How do you tend to refer to an airport?

The day I learned that I travel too much is the day I started referring to cities by their airports codes. No, seriously.

2015-07-08 10.19.09

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In traveling, I’ve seen airports and cities referred to various things, and it made me wonder how these things “stick.”

Some of us call airports by their proper city names. For example, I don’t think there’s really a shortened version of Philadelphia. You’re going to, well, Philadelphia. Then, there are the airports that are referred to by their airport codes, always. JFK and LAX for example. Others are referred to by the person or thing they’re named after, and still others seem to take on their own personality with a different way of saying it.

It’s kind of fascinating when you think about it.

  • Washington National Reagan airport outside of DC seems to be referred to as “National,” “Reagan” or “DCA” depending on who you’re talking to.
  • Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport seems to be referred to as “Sky Harbor.” You don’t seem to hear Phoenix or PHX.
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth? It’s always “DFW.”
  • San Fransisco is either “San Fran” or “SFO.”
  • Traveling to Los Angeles? No, you’re traveling to LAX.
  • Chicago? It’s either O’Hare or Midway. Never will you hear ORD…
  • Washington’s Dulles airport always seems to be just “Dulles.” No IAD. No DC.
  • La Guardia seems to be just that, La Guardia. “LGA” doesn’t seem to be the common term. Over at JFK, it’s JFK, unless you’re over the age of 50, and then it seems to be “Kennedy.”
  • Newark? Yeah, it’s just Newark. Newark isn’t New York…
  • You’re not going to  London. You’re going to Heathrow.
  • Paris? Charles de Gaulle. You don’t hear people say “CDG”
  • Headed to Amsterdam? Many will recognize it by just “Schipol.”
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Heck, I know if I lived in Dallas, and someone asked me where I’m from, I’d surely reply that I was from DFW…

Ever notice this? Have any more to add to the list? Just a quick musing on this Friday…

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  1. reese325 says

    Atlanta is always referred to as “Hartsfield”, although the local civil rights people are insisting that “Hartsfield Jackson” be said instead.

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