Vienna Airport Experience

7 03 2010

Photo By Ahmad Alfahad

I went through Vienna’s airport recently a couple of times.  The last time I’ve been to Austria was probably like 15 years ago.  I don’t remember how the airport was back then, but it sure seems like it didn’t change much.  For a major airport in the center of europe I was expecting something better than what I saw.  There’s a lot of construction happening around the airport, so at least they are trying to make some improvements.  Parking doesn’t seem adequate and the terminal I went through (terminal 2 IIRC) is a joke on all levels.  The check in counters are not well organized and the lines not well placed.  It seems that there was always passengers standing in lines blocking your way where ever you wanted to go.  This made the terminal check in area seem small compared to the number of passengers.  In the check in area, seating was virtually none exsistant.  You’d have to go to the food court on the upper level to sit down on a decent chair.  I was flying out on british airways Club Europe, so lucky the line was free and their staff were friendly.  I couldn’t say the same about the staff of passport control nor the business lounge in the terminal, they were terrible.  In today’s airports it seems that the security check staff single role is to be terrible to passengers, I’d have to say they did a mighty fine job.  I don’t understand why words like please, madam and sir are out of their dictionary.  The way they instruct passengers are on par with a first sergeant drilling his cadets.

Now boarding the plane was a complete different story.  To my surprise, there were enough cold steel benches around the gate for passengers to rest after their brutal restless journey through the unfriendly airport.  After presenting your boarding pass to the staff, you gaze down upon a narrow concrete set of long stairs that they probably recycled from an old prison.  After enjoying the aroma of cold concrete, passengers were herded into an already cramped single bus.  The bus driver was actually a good driver and surprisingly didn’t play the game of sudden brakes to see how many passengers are startled or better yet fell down.

Now I am not comparing it to say London Heathrow Airport, which has it’s own set of problems. I am actually comparing it to Kuwait’s airport which is frequently bashed for the level of service they provide.   The only good thing about Vienna’s airport is that it gave me a new sense of appreciation for Kuwait’s Airport.

Thank you Vienna Airport for giving me that 🙂

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