Saturday, December 11, 2010

Teeth[ree]-ing troubles

after a long gap from the blog -- thought i should write on the new T3 terminal at New Delhi.
having used that every week in the last 3 weeks [and scheduled to in the next 2 as well!], before it is no longer news.

the first impression was the size. having been used to the other Indian airports, this looks somewhat intimidating!

Earlier, with the new runway, it used to take about 20 minutes of taxiing to get to the terminal after landing.
now, if you land in one of the farther gates, it would take about 15 minutes to get to the baggage claim area, even if you use the travellators.

the walk areas are wide and carpeted.
but it makes it difficult to pull your luggage along as the carpets have not yet settled in.

the parking infrastructure is very comfortable and world class in terms of design. the driver was cribbing about the check out system - where you go to a booth on the floor to pay and then yuo need to be out of the parking structure within 15 minutes - else pay more!
the construction is still on, with the exit control guards sitting out in the open.

the check-in area is very spacious. multiple bays and check in counters dedicated to various airlines. it does not feel crowded.
after check in, the shopping area is also spacious with comfortable seating.

there are many four seaters with a central riser with power points.
these seats also have small armrests that can comfortably accommodate a laptop.

the upper level is for the food courts.
it is still to be completed - but the floor is already giving away in some places - with the tiles broken.
the quality of workmanship in some other sections are also shoddy, with the joints either visible or mis-aligned.

the departure gates are also well spaced - you would be very lucky to get one of the closer gates - which is not bad, less than 5 minutes of brisk walk to reach after clearing security. there are sufficient seats


with some recliner seats as well..
another interesting aspect i noticed was that the labeling of toilets - the his and hers labels are on the doors, but to identify them as we walk along - other than the signs, there are pictures of men and women to let one identify.
with attractive pictures, wonder if it would lead people to the wrong toilets!

on departure, i realized that the time saved on arrival taxiing is lost.
though one of my flights was ready to take off on time, it had to taxi for about 20 minutes before reaching the runway to take off!

as my luck has been running in the last couple of months, every flight that i had to take has been delayed..

to summarize, T3 is a refreshingly pleasant experience, in spite of the glitches. i have probably explored less than 50% of the terminal.

i have not had any checked in baggage. but a couple of others i had spoken to, had some not so nice experience with their bags.
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