Spoiler alert: I’m not much of a traveller. I’ve spent most of my life between books and hospitals – yes, the funky life. But being a blogger (and occasional published author) did open up new avenues for me via blogger meets and book launches, allowing me to visit new cities and meet people from all over. It is in fact safe to say that I have travelled more over the last couple of years than in the first 33 of my life.
The first impression you get of a new place when you arrive comes from where you alight. Yes, it can also be the last impression as you leave, I agree. In this case, for me that would be the airports of various cities. There is a certain sense of a happy atmosphere in general attached to airports, one described so beautifully in the classic film ‘Love Actually.’ It is the sense of warmth of families and loved ones meeting after a gap or the love that is visible even in parting.
Which is why I feel cities need to make an effort to make their airports a beautiful venue and not just glorified bus stands which perform a service. People remember the most beautiful airports they’ve been to, they remember the facilities and services available. It matters.
Some of the airports I’ve visited over the years include Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Calicut, Mangalore, Jaipur, Goa, Kochi and Coimbatore.
For me, clear winners among the list I mentioned above are the Mumbai Airport (International), Delhi, Bangalore and even Hyderabad. The first two are multiple international awards winners and rightly so, offering so many options in terms of comfort, food and purchasable items in addition to maintaining visually pleasing architecture.
While I have not been to the newly done Kochi Airport, I’ve heard plenty of lovely compliments about this unique green airport that now generates most of its needs via huge solar panels the size of football fields.
That of course, begs the question – which airports in this list could afford to make a little more effort? For all the traffic that they have (and it is significant), Mangalore and Calicut do seem to be in need of a makeover. Yes, they are perfectly serviceable but they could definitely do better than having an odd food kiosk and oft shut stores. I will admit to being a little surprised by the Goa airport too which, being a hot tourist spot, I really felt could have been more vibrant.
But that’s my opinion. What do you think? Which airports in India did you find most wonderful and which did you come away a tad underwhelmed by? Do tell.
Howdy folks! This december starts with a bang on my blog as I run a unique bloghop with 28 bloggers to write guestposts for me and each other all this month. I hope my readers will catch all the action and support this drive with their comments and feedback to encourage the writing. To know more about this blog hop in detail, you could catch this post here.
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26 thoughts on “Which airports do you consider the best in India? [ Guestpost ]”
Refreshing post which really got me thinking…hmm…I agree with the doc on the fact that Goa & Mangalore could benefit from some sprucing up. My favourite at present is T2 In Aamchi Mumbai!!!
I agree. Mumbai T2 is awesome. I loved Delhi too.
Very nice post….for me Mumbai, Chennai etc. airports r very nice.
Airports to be improved more are Coimbatore, Calicut….
True. Coimbatore also could use a little makeover.
You have travelled a lot metaphorically speaking Dr R. But I do agree with you about Mumbai and Delhi being international quality airports . In fact I loved the airport at Trivandrum and Chennai as well . I have never been to Hyderabad in my life so I won’t know . But I do think that by and large Indian airports however crappy are HOME and I feel thrilled to bits when my plane lands down.
I haven’t been to Trivandrum airport myself …well, atleast not in the last 3 decades, I reckon. 🙂
I love Mumbai airport followed by T3 at Delhi. Bangalore and Hyderabad are good too. I was impressed to see the sleep pods at T3 last time. Most of the airports in most cities have shifted to bigger areas so though are huge and modern but still do not have that international look in terms of shopping arcades and eateries. I guess in a couple of years airports in smaller cities would catch up a bit with the metro cities!
I certainly hope so. And yes, they do need a more cosmopolitan feel to them. Duty free shopping zones, eatery options other than a single kiosk selling samosas and dosas !
Yippeeee…. Being a Mumbaikar I feel proud that you consider Mumbai airport the best. T2 is indeed the best with Delhi international being a close second.
Mumbai and Delhi easily stand out… They are awesome.
I once visited the Northeast and got off at Silchar airport – second biggest city of Assam. The run way was in a field and we saw cows and goats grazing nearby. We were asked to walk till the airport building – an equally tiny rows of rooms! It was the funniest airport I have seen! This was a decade back though!
Wow. I’d love to know from others who may ahve visited there if things have improved now… Can you imagine trying to explain to international tourists why there are cattle grazing beside the runway !
Delhi airport to would be the best. But even if not fancy I’ll give Bangalore airport second place, just for the fact that baggage collection and exit is the fastest there. On average Blr is the fastest airport to finish formalities and get out of.
In that regard (finishing procedures) I think Delhi would have to take a step back… Every time I’ve seen it, it’s been packed to the gills. Probably a good sign for an airport but still could use a little more speeding up.
By just seeing the cover photo of this post I knew that it was a click of Mumbai airport! I remember those lighting’s so clearly even today as i was in Awe when i first saw them. I loved Mumbai airport and very own Hyderabad airport is also awesome though but my fav is Mumbai airport. The worst experience i had was at kolkata airport. I had been through hell there! Not even a single food outlet inside and they had 1 or 2 coffee shops right after the entry but they are not open in odd hours and even nothing outside the airport! On one of my visit i got down at midnight in kolkata airport and had to wait there till 6 in the morning as that was the wait time for the connecting flight and without any food options I basically starved till 8 until a meal was served in the connecting flight i boarded 🙁
Jeez. Unbelievable. How can it be a metro with an airport like that !!!
Indeed! There happens to be one food outlet when I got in after boarding which didn’t have anything ready for passengers by then and the person in-charge there told me that they can provide me with something only after 9 !
What an interesting post! Never really thought about a wish list for an airport!
Haha… Thanks. Still, which are your fav airports and which would you consider require some sprucing up
Not seen all the ones mentioned but Mumbai and Delhi surely love them.
Goa airport does seem a little bland considering it is a tourist hotspot. Mumbai airport is gorgeous! So meticulously and beautifully designed.
I haven’t travelled much but love the Delhi airport and Amchi Mumbai’a airport haven’t seen for long! Looking forward to hop through next year. I am also mighty impressed by Dubai airport outside India but still Delhi beats it hands down.
My favourite is Mumbai international airport! And I think Pune airport needs some helping hand..
I like Bengaluru airport, of course mumbai one is humongous. But i like the over all layout of the BLR one. Great post !
I like Mumbai airport. I would like to place Bangaluru second in terms of quick services. I agree with you on sprucing up of Goa airport. I would agree with Keerthi here about Kolkata needing a big time help. Since I happen to visit the city atleast twice a year, I feel a major work needs to be done in terms of food and baggage services too. I also feel the ground staff of Kolkata is not so helpful. It is my personal take but dunno if anybody else here have experienced it.
That’s a long list of airports, have been to few and agree Mumbai’s airport is one of the best. Specially the Terminal 2 – New airport as we locals call it. Delhi is good too, but as compared to amchi Mumbai’s find it little dull.
Goa definitely need a face and morale lift – being a tourist destination. Been to Lucknow airport, it has improved from the earlier self, but need a lot more to join the list I believe.