Patrick Smith has a different opinion about JetBlue's new Terminal 5 than mine. I do agree with most of what he said, although I kind of like the retail in airports especially the more interesting shops like Muji To Go that we don't have here in Vienna. I did not find the terminal crowded, but as I mentioned in my blog post, I traveled at a non-busy time.
Smith asks why we can't build better airports. I think we simply don't spend the same amount of money on these projects as other countries. In the USA the airlines need to partially pay for the airports through their landing fees and they (especially now) really pinch pennies.
The Zurich airport is operated by a private company called Unique. They purchased the airport from the city several years ago. I find that airport very nice, however the Swiss seem to have a very high quality of building (everything) that is not so often seen in the USA. They use quality materials everywhere and these materials last.
Anyway, Smith is right, it's too bad our airports can't be more like the grand train stations of the past. The NY Times had a great article by Simon Winchester called Cathedrals of the Iron Horse, Awesome Again that captured some of the glory in these stations.