Texas airports have certain defining characteristics. DFW covers an area of 29.8 square miles, larger than the island of Manhattan. San Antonio sends more passengers to Mexico City each year than it sends to any U.S. city except Dallas, Houston, or Atlanta. Austin is arrayed with local restaurants in lieu of the usual McDonald’s and Pizza Hut locations. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, meanwhile, is known for people driving carts at high speeds through the airport’s walkways, bellowing “Cart! Excuse the cart!” at pedestrians, giving them a brief window to dive out of the way of the electric vehicle.
So if you had to pick a Texas airport where it would be less helpful to encourage people to stare at their phones more than they already do, IAH might be at the top of the list. But both of Houston’s airports—both the very comfortable Houston Hobby and the rather more bustling Bush—are both offering turn-by-turn navigation for getting people to and from their internal airport destinations. Is the sign reading “baggage claim” not clear enough for you? Worry not, traveler, you can now gaze at a map that will tell you when to hook a left and get there just in time. The directions can be obtained without downloading an app via Fly2Houston.com.
Of course, there are things that having interactive, searchable maps would make easier. Say, for instance, you want to pick up the latest issue of Texas Monthly for your flight—now you can search for the Texas Monthly News shop within the app and be conveniently guided to a storefront. Hungry, but only for a Cinnabon? We can see the utility of an app that will guide you to Terminal E, the airport’s only location of the confectioner.
Still, the implementation of turn-by-turn technology could lead to unintentional consequences. In the case of IAH, that might mean more shouting between cart drivers and the travelers desperately looking for Pappasito’s. Who has time for that?