Saturday, March 29, 2008

another reason for ICN to snicker

I am, like many who have passed through it, thoroughly impressed with the efficiency and organization of Incheon International Airport. It's my understanding that, during its first year of operation, there were a few glitches in the airport's smooth running-- most of them baggage related and fairly minor.

Incheon might be forgiven a moment of snickering Schadenfreude, for now we read about the disaster in London as the new Terminal 5 of Heathrow International opens up... and immediately screws up the lives of tens of thousands of passengers, not to mention the lives of the many harried airport staffers who also suffered from the lack of coordination from the top. If you haven't yet, go read the story. As airport-related nightmares go, this fiasco is among the most horrific.

I've never flown into London and therefore don't know what the experience is like. I have, however, flown into Paris's Orly and Charles de Gaulle (known locally as "Roissy"), as well as into Nice, Geneva, and Zurich. The worst of those experiences was Charles de Gaulle, but as I wrote before, my experience with CDG this past December was a major improvement over previous arrivals. The two best were probably Nice and Geneva, though Zurich's not far behind Geneva in terms of that legendary Swiss efficiency. Nice gets high marks for being so damn relaxed.

My sympathies to all those passengers stranded in London, and to the airline staffers who didn't receive enough training, and have had to face computer glitches and other systemic problems. Here's hoping the kinks are smoothed out within a week.


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