The stupid tax is $110 per person

According to the MSP Airport’s Web site, “In 2008, MSP served 34 million passengers.”*

So of those 34 million*, apparently 20,000 people get lost trying to find the right airport terminal every year.

This is apparently a very big deal, as the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s finance, development and environment committee voted this morning to spend $2.2 million to improve signs directing travelers to the two airport terminals.

That’s $1.2 million more than it was a month ago, and $2.2 million more than zero dollars.

Per my “free” alternative suggestions last month, when you purchase a ticket, it already tells you which terminal your flight leaves from. When you check-in or look up your flight online, it tells you which terminal your flight leaves from, too.

Given the economy, price of airline tickets and growing carrier fees — and the fact that 33,980,000* MSP visitors aren’t having trouble distinguishing between the airports — it sure seems like a better alternative to me. Expecting folks to pay attention is much cheaper than $2.2 million for 20,000 people.

* (note: I don’t expect all of those 34 million originated from driving into one of the two terminals, but it’s a good ballpark to work from)

4 Comments so far

  1. Aaron (s4xton) on July 8th, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

    Libertarians like yourself have this utopian vision that everyone is smart enough to think for themselves! ;-)

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this, nor can I determine if this is really "worth it" or not, but with any type of user experience, the less you force people to think, the better.

    To play to your side of the argument, now when people see they have a flight leaving from "G2" or "C2," they might "think" to go to Humphrey after the change. Ha ha.

  2. David (jacc) on July 8th, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    "but with any type of user experience, the less you force people to think, the better."

    There’s no question about that, but for 2.2 million dollars can’t we get a slicker interface than a sign?

    Now I’ll just average the cost over several years so the 2.2 will seems like typical gov’t waste.

  3. aliecat on July 9th, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    I heard that this isn’t being paid for with tax dollars, but from the fees collected from businesses and airlines in the airport…

  4. greg on July 10th, 2009 @ 8:49 am

    Yes, and since the airport and airlines are already so cheap and easy-going with their prices, luggage allotment and food freebies, I’m sure we won’t mind paying a little extra when they pass the cost onto customers.

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