This week Paris put on a good show by hosting the 49th International Air Show at Le Bourget Airport (IATA: LBG), 11km northeast of Paris. While the usual purchase orders of new aircraft made the rounds throughout the week, EADS, the parent company of Airbus announced its details of a hypersonic transport concept cutting air travel times down significantly as reported by FlightGlobal and others. It is said that the plane could cut the Tokyo-Los Angeles journey to as little as 2h 20min.
I’ve been in Brisbane quite a few times but whenever I landed there it’s always been the domestic terminal. So when I recently got a chance to fly out of Queensland’s capital to Port Moresby (IATA: POM; LD reviewed), I took the opportunity and reviewed the international terminal of Brisbane Airport (IATA: BNE) for my loyal readers:
I’ve been in two minds over reviewing this airport. On one hand, Cairns is only the 7th busiest airport in Australia and can I highly doubt anyone outside of Australia can actually name 7 cities on this continent, or am I wrong? But then for comparison, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in
Dallas Houston [corrected; apologies for the mistake], Texas (IATA: IAH) is the US 7th busiest airport and I’d certainly wouldn’t hesitate writing about that one.
Your Alarm is set for 4:30am – you are sure of it because you’ve checked it 20 times along with any other household appliance that keeps time & can promise you a morning that you WON’T sleep in! Here goes … Zzzzzz .. ling ling .. buzz buzz .. honk honk .. and you spring out of bed like a lightning bolt and the run begins…
Usually the inner sections of airports are closed to non-travellers. I often think that modern airports with their great offers miss out on opportunities when they restrict access to people with tickets on that day only. Imagine: you could go inside London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and dine a last meal at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant with your close friend who visited you from Far-Away-Land before their long flight back home. Or imagine the family from Singapore that could enjoy some last moments in the Butterfly garden of Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 with their son departing for an exchange year at a university in the United States.
Well, the good news is that there are airports that do allow non-travellers into their inner core – the post security zone; domestic airports that is. The slightly bad news is that they are often not the most aspiring of places. Nevertheless, they do allow you to drop off or pick up your loved ones directly at the gate.
One such airport is Sydney’s Domestic Airport (IATA: SYD) on the North-East corner of the runways. There, once through the security check, you come down a set of escalators and can then either turn left towards the Virgin Blue gates or right in direction of the Qantas and JetStar boarding gates. Turning right will first lead you to a food court with some usual suspects such as McDonalds, Krispykreme, a Middle-Eastern Outlet, Subway, Sumo Salad and the Australian institutions of Red Rooster and Boost Juice among others.
There are, however, a few more exciting things to do beyond stuffingfilling yourself up prior to your cheap flight where you don’t plan to spend any money on their dry sandwiches. Here are my favourites:
- Check out some serious outback clothing from R.M. Williams at the “And Beyond” store
- Buy your kiddo (or some random kid you happen to know…) one of those cool dinosaur eggs that you have to submerge in water for 10 days before a little, wait for it, yes, you guessed it, Dinosaur pops out. You can find them at the well stocked “Kaboom” kids store.
- Stock up on your SPF 30+ sunscreen for your island trip to Vanuatu (oooops, okay, if you are in the domestic terminal heading for Vanuatu, then you’re seriously in trouble, as that flight most likely leaves from the International terminal, a $5.50 bus trip away). So let’s say your Magnetic Island trip then… You’ll find it in the Pharmacy next to the Kids store.
- Browse through the ubiquitous Peter Lik Australian landscape photography books and postcards
- Try on some new boardies in the “Beachculture” shop towards the 31-40 gates
- The ladies among you might also want to pop into the Mimco store close-by (while we lads wait in the Pub & Winestore called “Taphouse” across from it)
- Finally, browse through the rather good selection of iconic Australian films at the Virgin Media store
|Airport Name||Sydney, Domestic Terminal|
[Picture from Flickr – all rights reserved]
Today, the WHO classified the swine influenza A (H1N1) outbreak as a “public health emergency of international concern.” And while more cases of swine flu were confirmed on Monday in the United States, Canada and Europe (Update: Britain is now also directly affected with one case), country organizations began to take actions, particularly by preventing and monitoring travellers to and from their countries.
