Lost in Airports: Can’t You Read the Signs?


I like writing posts detailing my stupidity as a traveler. I especially enjoy the critiques that come after revealing my shortcomings. Here’s another one for your amusement.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

I have issues with reading signs at airports. For example, in Minneapolis, I can’t find the other Delta Sky Club. I see the sign that says proceed straight and then somewhere between that sign and the club, I lose the scent. Where is the sign that says, “Arrived! Sky Club on the right”? I had a similar issue at SJU trying to find the other Priority Pass Lounge, but that was primarily due to bad directions in the app. Poorly posted placards are only partially to blame. The other issue is the meaning of the arrows. Here’s an easy one:

I’m on the ground floor and I understand that an exit means go outside. The arrow pointing down doesn’t mean go downstairs. But what do these arrows mean?
Does the Mcdonald’s sign say turn around and it’s behind me? Or does that sign say go downstairs? Or does the sign say make a u-turn and then go downstairs. Mind you, right next to me was an escalator.

Depending on the airport, sometimes my first instinct is correct. Sometimes I have to see what’s before door #3 before I get to where I need to be. This doesn’t improve my sign reading aptitude for the long-term as I still don’t know, looking at the sign now, where McDonald’s is.

Am I the lone idiot?




  1. Agreed. I too have wondered if they mean go downstairs, or turn around. Or if they used a stairs icon with a down arrow pointing down the stairs for “go downstairs”, and a u-turn like arrow for “turn around fool, you’ve passed by it”. Alas different cultures and places around the world see things differently, so, we will have to keep fumbling around (especially when jet lagged).

Leave a Reply