Vienna Airport… I really wanted to like you.

January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

First of all, since I was trying to escape from the Vienna airport as soon as humanly possible, which you’ll understand why in a moment, I didn’t pause to take any pictures. So there won’t be any images of VIE airport in this post. Sorry, about that.

After a 2.5 hours flight from Helsinki and a cold curry pasta salad, I landed at the VIE Airport at 8pm on Dec 10, 2011. Right after I stepped inside the passenger’s hall, I smelled strong cigarette smoke… Hmmm, not pleasant. Looked around and I didn’t see any smoking lounges…. weird. So, this airport is built somewhat in a “C” shape, all the gates are located at both ends with the passport controls in the middle. So I saw everyone was just walking in the same direction, it was easy to find my way just by going with the flow. At first, I was like “oh cool, this is easy…”. Not long, I started to realize: it’s a loooong boring walk. I like seeing people coming and going in all directions, so this single-flow system made me felt like a salmon swimming up-stream robotically along with all my pals. Maybe some would say it is good for not easy to get lost.

On my left, all the stores lined up one next to each other. On my right, there were windows looking out to the air field with a row of chairs in front. In front of me, I saw LOTS of big yellow light boxes above people’s head. They are directions to go to Gate blablabla, direction to the toilets, direction to the passport control, direction to food… Basically direction to everywhere: one way. Remember? I landed at the end of the one side of the airport which has a single flow system? So practically, everything else were in the same direction from where I was. It was a little puzzling for me at first, cause I was thinking something like: “so, area A, B, C…. are all straight up ahead in the same direction?”

Then I saw the smoking lounge. Jesus Christ…. I smelled this cigarette smoke 5 minutes away from here?! Something must be done with the ventilation system, please! You know how long you have to spend at the airport, and VIE is literally forcing all the passengers and their family to breathe in all those second hand smoke! Honestly, this is horrible.

I walked and walked and walked…. after seeing groups after groups of larger than usual yellow light boxes (which sorta pains my eyes), I finally get through and took my luggage. I stepped into the arrival hall, immediately I saw LOTS of men wearing black suits standing around. A few of them walked up to me and said “Taxi? Taxi?”. I could not believe this happened in Austria. I didn’t even get bothered by car service companies in China! These men in black just colonized the arrival halls. I couldn’t see any interesting shops at the arrival hall, only car service companys’ counters: one next to another next to another……

I don’t mind there aren’t any interesting stores at the arrival halls, but I really mind that the airport let the car service people block the roads to the exit, and allow them to continuously bothering the passengers. I only expected to see this in a third world country, not in the beautiful Vienna. All I wanted to do was just find an exit and escape the hell out of this hell! I walked straight to one of the exit without even knowing where it leads, ended up walking back inside the airport to find the information desk and asked for the direction to the bus I needed. Of course, I had to go through the whole harassment all over again.

I’m sorry, I honestly didn’t like my experience in Vienna airport. Except they had someone near the gate area, handing out the latest issue of a magazine which highlights lot of things to do in Vienna. But other than that, I was quite disappointed and left the airport unhappily. Also, the bus driver wouldn’t help you to load your luggages, and the bus was playing cowboy music…… Not what I imagined of how I’d arrive Vienna.

For the record, I was standing this close to a smoking lounge in Helsinki, and the cigarette smoke was very faint. But of course, if smoking lounge is this close to a gate full of passengers, getting rid of the smell completely would be highly appreciated. Taken at Helsinki Vantaa Airport. Dec 28, 2011.

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