Visual Controls at DFW Airport

Allow me to set the scene.

It’s been a long week on the road… your flight home was delayed 2 hours and you miss your significant other and children more than words can explain.  Finally, after what feels like an eternity you land. Your home.  Well, almost.

Get to the car

After finally getting off the plane you collect your bags.  Now all you have to do is get to your car and head home.

There is just one small issue.  You can’t find the piece of paper that contains your parking location.  No worries… you’re pretty sure you remember where you parked so you head that way.

With sweat dripping down your back and arms tired of dragging your bags you finally find it – 49 minutes later.

Visuals at DFW Airport

Over the years I’ve traveled a lot (100,000+ miles in 2008) so have dealt with issues like this.  And while I’ve definitely come up with my own techniques to avoid situations like this… some airports are doing their best to help us travelers.

Case in point – DFW airport (my home airport).  The picture shown here (click to enlarge) was taken from the parking garage in Terminal D.  As you can see there are some excellent visual controls in place.

For example, I was parked on the “yellow sunflower” level or whatever it is.  If I forget the actual number chances are I won’t forget the yellow sunflower.  Additionally, they offer a piece of paper you can take with you to write your exact location on.

What about you?

What do you think of these visual controls?  Do you feel they are good, bad, or so so?  And when you travel what methods do you use to keep track of where you parked?

Me, I use a combination of analog (write parking location on paper) and electronic (note location on memo pad of my Crackberry).  What about you?

5 Comments

  1. Claudio

    May 5, 2009 - 7:04 am

    I use the camera of my mobile telephone to take a picture of the point where I parked ….

  2. Marcelo

    May 5, 2009 - 7:20 am

    I use my mobile to take note of it. Here the columns are divided by letters and numbers (D1, C2…). So I try to transform this into easy things to remember, when I dont have my mobile with me, like.. D1 is the Drift Championship in Japan.. C4.. the explosive thing.
    “Where I parked my car? Oh yes… the bomb!!”
    Just like that! =)

  3. Adam Zak

    May 5, 2009 - 8:27 am

    I practically live at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Some days I barely know what day it actually is, much less where I parked that morning. So my solution is to always park within sight of one of the supporting beams, each of which has a location designator on it (B 15, for example – floor and row). Then I snap a picture of the beam with my BlackBerry. Never been lost yet. Adam Zak http://twitter.com/Leanthinker

  4. Bill

    May 5, 2009 - 11:56 am

    Here in Austin, I park at the Airport Fast Park facility. When you are picked up by the shuttle, the operator hands you a bright lime piece of paper with your parking location written on it. When you arrive back to the airport for the return home, you can wave the piece of paper so the driver will see you. This is handy when you are just exiting the airport and the driver is about to leave. Dallas has a Airport Fast Park facility.

  5. Vladimir Dzalbo

    May 6, 2009 - 5:39 am

    Now I will be the most non-lean person around and will act as a pure technologist. I just love the Parking system in London Heathrow Airport.. You just have to type your car plate number and it will give all the information (including 3D visualization)

    I know, that’s too expensive solution and so on, so on…. But still I just love it 😀