SLC Knows It’s Got a Problem. They’re Fixing It & Using Humor

by SharonKurheg

Salt Lake City International Airport is a joint military/public airport located about 4 miles west of Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States. Opened in 1911, it’s currently the closest commercial airport for more than 2.5 million people and is within a 30-minute drive of nearly 1.3 million jobs. The airport serves as a hub for Delta Air Lines and is a major gateway to the Intermountain West and West Coast. The airport sees 343 scheduled nonstop airline departures daily to 93 cities in North America and Europe. (thanks, Wikipedia!)

With all the growth in the area, SLC has been doing some major heavy duty expansion since 2014. With it, the airport’s Terminal B has turned into something of a marathon, rather than just a walk to your gate. In fact, the walk to the furthest B-Gate is 3,350 feet, which is roughly 0.64 miles. That’s…a lot. And that sign for B Gates does little more than taunt people, because they know what’s coming next.

a yellow sign with black textSLC is well aware of its problem with length and has plans to remediate it later this year with a tunnel that will cut about 1,000 feet off the trek. But until then, airport authorities have been poking fun at itself with spunky signs plastered to the wall along the way.

“Doctors recommend 10,000 steps per day,” one sign says. “We’re just looking out for your health. New Central Tunnel arriving in 2024.”

“Let’s call it cross-training for ski season,” read another sign.

a group of people standing in a hallway

PC: Reddit / rSLC

The Salt Lake Tribute decided to have their own fun and asked readers to send in their own cheeky suggestions for signs. They gave some fun examples like these:

  • You should have flown Delta. (Delta isn’t at Terminal B)
  • Hey, Brigham Young trekked farther.
  • Yes, it’s a long walk. Go ahead and get that second cup of fry sauce.

After a week or so, the newspaper did a follow up with their responses’ suggestions. These were some of the best:

  • Don’t bother. The complaint box is already full.
  • When we say “walk the walk,” we really mean it.
  • Today is “leg day.”
  • The guy who designed this never had to use it.
  • Salt Lake City — weeding out the wimps since 1847.
  • Try walking a mile in my shoes – and then bring them back to the TSA checkpoint.
  • Don’t worry — there’s a restroom at the end of this journey — unless you’re trans, then you’ll have to wait until you land in another state.
  • Don’t complain, it’s the flattest walk in all of Utah.

As someone who has their own mega walk to the end of MCO’s new(ish) Terminal C nowadays, my fingers are crossed for you, SLC.

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WalkLeftStandRight March 18, 2024 - 12:46 pm

Compounding the problem is they failed in the redesign by making the people movers too narrow. Americans are ignorant of the “walk left, stand right” concept so you have to make them like DTW….extra wide…. so passing can be performed easily.

BCF March 18, 2024 - 9:02 pm

I always figured the concessions in A bribed the airport planners so that you had to walk past most of their stores and restaurants.

Jane March 19, 2024 - 8:24 pm

I really don’t see the humor when you see, elderly or infirm people struggling to make the walk. Even with the new tunnel it is asking way too much and shows your design. I will say the airport is better about transporting people. Does the hallway for the cards is not wide enough to accommodate all the people and the cards. Rather than making jokes, why don’t we come up with solutions?

Tom Larson March 20, 2024 - 11:41 pm

The new tunnel will only decrease the steps to a few gates. If you depart out of B2-15 or so the walk won’t change. The scenery might but the steps won’t!

This airport sucks March 23, 2024 - 4:28 pm

It is a serious problem for people with disabilities and making fun of the mess they made of a once functional airport is insensitive and absolutely inappropriate. Billions of taxpayer dollars were spent giving the traveling public a worse facility. Several people should be fired for the debacle that they made of this airport. So many design flaws not just the long walk.


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