I’m a sucker for the design schools used in the building, but still, I’m impressed. Stained glass windows abound.

Window 2 HDR

Need to talk with a ticket agent or gate agent? Step up to a granite (faux or not, I don’t know) counter.

Gates-United HDR

On a cold winter’s day, arrive early and stop by a waiting room that looks like it ought to appear in a resort lodge.

Fireplace 2 HDR

Oh yeah. Resort. Traverse City does have a resort reputation to live up to. The airport does it proud. It’s also got a clever address: 727 Fly Don’t Drive, Traverse City. Unfortunately, the TSA still still grope you there, too.

I’ve also flown into and out of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, in Grand Rapids, more times than I can count. But I’ve never taken any photos of it. Why not? Because there’s nothing unusual about it. Don’t get me wrong; I like the airport well enough. Michigan’s second-largest airport is still small, so even the furthest gate is a short walk from the TSA cattle call. But true to the stereotype of Grand Rapids’ Calvinist earnestness, GRR is functional, not pleasant. It has all the charm of the lunchroom in a moderately prosperous manufacturing firm.

But back to Traverse City. I’d invite anyone with the relevant knowledge to review the financial report of the Cherry Capital Airport and comment on how it compares with other small airports.