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JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT : Terminal Conditions : Frequent Flyers Bid Good Riddance to the Old Airport

September 04, 1990

"We sometimes meet visitors coming into Orange County from other countries--guests of the United States government. These people hear such wonderful things about our area with its high-tech industries and its tourism, and then they come to this airport."

Pat Ware

Orange County Office of Protocol

Santa Ana

"Several years ago, we were required to convert our restrooms for handicapped use. The contractor botched it so badly that we had to put a trailer out front with portable restrooms. It was so strange; someone would come up to ask where the restrooms were, and you'd point to the curb. People would look at you like, 'You've got to be kidding!' "

Curtis Porter

Airport Operations Supervisor

John Wayne Airport

"There was a Wall Street Journal dispenser that for about a year always gave you back more money than you put in. I'd put in 50 cents and get back 75 cents. It was one way to make a quick buck in the stock market."

Gene Garofalo

Brother International


"(Dispatching cabs at the airport is) not a boring job. I wish I got a nickel for every time someone asked me where to take their rental car or where to park. (People) act like I'm the one (responsible for the inconveniences). One cab driver put up a sign: "Don't ask stupid parking questions here.' "

Tony Giannicchi

Cab Starter

John Wayne Airport

"It's a very small airport for the size of the commercial aircraft going in and out. Right now, it's ridiculous, because virtually every airline (there) is running as a cattle car airline."

Richard Nichols

Chemical and

Environmental Engineer

Corona del Mar

"Departure boards were very confusing. I was flying to Albuquerque through Las Vegas and Phoenix. On the departure board they showed Las Vegas and Phoenix as a flight, but they didn't show Albuquerque. When I asked when my flight was leaving, the attendant said it left ages ago. She had my ticket stub and didn't even tell me the plane was leaving. I had to wait for the next plane, and there were no lockers to store my luggage. And when I went to Delaney's, they weren't serving alcohol because they'd lost their liquor license or something."

Mary Homi

International Public Relations

Newport Beach

"This is hard to believe, but I've been flying out of there for 15 years and I've had no major problems. And I fly a lot. It's expensive, though. It costs about 30% more than (Los Angeles International Airport), and 15% more than Ontario."

Ronald J. Amen

ABIC International Consultants


"Goldenwest Airlines was famous for losing your baggage. They left me stranded in Atlantic City for four days without luggage. But they got you there on time."

William Benken

Walnut Pharmaceuticals


"It's nerve-racking to go up so straight and then hear the engines cut back. (And) it is sort of a step back in time, walking on the Tarmac."

Margot Ray

University of Washington, Seattle

Former Irvine resident

"It reminds me of a Third World airport."

Tom Silk

Steven-Thomas Antiques

Santa Ana

"There's a little bit less of that small-town friendliness than there was 10 or 12 years ago. But I prefer to fly from there, except that I have to change planes somewhere else."

Fredric Caporaso

Food Science and

Nutrition Department

Chapman College

"It's not very convenient for us. We travel with 45 or 50 people, depending on the time of year. Someone would have to give up a slot for us to take a charter in and out. We often fly in late at night, and there's a curfew at John Wayne. We can't get our buses onto the Tarmac, which we can at Ontario.

"We'd like to use John Wayne; it's a lot closer for us. Ontario is 45 minutes with no traffic, an hour and 10 minutes with traffic, but we save time by getting off the ground more quickly."

Frank Sims

Traveling Secretary

California Angels

"It's one of those abysmal experiences you get through as fast as you can."

Marla Bird

Volunteer for Human Services

and Arts organizations

Corona del Mar

"I parked my car in the parking garage and it got sprayed with paint from the construction. It cost me $500 to clean up. It looked like snow on it."

Kevin Gallagher



"This is the first and last time I will ever fly out of a used Greyhound depot."

Bob Clifford

then-president of AirCal

on an airport comment card

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