It’s surely been a week from hell for many travellers in Australia and New Zealand as the ash cloud from the Puyehue volcano, high in Chile’s Andes, disrupted air traffic first in New Zealand, then over in Australia in Hobart (IATA: HBA), Melbourne (IATA: MEL; LD reviewed) and Adelaide (IATA: ADL; LD reviewed) before moving further east and affecting Perth in Western Australia (IATA: PER) later in the week. Interesting was that there were massive differences whether flights were cancelled or not depending on the individual airline. Qantas took the cautious approach and grounded most of its flights on affected routes whereas its competitors Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways argued they could take routes avoiding the ash or fly below the cloud. In an email to its frequent fliers, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce backed his airlines decision on the fact that “unlike the meteorological authorities in Europe, Australia’s [Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre] VAAC does not have the ability to calculate ash density so we are unable to access definitive measurements.”
Adelaide International Airport (IATA: ADL) is a fairly new airport. But wait a minute; did I really write “International” Airport? Did you spot the international part when you were there the last time? No? Well, believe it or not, this airport in down-under’s slightly sleepy state (no offense, but it’s apparently true) of South Australia is actually a, what I call, chameleon airport, or in more technical terms, a “dual airport”. It’s an International airport by morning for various flights from or to Asia and becomes a sole Domestic airport by the afternoon when all gates are allocated to Australian flights and the immigration zone disappears. Quite clever, hu? Indeed!
Sadly when I landed on my Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong for a short stop-over before continuing to Melbourne, the airport was divided into International and Domestic. Sadly that is, because this limited my ability to explore the entire airport as I wasn’t allowed to leave the small locked off area. But on the plus side there are still a few things for you to do, at least for the hour or so before your onward flight: You will find a duty free store which is surprisingly well stocked with, well, Aussie souvenirs, but also electronics and travel accessories, watches, toys and more. Next door you find a “Villa & Hut Kafé” with friendly staff. There is also a small news shop and a cash machine. For some reason the latter didn’t work when I tried it (maybe the coffee hasn’t quite kicked in for me at the time).
But that’s it then. Oh, one more, there is a Singapore Airlines lounge but no Qantas one as that one is on the domestic side of the airport.
|Airport Name||Adelaide (International) Airport|
|AUD 75 (with Ice Jacket)|
[Picture from Flickr]