Ranking the airports on my recent trip

Seven airports this time. I rank them as follows:

  1. Stockholm Arlanda
  2. Munich
  3. Kuala Lumpur
  4. Delhi
  5. Bangkok
  6. Frankfurt
  7.  last by a long way Madras (Chennai)

Stockholm Arlanda had fairly efficient, courteous and hassle-free security checks. The enforced walk through the shops is irritating. Quick check-in this time and the distances to be covered by my poor knees were not that great.

I like Munich airport even if arriving from a non-Schengen destination can be a real pain. This time I was arriving from a Schengen port (no security check needed) and departing to a non-Schengen port which was fine. Distances were not unreasonably long and the walkways were all working.

The airport at Kuala Lumpur is well laid out and clean and impressive. But Malaysian airline staff were far too laid back (my euphemism for “lazy”) and uninterested. Some long distances to cover though – with no walk-ways in sections.  Immigration was fairly efficient. I was not searched by customs but those who were seemed to be being hassled unnecessarily.

The new Delhi airport is modern and clean and generally well laid out. The distances to be walked are excessive and the walk-ways coverage is not well planned. The carpeting (cheap and already going tatty) is not helpful for rolling baggage along. Passport control was unremarkable and baggage arrived fast. Security checks – as with other Indian airports – are slow but not inordinately so.

Bangkok has deteriorated from when it was built. Distances to cover are enormous (especially if having to transfer from one wing to the other). Security checks were slow, the lay-out was labyrinthine and the staff very smart but inefficient. I was not very impressed this time either by the airport or by the staff. Thai Airlines staff – on the other hand – are very efficient and courteous.

Frankfurt has become a pain. It is just too big. The train between terminals has remarkably bad coverage. Passport control is slow because there are never enough counters for the number of passengers involved. The security staff at Frankfurt are particularly arrogant and officious and petty (even with a 3 year old child). They are also very slow. The charm-schools they went to just don’t work. The distances to be walked have grown to become quite painful. Changing terminals is not fun.

The new Chennai airport was pathetic. Entering the terminal is chaotic and badly sign-posted. Construction is not yet complete  and where it is, bits are falling off. Airport staff are not well trained and don’t seem to know what they are doing. Toilets were unclean and smelly. Passport control was OK and the security checks were again slow but otherwise unremarkable. The gates are badly designed and have no space for departing passengers . Stores are charmless and chaotic. It has been designed to be all chrome and glass and to look pretty but lacks all the substance needed for a modern international airport. The quality of the construction leaves much to be desired. (somebody has made a lot of money by using sub-standard fixtures, fittings and materials).


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One Response to “Ranking the airports on my recent trip”

  1. benbrilliant Says:

    Reblogged this on benbrilliant.

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