Airport #90/100: Pittsburgh (PIT)

Photo of PIT central core

Pittsburgh International Airport
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

First visit: 24 June 2019

Pittsburgh is about a four hour drive from my home near Dayton, which means that it’s in what I call the doughnut zone – airports which are too far to fly from, but too close to fly to as a destination. The only airports I have in that zone tend to be hubs that I connect through, and Pittsburgh is not a hub for any airline I routinely fly, so I’ve never had a chance to connect through there.

Great Circle Mapper map showing airports within a 120 and 270 mile radius ring around DAY. DAY and PIT are highlighted.
The only airports I’d been to in the doughnut zone were hubs when I went through them – Chicago O’Hare (American/United), Chicago Midway (Southwest), Detroit (Delta), and Cleveland (former United). PIT is my first non-hub in the doughnut zone.
Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Back in 2014, I almost had a chance to visit PIT; we were traveling home from Boston through Newark to Dayton, but the Newark to Dayton flight was cancelled and there wasn’t another flight to Dayton that day. There was a flight to Pittsburgh and we switched to it at first, intending to rent a car to get home from there. Ultimately, though, we changed to a flight the next morning and spent the night near the airport.

Ever since then, I’ve been hoping for a chance to visit PIT, and I eventually got it earlier this week.

I was booked on a Dayton – Chicago O’Hare – Denver route on United, but my first flight was delayed enough to miss my connection, and the airline didn’t have any more seats available on any other Chicago – Denver flights that day, so they sent me from Chicago to Pittsburgh to connect to a Denver-bound flight from there.

My ultimate flight route, from DAY to ORD to PIT to DEN.

It was certainly an odd routing; after two flights, I was further from Denver than when I started. But I was finally able to add PIT to my list as my 90th airport visited.

Airport #89/100: Fayetteville (FAY)

Fayetteville Regional Airport
Fayetteville, North Carolina, United States

First visit: 11 June 2019

For the most part, the small airports that I’ve been to tend to feel old – understandably so, since less passenger traffic means less need for (and money for) frequent renovations.

FAY fell squarely in that camp. As I stepped off the plane, I was immediately inside a rusty jet bridge painted 1970s orange, and the terminal felt similarly dated. Fortunately, it appears that the airport is getting some upgrades, so the appearance may improve in the near future.

That said, like most small airports, it was functional and easy to get in and out of. I certainly wouldn’t have any problems with flying through FAY again.