Last Thursday, I really got an insight into the wide variety you find in airports. It was a study in contrasts, to be sure.
We started out in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk…….. an international airport on a very mini-scale. There is one baggage carousel, a small hot-dog size souvenir stand (with an amazing variety of rather interesting items, I must admit) and one international departure lounge with one shop that sells drinks and snacks, all at Yuzhno’s rather inflated prices. The benches are comfortable, and are not divided by armrests, so if it wasn’t busy, you could stretch out to relax. Low backs, though, so you must stay awake unless you have your back to a wall.
You walk out on the tarmac to your plane.
We flew the first leg of our journey with Asaiana Airlines, and what amazing service! I wonder if we can send all of our Air Canada staff over for retraining?
Transfer at Seoul Incheon Airport. Talk about night and day. This is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. It boasts a book store and a Museum of Korean Culture. The security line was quite long, but moved quickly, and we were soon out looking for food in the amazing multi-national food court. Add Korean efficiency to that too….. You order your food in one location, Korean, American, Chinese, burgers…….. And get separate chits and beepers for each location that you will need to pic up your food. One central kiosk for drinks, which you get right there. Wait time was less than 5 minutes, and the place was busy.
After we ate, we realized that our departure gate was at another terminal. No worries, there is a shuttle train that runs every 5 minutes, and we were soon at our departure gate.
When we had checked in in Yuzhno, we were not seated together on either flight. There was no problem in moving up on the first one, as we each had three seats to ourselves. While we awaited our flight in Seoul, however, we were pleased that they called us to the desk and changed our boarding passes so we could travel together.
Boarding was quick and efficient as well on Thai Airways? I was amazed at how soon we were seated. Again, service was quick, efficient, and gracious. In typical David-fashion, my husband was asleep almost as soon as we had eaten ( and we were hardly in the air when the food and drinks arrived). I tossed and turned, but that was just me in an airplane.
Six hours later, were arrived in Bangkok. Again, deplaning was quick, and we were soon in the main hallway, with signed informing us that immigration was a mere 450 meters away. We walked to the second one, and had a bit of a wait, but it wasn’t that long until we had our luggage and were wondering where to find a taxi. Again, no worries. We were greeted by someone who quickly got us one, and we were on our way through the early morning darkness of Bangkok.
We will see what the departure setup is like when we leave with our visas, but I’m totally impressed with these Asian airports and airlines. It’s no wonder they have the reputation they have for world class service. I’m a believer.
Four am saw us curled up and ready for a good rest before we faced our first day of exploration in Bangkok.