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The New Bangalore International Airport

Posted by anandrr on June 2, 2008

First time at the fancy new Bangalore airport today. Got to admit, it is quite fancy. Easily the best airport I’ve been at in India. The bus service actually works. It was an ugly bus and rattly, but it was largely empty and Rs 80 to get to an airport 40 km away: great deal! Of course I completely overestimated how long it would take to get there at 5:30 am. Next time, I’ll sleep in a little more. The approach road was actually quite nice. 3-lane highway each way. Given what I’ve seen living on Airport Road, that should be plenty. Two dead dogs just on our side of the highway, apparently dogs love to cross the road to Hyderabad. One imagines that if they complete all the landscaping work that they seem to be doing these days the approach road will end up looking rather nice.

Inside, it’s lovely. It’s not large by any means, it is surprisingly smallish, I continue to be amazed at how much air traffic gets routed through tiny airports in India. There’s plenty of natural light coming in. Needless to say, the environmentalist in me is impressed. It’s all very ordered nothing like the bus stop atmosphere of the old airport. Plenty to eat and drink. And most impressive of all: Free WiFi! Weirdly you need to send an SMS and get an “Internet access password” that is valid for an hour before you can log on. The password is free, and you can go back for a new password when the old one expires. I’m thinking this SMS wrinkle exists only because the cops told BIAL that they wanted a log of every one who logs on and what they do, and what better way than to get the users’ telephone numbers via the SMS and associate those telephone numbers with IP addresses. Also, they only allow access to the web, so you have to use Meebo to do IM, forget about VPN access or my own favourite means of access: ssh! Plenty of security counters to get X-rayed at so there’s not an unholy queue as we used to have at the old airport in the mornings. And after you get into the waiting area, there are still plenty of eateries, coffee shops and other shopping opportunities. The other nice thing is that they don’t seem to have fallen into the trap that the guys who made the Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul (and I think Tokyo but I’m not sure) airports fell into, i.e. make an ugly airport. All of those airports have a uniformly ugly bulgy look at the gates, the Bangalore airport has more straight lines and looks more like Singapore.

Some things never change. My flight is already delayed, and God knows when it will actually leave. The announcements on the public address system continue to have the quality of being recited by people speaking through a beehive. I don’t get why they just don’t have specially picked announcers who do the announcements for all the airlines. Maintain some quality on the announcements. The toilets are abysmal. I went into a couple and walked straight out. I’d rather hold it all in and wait for the flight which is bound to have a better toilet. The toilets in the airport are about the quality of a street side toilet in India, down to the lack of toilet paper, and unfriendly janitor who tells you to stick it because you have the gall to demand that he replenish the toilet paper supplies. Also: no electric outlets in the waiting area. You drain your own juice if you want to work while you wait.

And midway through my typing this post, my wifi died. So much for that then.


22 Responses to “The New Bangalore International Airport”

  1. amizzu said

    hmm..complicated airport..good, but still there are any delay flights. ^ ^

  2. PS said

    May I nudge you to answer the question about the intriguingly named Blandings Media Empire? Or is your Lordship too preoccupied with his prize pig to reply? :-)

  3. anandrr said

    As Rupert Murdoch would happily explain: One publishing outlet is just that, 2 of them makes for some diversity, 3 of them makes an empire. We now have Ammupatti’s Thoughts, Kathai Kathaiyam Karanamam, and this very blog. And why Blandings? Let’s just say Tilbury.com was not available.

  4. PS said

    Haha! And Mammoth Publishing Company doesn’t have quite the same ring as BME, does it?

  5. gregory said

    the airport is a joke, wait just a year or two to see how bad of a joke

  6. […] Comments gregory on The New Bangalore Internationa…PS on Oh noes! He said a bad wo…PS on The New Bangalore Internationa…anandrr on […]

  7. Raghu said

    Havent been to the toilet there;)..so cannot commnt on that now… but yes… the best airport in India and as everone were raving and raving.. it is actually as good or better than the hyderabad airport(yes , I have seen the hyderabad airport along with amsterdam, heathrow, singapore malaysia to actually comment on the state of airports)..

