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sep 27

Favorite airport?!

The very phrase seems ridiculous, doesn't it? But I just went to Hampton, Va., for the day, and I flew in and out of Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. And I loved it! I spend too much time in big, annoying airports (JFK, LAX, ATL, ETC) and they're a drag. But smaller ones can be such a joy. In a moment, I'll explain why I liked Newport News (airport code: PHF) so much, and which other ones have tickled me. But if you have any favorites, please say so in the comments! I'm not sure I'd go someplace simply because the airport was small and easy, but it sure wouldn't hurt.

First, PHF was a treat because I didn't have to walk a mile to my gate, or wait in any lines. I was feeling it so much I even bought a "Virginia is for lovers" T-shirt at the airport store--the first time in ages that I bought something at an airport besides M&Ms;, water, or coffee (or an Auntie Anne's pretzel dog, for which I have a profound weakness). After passing through security, I liked the airport even more. First, there's an odd nook inside a brick column (which also holds the elevator); I thought it was a makeshift chapel, because there was a bench inside, but then I saw that the bench faced a photo mural of a tropical sunset! There was nothing in the nook but the bench and the mural! My very favorite moment, however, was when I asked the young woman in the coffee kiosk if the cookies were any good. "Mmm hmmm," she said. "Just out of the freezer." And I think she meant it!

As for other airports I've loved: Long Beach, Calif.; Lihue, Kauai (but it was years ago and may have changed); Rapid City, S.D. One thing Long Beach and Rapid City have in common is that the car rental agencies (Hertz, anyway) are right on the premises. No shuttles. It's a shame that can't happen more often.

More by Erik Torkells: Why I Love New York

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Federal Law on Airplane Movies?!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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