TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


June 5 2013


Trottings: Bangkok, Dubai airports.


COMMENTS on recent trips through two airports – Bangkok and Dubai.




[] Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi:


-Despite being a relatively-new airport, Suvarnabhumi has no working or charging electricity points for portable devices. This should be simple to resolve; management should take a quick day trip down to Singapore Changi to learn how to look after the customer.


-Because of the silly design for trash cans (presumably aesthetics came before practicalities) at the airport, rubbish is picked out from the bins by tongs – almost piece by piece. As a result, not all the rubbish is emptied each time; it would take too long.


-One set of cleaning staff at the airport use dusters on a stick. Management has not yet realised that although this might clean the particular item, it also throws dust in the air – which then falls somewhere else.


-Saving announcement time (even if few think of it, this is also an efficiency matter). Flights are announced as “Flight [say, AB 123] for [] is boarding at [say, Gate D2]. Passengers for [repeated, AB 123] should board at [repeated, Gate D2] immediately.” They should simply drop the second names/numbers.




[] Dubai.


Tim Clark, head of Emirates, who has met me, was interviewed on one of the airline’s inflight programs about the new Concourse A at Dubai airport. “It will not have the problems that some airports have had with new terminals”.


I might demur. Some comments:


-Authorities are proud of the terminal, built for 20 A380s. Apparently, though, designers and Emirates (because the airline proudly announced that it had an important influence on the design) did not realise that if there are 400 seats on the aircraft, then they need about that number of seats in the departure lounge – to which they encourage passengers to go well before departure.


They miss by about 100! So passengers sit on the floor, lean against walls, and wait – there is nothing there, except complimentary newspapers; not even TV. And no way back. Because a lot of people choose to sit on the floor or stand near the boarding point, passengers called to board must negotiate their way through the waiting passengers. Shambles.


-There is little difference with the main terminal (in fact, you might not realise what is different). That means long corridors with shops in the centre and gates at either side. Not traveller-friendly; shop-friendly.


-The airport authorities did not add portable device-charging electricity points. So many people sit on the floor next to plugs in the walls to recharge their devices. The authorities should take a trip to Singapore’s airport; the authorities there realise that many people use working stations while waiting in transit.


-The airport has free wifi available for passengers, but you have to ask. At the enquiry points, no information. The name is ‘Maxspot’, not an obvious one (how about ‘Dubai Airport Transit’?). I was unable to connect with either of my two devices; signal strength variable.




The Fox