    But amazed me was the bused.. The **ugly buses you are talking about my friend are the suvarna buses and for me there arent ugly just not airconditioned..but hey..you could also have mentioned about the Rs.150 wala vayu vajra buses which are far better and more in number than the so called ugly buses or even the buses with internet connectivity (called as vajra hitech). Please do give complete picture .. I am sure you would have seen these buses as there are right in front of the airport nt be missed by anyone who comesout..

    Now to the approach roads. The best road or aleast one of the best in India way better than the overhyped mumbai pune expressway . easily beats the approach road to the hyderabad airport hands down

  8. Raghu said

    Hey Gregory..

    Are you from somewhwre else in India or from outside.. ether way, this airport is still better than the other ones in india…and have you been to heathrow.. Apart from its size whats better there…Its still unclean, no one to assist you …. etc etc… dude.. just fuck off if you just want to be biased..

  9. Kannadiga said

    BIA is appreciated by 80-90 % of the people…….10 % have problems………….it means the majority of the people is satisfied…….and coming to retain of HAL airport…..i think yeddi and katta are behaving like uneducated brooks….they put a comment in front of media that short haul flights will be from HAL and others from New BIA…….have they ever thought of the passengers having a connecting flights….they just cant catch the flights by travelling from one airport to other…..

  10. Rohit Nair said

    Could you explain how you got access to the wifi service? Which number you need to send the SMS to and so on?

  11. anandrr said

    You pop open the laptop, and there it is. The first webpage you go to will be intercepted and you’ll be told to activate the Internet first. That will give you all the details.

  12. Yeshwanth Reddy said

    I travelled BLR/BAH/DOH by GF on 25th June, Driving at early morning was pleasant, reached APT at 0400,people at entry point asked us not to go on to the first lane saying you will have only 90seconds to getdown and take luggage from your car better you park at P2 again it is paying slaught never mind,later after we got down our driver took it to P4,wher you can stay fr a while.

    I was told that International departures are on the other end we pushed our trollies, security said if you are flying Gulf Air go to check in counter 1&2, pushed from this end to other end,i had postponned my ticket,unfortunately i did’nt had my altered eticket copy, check in staff bluntly said me n my wife will go by same flight and from BAH we have to go by different flights,inspite of repeated explaining and they said its non of their business,i asked them to tag by first flight,by which my wife reservation was confirmed,blessed staff tagged by second flight for which my reservation is confirmed, they were not ready to listen and said sorry we cant do any thing beyond this,i asked can i speak to any GF staff,sorry no one is there.
    I reached BAH, i find seats available on first flight because my bags were tagged in my name i had to stay back for the afteroon flight by wasting 4 hours, i had to spend extra money to organise for my wife transportation and pay extra for my transportation when i reached.

    Infrastructure is good but feel no proper planing and coordination still, lacks professionalism.

    After check in counter 1&2 for security check no proper signage for iNTERNATIONL Passenger like halli gamar we had to go and stand in all 3 security counters and and there they say go to next counter,no proper guidance.

    BIAL must make sure that their outsourced agencies appoint experienced staff for counters and supervisors who are customer friendly.

    I have also worked for the Private Airline in Bangalore HAL airport and I was an Airport Manager for 6years, inspite of explaining to the counter staff they were reluctant to listen what a passenger wants. I wish I had an opportunity to work in this Airport to guide for the new staff, I was remebering the monopolised Indian Airlines staff strike during 1992 Decemeber peak season by which only one private airline no computer reservation and passengers coming with confirmed ticket,we were taught to handle the passenger in Crisis management with love and smile as customer is King and he is right always.

    Hope I will get a reply for my coments from BIAL and expect customer friendly staff at counters by my next visit.

  13. Yeshwanth Reddy said

    What ever Passenger scribble in these coloumns is for just fun or the BIAL who collected special fee only from International Passenger will get any reply for coments made, hope it is not like writing in our daily news papers with out expecting the feed back, at least now being International consortium will improve in rely puctuality

  14. Nice to see someone say this airport is good. I thought I was a lone voice speaking into a void!


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