One of the nicest airports I have dealt with is the Albany International Airport. Located just outside the city proper, it is a medium-sized airport that provides many connections to major hubs like O’Hare International in Chicago, as well as Toronto and Philadelphia. My flight to Chicago was on a United flight, and I found getting to the airport easy, and the staff helpful. I’ve heard people say that they have had a terrible time flying, but my experience with the airport was very pleasant.
The airport is conveniently located off of Interstate 87, just north of Albany on the Wolf Road exit. Once on Wolf Road, turn onto Albany-Shaker Road. I found parking to be plentiful and convenient. Both outdoor and indoor parking available for long term usage. When I called the airport ahead of time to verify parking, they assured me that most times the indoor parking has some room. I parked my car for a Thursday flight in May and found this to be true. I was able to self-park my car in the indoor lot with no hassle at all. The difference in pricing between indoor and outdoor parking amounted to fifty dollars for eight days of parking. I was charged a weekly price plus one day to get the total cost. The price difference for me was worth it. When I returned from my trip, the car was in great shape.
All staff I encountered, including the TSA, were friendly and informative. People were relaxed enough to take time to answer questions, give directions, and even throw in a warm smile or two. I arrived an hour and a half before my flight, and there was no delay or problems with my flight. The airport itself is relatively small; I found my gate quickly after passing through security. Once situated, there were comfortable seats in the waiting area, and I was able to feel relaxed while I waited.
Concession stands were also open and available. Even though I was up since four in the morning to meet the flight, I wanted to avoid caffeine so I could sleep on my second flight out of Chicago. But I wanted something to tide me over. A small restaurant run by a one man show sold, in addition to the coffee I was so desperate to avoid, fruit, bagels, decaffeinated beverages, and breakfast sandwiches. I survived temptation, ordering juice and fruit. The proprietor wished me a nice day.
There are other amenities that I didn’t take advantage of. I’ve heard that there is a massaging chair somewhere in the airport, but didn’t have the pleasure to run into it. Wolf Road is abundant in restaurants and hotels. Many of the hotels offer shuttle service to the airport for those who want to skip the car rental.
Overall, my experience at Albany Airport was a pleasant one. I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs to travel to western Massachusetts or central New York.