The lonely escalator travels upward


During a recent trip to the airport, I came across a rather infuriating escalator situation. There was a single escalator located next to a steep staircase, but it was programmed to move downward. In other words, everyone had to carry their bags by hand up the stairs, which can be a real pain even for people who are in pretty good shape.

From what I can tell, the designers got it backwards. It’s obviously a lot harder to walk up a staircase than to walk down the same staircase — especially when you’re carrying luggage. So if there’s only one escalator in place, it should be programmed to travel upwards. While having escalators moving in both directions is always preferable, this approach should provide the greatest benefit in situations where there’s only one escalator available.