New Salt Lake City, UT Airport Design Receives Social Media Backlash from Frustrated Travelers

Martin Kuprianowicz |
The security line at the Salt Lake International Airport on October 5, 2017. | Steve Griffin, Salt Lake Tribune file photo

Everyone was stoked for the redesign of Salt Lake City’s international airport, which was supposed to cater to traveling skiers and make the overall airport experience better.

But then the project completed some big milestones, the holiday season hit, and its new design began revealing potential flaws, which have since caused frustrated travelers to decry the new airport all over social media. 

Salt Lake City International Airport. Photo credit: Business Insider

According to Fox13 News Salt Lake City, over the holiday’s tweets at @slcairport suggested passengers did not like its new design.

“@slcairport new airport is probably the worst experience I have ever had,” wrote Twitter user Christian Rovsek. “And the airport is new! Wow.”


“Poor design with long walks to and from gates, not adequate signage or shuttle,” wrote user SAIC. “Witnessed an individual fall down a non-working escalator last night.”

…or even… 

“The new @slcairport is terrible,” Twitter user Zach French wrote.

According to these tweets, the Salt Lake City airport has become harder to navigate and has increased the time it takes to get from the gate to the baggage claim area after completing its so-called “improvements.”

The new design was of the Salt Lake City International Airport has increased the number of flights the airport can handle. | Photo courtesy Airport World

The airport has addressed these complaints, and Nancy Volmer, Salt Lake City International Airport spokesperson, told Fox 13 News that “we’ve been getting feedback from our passengers that the distance is longer than they expect.” 

According to Volmer, the new airport has been enlarged to accommodate more flights, which has thus increased travel time inside the terminals. According to her, the old airport wouldn’t handle the same number of flights that the new one is handling now.

The entire projection’s completion is estimated for 2024 and could change the face of the Salt Lake City International Airport entirely.

So does more airport equal more problems? Many inside the social media sphere seem to think so.

When traveling to the new SLC airport, you may want to download the SLC airport app, which includes a map and walking distance times to help travelers navigate to their gates and know how much time it’ll take to get there.

Travel safe and travel smart this winter, shredders. 

Photo credit: Loveski

Related Articles

4 thoughts on “New Salt Lake City, UT Airport Design Receives Social Media Backlash from Frustrated Travelers

  1. The article needs to issue a correction, as the project is not finished. The second phase is scheduled for completion in 2024, though the first phase is completed.

    Travellers’ complaints can be categorized in 2 areas: growing pains to a generally larger airport, and issues with the phasing of the airport. With a larger airport designed to accommodate more gates and more efficient movement of airplanes in and out of gates, people are bound to have issues with longer walks, but SLC is growing and this is just something that happens with big city airports.

    Now, most of the issues are stemming from the phasing of this project. The train/tunnel from Concourse A to Concourse B, half of Concourse A and half of Concourse B are not completed. Travel to the completed portion of Concourse B is long (longer, it seems, than the walk to the end of Concourse C in the old airport), as travellers’ have to walk nearly the entirety of Concourse A to the tunnel to Concourse B. In the future, the train/central tunnel should offer much more direct routing to B Gates.

    There will be more growing pains. Originally, the airport was going to use the existing concourses from the old airport, while Concourse B was to be conducted. Due to the decreased air travel from covid-19, the airport was able to adjust the phasing to open a section of Concourse B early and start demolition of the old airport at an earlier date. Concourse B is expandable by using stacking gates at the end, and using a walkways system to busses that await passengers and bring them to the planes, parked away from the Concourse on the ramp. This is a decent inconvenience to travellers’ and one aspect of the phasing/construction of the project that will get worse until the opening of new gates. So, the problems will continue. They will get worse. The airport will feel very crowded (especially as air travel increases), but it is a resort of the phasing and not the final design. We will have to wait until 2024 for the real reviews of the new airport.

  2. I just flew from SLC on Monday, the new screening mechanism is interesting it allows multiple people to get their stuff into bins. It was concerning that you and your bag don’t scan as close together as before. I could see this creating recovery issues. Plus there is not an adequate recombobulation area. I think the new airport terminal was very nice. Why do the gates seem to always descend? Putting the lowest numbered gate at the end of the terminal? Check in line was LONG (glad I was 2 hours early), but Delta staff processed people quickly and efficiently. Clearer signage would be appreciated. Not sure if there was a line for bag drop only, couldn’t see any signage to that effect. All in all, I had a good experience. We will see if my return on Saturday changes my opinion.

Got an opinion? Let us know...