Furthermore, financial markets have already “penalized” Mexican airports whose shares traded substiantially lower today: The airport owners are among the “most vulnerable” stocks amid the flu outbreak, UBS AG analysts wrote in a note today in which they cut Mexican equities to “underweight” writes Bloomberg.
It’s pretty clear that this latest threat of an influenza pandemic is going to have further implications on the economy. But how does it affect travellers? Various countries have already tightened their airport checks. Australia, for example, has trained airport staff to spot people with flu like symptoms. According to an article any passengers with flu-like symptoms would be met by quarantine officers. In addition, all incoming international flights would have to make an onboard announcement telling passengers to seek immediate medical advice if they felt unwell with flu symptoms.
Hong Kong, the epicenter of a SARS outbreak six years ago, announced some of the toughest measures anywhere on Sunday in response to a swine flu outbreak in Mexico and the United States, reports The New York Times.
So, what should you do if you are travelling to or from North America in the near future? Here is some advice:
- Travelling to Mexico: in general it’s probably safe to say that if you can postpone your trip, then do so, otherwise check your countries latest travel advice (the UK foreign office’s one can be found here, Germany’s here, Ireland’s here, the USA’s here and Canada’s here). If you decide to go, then do make sure you check with your airline if the flight is still leaving as today several charter airlines (e.g. TUI in Germany) have cancelled their flights to Mexico.
- Travelling from Mexico: be aware of extra precautions at Mexican and foreign airports. Prepare for additional screenings and questioning. Check your destinations country latest immigration advice. Your airline or travel agency should be able to help you.
- Travelling to/from other North American destinations: expect delays at the airports due to tightened security and passenger screenings. Check with your local airline for the latest uptodate travel information.
[Picture from Flickr – some rights reserved]
You know the feeling, it’s evening, you rushed to the airport after a long day at work and haven’t had time to eat. You then find out your plane is delayed, so that you won’t get your free business economy class dinner anytime soon. What do you do? Well, there is always the crappy sandwich shop close to the gate, right? Wrong!
Luckily today many airports realised people actually value quality food and offer descent alternatives to the ubiquitous fast food chains. Following are three options from three different airports around the globe that cater for the foodie in you:
London Heathrow – Terminal 5: Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food
The unsurprising favourite is “Plane Food“, a fine dining outlet by London’s only 3-Star-Michelin chef, Gordon Ramsay. Lulu from Planet Eye recently wrote
…this is probably the only airport restaurant with which I’ve actually made a reservation. Once you tuck into the foie gras and chicken liver parfait, followed by the Casterbridge rib eye steak, it’s really hard to be satisfied by the chicken or the beef options offered by your flight attendant.
I’ve always been a fan of Gordon’s food and this has to be a must-go for when you have some time on your side (and made a reservation…). In addition Plane Food now also offers a few take-away picnics (£14.95 for the lunch box). Enjoy!
Sydney International Terminal: Wagamama
It has sadly been a while since I have personally been at Sydney airport but one of the safe and tasteful choices is Hong Kong born Alan Yau‘s Australian subsidiary of Wagamama in the international terminal. You will be sitting on shared tables and have the choice of a variety of tasty Asian inspired dishes. Having tasted the Australian, the Dutch and the English Wagamama I must say I found the Aussie version the best – definitely worth a taste when you are in this magnificent city.
Miami International: Chili’s
Well, I’m going to follow a bit of a stereotype here by mentioning a chain restaurant as my choice for the USA’s most Latin airport. Sometimes you just want that uncomplicated, yet tasteful American comfort food. Go to Chili’s which you find in the G area and taste one of their wonderful Baby Back Ribs. They really are delicious!
[Picture from Flickr]