All’s well with air connectivity, mixed reactions on food, conveyance

All’s well with air connectivity, mixed reactions on food, conveyance

Ten years into its existence, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has increased its capacity, gone solar and added facilities galore. But still, many passengers grapple with the issue of commuting to the airport and over-priced food.

Says Sushant Bhattacharya, an associate consultant: “I take a cab if I travel along with my family,  else I prefer the airport bus.” He attributes this preference to the cost of travelling to the airport. He also suggests that price of food items can be reduced.

Frequent flyer, Mahesh, an associate program manager, also prefers taking a bus to the airport. But if his flight schedule is during early hours, he prefers a cab. So, does he prefer domestic flights that could take off from the HAL Airport as well? “Near Marathahalli, you can see many IT companies. It would be a good option for them if the old airport becomes operational again,” he opines.

KIA’s operator, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) had launched a mobile app that now has over 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store. But barring Mahesh, not many were even aware of the application.

For Rajish Bobra, a businessman from Mumbai, the city airport is not as good as Delhi or Mumbai. “Parking space is sufficient and the ambience is good. But there are not many options for food,” he adds. But Krishna Neog, a CA student, says taking into account international standards, the food is good. “Besides, the billboards and signages are well organised, and it is easy to get around.”

In the words of Soumitra, a passenger based in Kolkata, “the airport is better than the one in Kolkata. The washrooms are cleaner, and the WiFi works better.” Renu, another Kolkata resident studying in Bengaluru feels the commute to the airport could be better. “But the airport here is beautiful and as students, we come here with friends to chill.”

Both Renu and Soumitra feel that it would be convenient for them if the old airport is operational for domestic use.

Cab driver Sashi has a positive view of the airport. “For a driver here, everything is running fine,” he says. But other drivers, preferring anonymity find the food too expensive, and the water quality not great. Besides, in the mornings, one has to wait for 10-15 minutes to use toilets. These, they say, are not maintained well.

Many are hopeful that in the future, more facilities will be added to the airport. Says Sultan, an electrical worker: “As days go by, the airport is adding facilities and when compared to other places this is better. Cabs help us reach on time,” he says. But his father, Syed Akbar adds that commute may not be a problem for those staying close by. It is definitely an issue for those living far away.

The airport’s website provides a host of information. But passengers complain that it is not very mobile-friendly. The bus timing chart only shows the departure-arrival timings from the origin and the destination and the rest is a guessing game. As technology grows everyday, real-time tracking will help in planning the travel to the airport better.

For Urvi, Milani and Harshani, all Sri Lankan students studying in Bengaluru, the airport is ‘not bad.’ Everything is fine, but they had encountered glitches while connecting to the airport WiFi. They had no issues with the airport’s connectivity to other destinations. In this aspect, KIA was equal to or better than other airports in the vicinity.