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Palma - The 1 Mile Waste of Space!!
Palma de Mallorca International Airport (PMI)
Member Name: a-rdavis
Palma de Mallorca International Airport (PMI)
Date: 17/10/03, updated on 09/10/04 (1382 review reads)
Advantages: Taking-off from the place!
Disadvantages: Gates, Departures, Everything else!
It is truly amazing, how such a huge airport, which deals with millions of passengers every year as the gateway to the Balearic Islands largest, and most popular island of Mallorca / Majorca.
Since this airport is a favourite among many airline companies, ranging from the best (Thomas Cook, Britannia), to the worst (MyTravel), from the largest (British Airways, Iberia), to the smallest (Air Scotland), the expensive (Monarch Airlines), to the cheapest (bmiBaby, easyJet). So... you'd expect it to offer fanastic services, great customer services, and high safety! All of which, is believably DOESN'T!
<<< CHECK-IN >>>
We flew on-board with Britannia Airways, who had tens even twentys of check-in desks at the airport, which is very convenient for the amount of passengers they carry from Palma. And due to the size of the check-in area, I would expect that this is the case for most of the large airlines at Palma.
HOWEVER... this is not of a great advantage, as the coach parking area, where all the holidaymakers get dropped off, is in the far right hand corner of the check-in area, so if you're travelling with an airline company with check-in desks in the far left-hand corner of the check-in area, you're in for a loooooooooooooong walk! Don't expect no wheelchairs when you're travelling in the night, because there's no one on hand to help you or for you to ask!
The check-in assistants at the check-in desks aren't very helpful! They'll ask you a few questions, taking no particular interest in your answers, they'll print out your boarding passes, tell you what boarding gate you'll be using, and then tells you to go to departures, which is once again in the far right hand side of the check-in area! There's then a massive escalator leading to....
<<< DEPARTURES >>>
... this escalator ever so inconveniently takes ages to get you from bottom to top, and then when you do FIN
ALLY get to the top, you're faced by three cafés, and the duty-free stall. The duty-free shop is big, but is basically split into two parts... cigarettes & alcohol, then chocolate! I will admit though, it is pretty cheap considering everything else in the airport costs a bomb!
Then, there's nothing else to do except wait for your flight to be called, and basically stare at the screens, by a whole block of seats! How boring... especially if you were delayed! I couldn't imagine it! I wouldn't want to imagine it!
<<< GATES >>>
When you're flight is called to the boarding gates, you go through the first security blocks, here they check your boarding cards, passports, scan your bags and yourself, and let you set off on your 20 minute walk to the gates area!!! On the way you're greeted by numeroud small stalls selling Water and a few magazines, and a Warner Brothers store (which isn't open for passengers on night and early morning departures!) So, all this way, in a big concrete and marble building, dull and dark, isn't the best way to make your way to your flight! Especially if you're a nervous flyer like my mum!
Then, when you arrive at the entrance to the gates area, you get to join a huge queue of passengers, then proceed through passport control, and onto your flight! Passport control isn't exactly controlled! A man came past us, pushing through the queue saying to the controller "I can't stay, I'm in a rugh, the passport is in my bag, and my flight is almost boarded! I'm on the Gatwick and must go!"... in the time that he said that, and argued with the passport controller, he could have gone past by showing it! But he was ACTUALLY ALLOWED PAST! When we went up to him we'd hardly opened them and we were passed through! NOT SAFE!!!
<<< Boarding >>>
We used gate C45, which was brilliant! The toilets were very clean, and the area was also clean! There is
a massive window there for passengers to see their aircraft (to my delight, the G-BYAA, not the G-BRIG!!), which is convenient for aircraft enthusiasts (like myself!). The staff at the boarding gates were very helpful, and kind, but you couldn't really hear them due to the noise of the boarding area! The boarding process was very fast and convenient! Unlike the UK boarding process!
<<< Arrivals >>>
On landing at Palma, the aircraft takes approximately 10-20 minutes to get off the runway and to it's boarding gate, but as our aircraft landed the right way to get to our gate, it took us 12 minutes! The flight had been a little bumpy and delayed a little so it was a relief to get back down on the ground! It was then 01:00 local time and we were all very tired! On stepping off the aircraft, you're greeted by the heat that just hits you like a thousand knives!, but then there's the Air Conditioning, which is helpful! In the areas that it works!!!. The arrivals hall is a massive marble, concrete, dark, dull, horrible area, overcrowded with passengers! It is like a maze to get to and is approximately a 15 minute walk from the boarding gates!
Once you've collected your luggage, off these enormous luggage belts, you're faced with another 15 minute walk to the coach area! Where the hustle and bustle of Majorca meets up with you. There are travel reps and passengers EVERYWHERE! And it is mayhem! Once you finally get allocated your coach number and directed to a totally different area to where it is, you can go off searching for your coach! In the thousands that are there this could be a lengthy process, so make sure you have a drink handy! This is bad enough in the night, I dread to think what it's like in the daytime!
<<< Overall >>>
Overall... I cannot say I won't use Palma again, because it IS the only airport in Majorca! Which is unfortunate... because I'd DEFINITELY prefer to use another a
irport if it was possible! Anyway... if you are planning to use Palma airport, take care, and beware!!!
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