Not all airports have club lounges, smoking sections, endless security lines and carts that nearly mow you down when you’re walking from gate to gate (IAH, I’m looking at you). My favorite airport, on my adopted island home of Guanaja, has none of those things. In fact, when I first began visiting, it only had an airstrip and a hut with benches and a bar. Occasionally, soccer games had to be cleared off the runway for planes to land.
It’s said that when former President Maduro came to Guanaja early in his administration, he was appalled at the airport bathroom—empty space behind a Boats for Sale sign. He then pushed to have a building constructed at the airport for restrooms and a small waiting area. Half of the times I visited, those restrooms were closed.
A fancy new structure now functions as the Guanaja airport terminal. It’s got high ceilings with fans, plenty of seating, restrooms, a bar and a large dock. While it’s certainly a step up from previous structures, I miss waiting for my plane at the old building, once referred to as “Terminal B.” Ah, the old days: getting the latest island gossip, sipping a Salva Vida and slapping the sand flies away.
One of my favorite things about GJA, however, hasn’t changed at all. There is one gate, so it’s very likely that if you have a ticket, that plane in front of you is yours. No running across the terminal for a last minute gate change. If the plane on the airstrip isn’t your flight, yours is the next one. Period. With all the complications in the airline industry, the simplicity here is refreshing.
I have plenty of complaints about air service in Honduras—but I’ll save them for another post.