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Newcastle International Airport (NCL)
Member Name: hunnybabyuk
Newcastle International Airport (NCL)
Advantages: Large, spacious, fantastic choice & range of the destinations plus retail & food outlets
Disadvantages: Baggage reclaim area is too small when the airports busy
Having flown from Newcastle International Airport a few times I wanted to write a review on the airport and it's facilities.
Newcastle International Airport is the North East's largest of the two airports that serve the region and has IATA 3 letter code of NCL. With many airlines flying to over 80 destinations worldwide to UK airports like Birmingham, Aberdeen, Bristol & London and to European destinations like France, Spain, Balearics, Norway & Germany plus direct longhaul flights to places like Dubai, Sanford Florida & Domincan Republic. Some of the worlds top airlines fly here including easyJet, Thomson Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Ryanair, TUIFly, Thomas Cook Airlines, Eastern Airways & Flybe.
The airport is located 20 minutes from the City Centre and is easilly accessable using various modes of transport. Passengers can take the train to Newcastle Central station which is a mainline station with local trains to other areas of the region and national routes to Scotland, Midlands, North West & London. Passengers can then take a 22 minute metro train from below the mainline station directly to the airport, the Metro (known as the Tyne & Wear Metro) has stations across Tyneside running every 5 minutes (approximately) including to the airport. There are also 2 bus routes which operate to the airport, route X77/X78/X79 which runs from Newcastle Eldon Square via the airport to Ponteland and route 101 which runs between Blyth via the airport to Kingston Park. You can take a taxi, all taxi companies will be able to take you there but ring around before for the best quote, theres a taxi rank located at the airport and fares are on a meter so its best to prebook with another operator, car parking is expensive at the airport and was recently voted somewhere in the middle of the charts for most expensive airport parking (neighbouring airport Durham Tees Valley was least expensive).
When you enter the airport through the main terminal doors you are met by various sales & information counters for the vast amount of airlines that serve Newcastle International, here you can get flight information, check availability & book flights, it's also the place to go to get help & advice when things go wrong from your airline. Opposite here you have two areas both linked together and this is where you will find all of the checkin counters, the counters are modern with large screens above with airline logos & flight details so you can easilly see if your at the correct desk for your flight, theres also a large black LED departure board which tells you the latest arrival & departure information including when flights have landed and when they are checking in, I have never had any problems checking in at the airport, tons of checkin counters & the airlines I have used from there before have had great checkin. Security & passport control is upstairs, there are lifts and escalators to take you up to the security check point. Security,as with checkin, is very fast I have never waited more than a few minutes to pass security at Newcastle and I have travelled during peak periods, the airport is very busy but I just don't seem to of waited long before for security.
Once you pass through security your in the departure lounge, the lounge area has been refurbished and has a fantastic range of bars, cafes, restaurants & shops, including top high street names like WH Smiths, Tie Rack, Traveler, Caffe Ritazza, Boots, Burger King, Greggs, Travelex, Claires, Dixons & JD Sports. You can have some fantastic savings on the High Street price, especially at Dixons, which is now an airport only retailer, part of the same group who owns Currys & PC World. You also have a brand new Duty Free shop ran by Biza, which has a fantastic large range of alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes & aftershaves plus a great range of gifts & confectionary.
In Arrivals you have a few baggage belts but these are small and it can get a bit crowded here at busy times, they really could do with extending this area, I believe theres 4 belts but don't hold me to that its bout 4 or 5 from what I remember and sirens sound (although may not do if the baggage handlers forget) when luggage is coming.
The airport is large and spacious, very clean usually and airy so its not too stuffy & obviously smoke free and has large windows in the departure loune so you can sit and watch the planes if you wish, thats a great way to keep the kids occupied whilst you sit and have a coffee from Ritazza, a pasty from Greggs and surf the internet in the Internet Lounge, either on their computers or using your laptop/PDA.
Overall I have never had a bad experience at Newcastle International Airport, it's a large spacious airport (apart from Baggage Reclaim) and has a wide range of shops and food outlets for use during your wait in departures, activities to keep kids entertained including the kids play area & arcade machines, plus plane spotting and great for grown ups too with great shops & fantastic bargains to be had in Duty Free & Dixons plus all your travel necessaties in WH Smiths & Boots (you can even use your Boots Advantage Card just like on the High Street). Can't say anything bad apart from the Baggage Reclaim area which is too small for the amount of flights that land at once at times.
Summary: Great airport have no complaints
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