Get us in your inbox

Bob Hope Airport.
Photograph: Angelo DeSantis/FlickrBob Hope Airport.

A love letter to Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

Dear Bob,

Let’s put aside all of the typical holiday travel hysteria. I want to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate you—and I mean in a way that I thought I could never feel about an airport. Are you even a real airport? You always struck me as a carpeted small town bus stop that happens to accommodate planes. But that’s exactly why I love you.

You’ve never experienced air travel yourself, so let me summarize: it’s terrible. The wonder of throttling through the stratosphere in an aluminum tube is quickly worn down by the traffic, lines and poke-and-prod security screenings that plague airports. But you—I can stroll up to your charmingly stumpy terminal less than an hour before my flight and never break a sweat. You’re so casual, you don’t even use jetways. No, you’re old school California cool, a time warp where you can still get onto a plane directly from a tarmac surrounded by mountains and palm trees. There are only 14 gates split between your two terminals; unless double parking planes becomes a thing, you just can’t become overcrowded.

I know you’re going through a bit of an identity crisis right now. Where’s Burbank? Who’s Bob Hope? He's—he's dead, right? Apparently, enough people are beginning to ask these questions to make you consider changing your name back to Hollywood-Burbank Airport. Plus, you’re flying fewer departures—I’m a bit miffed that my go-to 7am JetBlue is gone—and passenger boardings are down.

The thing is, I like you because you have under two million passengers every year—a comfortable 30 million fewer than LAX. You offer an oddly compelling reason to pay more for a flight, just to avoid the stress of LAX. And the trip to get to you? No “shortcuts” through oil fields needed. Sure, the trip to the Valley can admittedly be a grind on the 5, but it’s nothing compared to the horseshoe-shaped automotive hell that awaits at LAX. You’re better than LAX in almost every way. And, if we can get intimate for a moment: you’re OK with rear boarding.

Many thanks,


RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to Burbank

You may also like
You may also like