British Airways Crew Picks PIT Among Favorite Airports

New terminal will depict the beauty of the region, a city on the rise

By gmastrangelo

Published May 6, 2024

Read Time: 3 mins


From championing their record-breaking sports teams to promising that fries do belong on salads, Pittsburgh pride runs rampant in the Steel City, but recent news proves that love for the city (and its airport) extends beyond its three rivers – even reaching across the pond.

British Airways cabin crews recently named Pittsburgh International Airport one of their favorite airports in the world. The Daily Express released its list in their March issue, where PIT was recognized alongside Changi Airport and Kempegowda, Vancouver, Denver and Tampa International Airports.

“We really like Pittsburgh passengers,” said Diána Galambos, a BA flight attendant of almost six years. “When we see Pittsburgh on our roster, we kind of expect that it’s going to be an easy flight because passengers are nice, friendly and polite.”

Flight attendants for BA have seen their fair share of PIT since the airline started flying nonstop to Pittsburgh in 2019. Flights were suspended during the pandemic and then resumed in 2022, but now the crew can expect to visit Pittsburgh even more. British Airways recently increased service from four days a week to six at PIT.

The BA crew cited Arch, PIT’s gargantuan yellow statue on the airport’s ticketing level, as one of their favorite parts of the airport. Created by artist Glenn Kaino, the statue is made to look like steel but was constructed with wood, metal and paint and composed of models of some of Pittsburgh’s most famous bridges.

Given Pittsburgh’s moniker as “the City of Bridges,” Arch fits in at the airport. Galambos says her team feels welcomed in the city as soon as they spot Arch.

“I like the airports that reflect the characteristics of the city,” she said. “I really like when you land, and you have the first impression of the city.”

A British Airways 787-8 Dreamliner at PIT and the Pittsburgh skyline on Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

A city on the rise

While PIT inches closer to opening its brand-new terminal in 2025, the city mimics its progress. Pittsburgh is a city on the rise – and not just because it’s known for its hills and inclines.

National Geographic’s Here Not There by Andrew Nelson presents 100 alternatives to popular travel destinations, and Pittsburgh is one of those 100.

Nelson compares Pittsburgh to San Francisco, recommending travelers trade the latter for the former next time they plan a vacation.

Pittsburgh shares San Francisco’s hilly landscapes and booming tech sector. Nelson’s book entry highlights Pittsburgh’s growth over the past century – emerging as a blue-collar steel city and blossoming into what VisitPittsburgh calls a “green, forward-thinking technology hub.”

“For those that haven’t been, Pittsburgh is a revelation,” Nelson writes. “Like San Francisco, it’s a mix of forward-thinking technology sectors mixed with some of the most historic and community-minded 19th Century neighborhoods found anywhere. And, of course, hills.”

Building the future of travel

PIT’s $1.57 billion terminal is designed to reflect the beauty of the region.

A connector tunnel that opens up to the airside terminal – much like the city’s Fort Pitt Bridge brings motorists downtown – will replace the expensive tram travelers currently use to get between terminals. The terminal also includes of plenty of glass, inviting the natural beauty of Western Pennsylvania inside.

As a frequent PIT passenger, Galambos can’t wait to experience the new Pittsburgh International Airport.

“It’s very exciting. It’s always exciting,” she said. “It’s exciting to see something new, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new inventions and the new characteristics that the airport will provide us travelers.”

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