Friday 4 November 2011

Airport Reviews: A Preamble

In which a Lady Traveller introduces a new feature for hints day: the airport review.

The idea for airport reviews came to me on a dark day about this time last year.  Reader, I got stuck at Canberra Airport for five hours.  Unable to change to an earlier flight, I was stranded.  Admittedly the airport was in the throes of renovation, but – aside from the check in desks and security – there was only one small newsagency between me and abject boredom.  Luckily (and seeing my dismay) the friendly Virgin check in agent advised me to pay the (then) $50 fee to use the lounge.  It was totally worth it.  Comfy chairs, unlimited drinks (including alcohol), snacks, newspapers, tv, internet access.  Given that I’d just come from eight days in the wilderness, I fell on all of the above like a ravening beast.

As I got stuck in to my second glass of champagne, it occurred to me that it would be useful to have a real life guide to airports that dealt with such issues as ‘getting stuck at Canberra Airport.’  And this is why, channelling the practical how-to spirit of my mentor, Lillias Campbell Davidson, Hints to Lady Travellers is pleased to bring you the airport review feature.  (Mrs Davidson didn’t cover airports in the original Hints to Lady Travellers; to be fair to her, they hadn’t been invented yet.) 

The feature is not intended to be an exhausive guide to the airports reviewed.  For this you can visit airport websites.  It is intended to offer answers to the following:

- What can I do if my flight’s delayed?  Can I get a decent cup of coffee/drink/meal?  Can I buy pressies for the folks back home that don’t scream AIRPORT GIFTSHOP?  Is there a reasonable bookshop?  Are there pleasant and affordable shops in which to while away the hours?  Are there comfortable seats?  And are these things located before or after security?  There’s nothing worse than electing to get through security first – so you can relax – and then discovering that there’s nothing beyond.  (LAX and French airports generally are bad for this.)

I will add a disclaimer: these reviews are subjective, based on my own likes and dislikes.  Also, because airports seem to be in a constant state of renovation, they are liable to change.

Come back later for the first review!

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