Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in early October for a few weeks
'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Monday, 25 April 2011

My visit to the new Alicante Airport Terminal

When I arrived here for my 3-month stay in mid-March the new airport terminal at Alicante hadn't yet become operational, but it opened for business a couple of weeks later and as I am going to be departing from there for a few days next week I thought I should take a run up to Alicante to see the new facilities so I won't waste any time next week when travelling.

In the event it was all very straightforward, although I benefitted from being told by one or two people who had already travelled through the new terminal so that I knew to go straight up to the 4th floor of the car parking area, the best one to use to be able to walk straight across to the terminal using the elevated walkways. There seems to be plenty of parking space.

The new terminal is large, very large, with spacious high-ceilinged arrivals and specially departure areas and there is a better selection of eating and retail outlets in the departures area, before passport control, than there was in the old terminal; obviously I haven't seen the air-side part of the departures area yet - that will come next week.

Here's a short publicity video published to coincide with the official opening, prepared it would seem in advance of this during testing of the new facility, but it gives a pretty good impression of the customer-experience:

The car rental desks are more logically-placed in the new terminal than in the old, after passing through final arrival security - the ridiculous two-sided desks in the old terminal which meant the staff had to divide their time between two sets of customers is a thing of the past, thank goodness.

In summary the new terminal seems very functional if somewhat stark - there is a lot of bare concrete in evidence - and seems as if it should be able to cope with a large through-put of arriving and departing customers during peak periods. I did use one of the male toilets in the arrivals area and was surprised and disappointed to see that the soap dispensers were empty (all of them); surely this is the kind of elementary house-keeping job that should be scheduled-in to a properly-run and otherwise excellent new facility.

I had a snack-lunch in one of the outlets in the departures area, the 'Burger King', where I had one of their chicken salads, rather than a burger-in-a-bun, which most other customers were having. The salad was fresh and quite nice, also quite plentiful - certainly a lot better than the tuna salad which was available in the departure area restaurant in the old terminal - and because it is under the 'Burger King' brand, rather than some anonymous lowest-cost contract provider as it seemed to be in the old terminal then I suspect there may be some independent commercial auditing of standards.

In general therefore I'd give the new terminal a 'thumbs-up', even if there seem to be some areas of concern. Once I've used it as a passenger next week (departing and arriving back later in the week) I should be able to give a fuller report.

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