There has been a lot of furore over the new airport in Bangalore. Numerous citizens have come out in full force against the closing of HAL airport saying it takes too long on crowded roads to get to the new airport. For my own part, I wasn't too fussed as the the new airport is marginally closer to my office and home - about 30 km. Unfortunately for me, I had to travel out of Bangalore last week. And boy was I in for a surprise.
After battling traffic for over an hour, I reached an airport that looked less than a airport and more of a railway station! Maybe I'm just spoiled after using Mumbai's newly re-furbished airport for almost a year but nothing could have prepared me for the absolute madness that is HAL airport. It is impossible to tell which gate to use to enter, the check-in counters fight for space, the security gates are choc-a-bloc and once you reach the boarding area, you struggle for a place to stand! I kid you not. Boarding gates change depending on which flights are late and which are not, causing serpentine queues of travellers to move en masse across gates. And trying to grab a quick bite before you board a no-frills airline (which charges you 100 rupees for a sandwich!) is next to impossible. Even my brand's scroller is lost among the crowd and I'm contemplating asking for a re-fund from my vendor!
My vote's now firmly for BIAL. Even if I have to travel 30 km to the airport, a trip which shouldn't take more than 30 minutes, at least I can relax once I reach BIAL!
And if my accurate description isn't enough, the news that a Kingfisher ATR had to crash land because it hit a jackal on the runway should make any Bangalorean opt for BIAL over HAL.