“ Gdansk airport in Poland „
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I travel between Gdansk and liverpool (read my liverpool airport review :) ) on a regular basis, a good 7/8 times a year. Gdansk incase you don't know already is a city in the north of Poland on the Baltic coast. It forms part of a tri-city being Gdansk, Gdynia and the beach town of Sopot. Gdansk itself is a fantastic place....the airport however is not.
The airport though is currently under massive regeneration so I will ammend this review as and when that reaches completion.
So, Gdansk airport is small, despite serving a pretty large number of flights (generally to european countries, no long-haul flights as of yet). On entering Gdansk airport you will see cues, after cues, after cues.
It seems to be part of Polish culture to cue, even before check-in has opened there is a cue going to the back of the airport, so my advice would actually be to turn up LATER rather than earlier. Before security there is one souvenir shop, one tuck shop (don't expect to find anything in English, all newspapers/magazines/books are in Polish), and there is a cafe type area, however these are not open 24/7, usually only the cafe is open. There is very little seating, maybe 10 seats in total which is absolutely ridiculous!
In winter Gdansk can get some pretty bad weather, and on one occaision there were many flights delayed, there was nowhere to sit, most people were just on the floor.
Security however is great, absolutely nothing like UK airports. You willl all be shuffled through the gate into security to some very scary looking armed guards in army suits. Put your bag through the X-ray, they're not fussy at all, i've often got through the other side and realised I had a bottle of coke or something in the bottom of my bag and it hadn't been picked up by the staff. Liverpool however was a different story when I left a tiny bottle of nail-varnish (a freebie from a magazine i'd just bought), they were really mad.
So, once through security you will be greeted most likely by 2 cues, back to back (from opposite gates), good luck figuring out where yours ends.
The Polish people will cue before the plane is on the tarmac, i have NO idea why so expect to cue/hang around and be last on the plane.
At the gates there is a very small cafe and a duty free shop (it's rarely open and all it's good for is cigarettes and vodka).
The story with seating is the same here too, not much, and what there is is metal, don't expect soft cushioned seating like back home.
All in all this is a pretty shocking airport, considering now that it has big companies like wizz/ryanair/jet2 ferrying plane loads of brits back and forth.
I'm hoping that with the extra runway come some renovations to the facilities inside the airport, only time will tell.
However, if you want to visit Gdansk then going via this airport is inevitable, so I suggest to be prepared for long cues to board the plane and check in, security cues are usually only 2/3 people infront of you they are very quick.
If you are travelling with children take something to keep them entertained because there is absolutely nothing for them at the airport.
happy travelling :)
Gdansk Airport (officially named Lech Walesa Airport) is located in the village/suburb of Rebiechowo within about a half hour's minutes drive from most areas of Tri-City (many outlying suburbs will be closer, though).
Public transport links are good to Gdansk itself, but much worse to Gdynia or Sopot. Licences taxis are widely available and would normally cost something in the region of 60PLN plus, but this vastly varies depending on where you actually going.
The airport has served international flights (to Scandinavia and Germany) for years now, but has became much more busy in the recent years (and in particularly with an advent of cheap flights in the form of Ryanair and Wizzair)
In addition to several daily commuter-type flights to Warsaw, decent connections to Germany (including Frankfurt, Bremen, Hamburg and Munich, but strangely not Berlin) it has now connections to Rome, Alicante, Turku, and London, Birmingham, Doncaster, Liverpool and Prestwick in the UK as well as Dublin and Cork.
This increase in destinations has not really resulted in a visible increase in facilities. The terminal is new and tidy, but very small. There is one restaurant and three very limited bars/cafes, as well as a few standard shops (gift shop, very basic duty free, florist), but overall it's a minimal basic that would be required in any international terminal, especially as a lot of them don't operate at all times the terminal actually operates. There is no bookshop, nowhere to buy any clothes or similar items you might have forgotten, no chemist.
Other services are better represented, as there are all the usual car hire companies, post office, a bank and at least two cash points.
The last time I had a need for such, which was admittedly about four years ago, the airport had about the best mother & baby room I have seen: nicely decorated, with comfortable armchairs for the parents, cot, toys and changing table and even a divan for the parent to catch a bit of sleep. The last time I visited (late summer 2008) it still seemed to be there, but I did not check whether it has changed for worse or better.
The check-in always seemed reasonably efficient, although the queues can get slow early in the morning. On arrivals, the immigration control is always painfully slow. They have only two counters and if the plane is anywhere near full, there is always a queue - this is of course arriving from the UK. The arrival is likely to be much better when arriving on a Schengen flight, which doesn't involve immigration control.
All in all, a decent enough small airport struggling a bit with its increased workload. I always quite liked it as I don't like busy terminals, but don't expect usual large-airport diversions.