“ Tallinn Airport (TLL), Tallinn, Estonia. „
Arriving in Tallinn was quite the experience. As the plane began to descend and I looked out of the window, I saw a massive building with lovely looking glass panels for the roof and in comparison to East Midlands Airport, I thought I was about to get off the plane to a really nice airport. I was wrong.
It wasn't until I stepped foot in the airport that I realised that I had been transported back to the 1970s. The whole airport was a weird mixture of brown and beige and it was not a pretty sight at all. On the way to luggage claim, all I could see was horrible looking dark brown chairs and benches. The whole airport looked miserable and old and in dire need of updating. When I finally got to baggage claim it didn't get any better. Firstly, let me say that before I got on the plane in England, there was a sniffer dog that everyone had to go past. Obviously, this is never a good sign as someone is blatantly taking something on the plane that they shouldn't. So, baggage claim began quite normally as we were waiting for the bags to come down. As the bags came down, a policewoman came out of a door with a huge dog. As the bags began to go around the carousel, the policewoman let the dog jump up on the bags to sniff and trample all over them. Now, my luggage is very sturdy and was in no danger of getting damaged but there were some soft bags being trampled on. I feel extremely sorry for the people with those bags.
Thankfully, after that it wasn't too bad. After collecting our bags, leaving the airport was straight forward. All we had to do was wait in a line with our passports which were scanned and we were on our way. Outside of the airport were plenty of taxis so waiting was not a problem. As you can see though, my first experience of this airport was not a good one.
Going back to the airport for our return flight was completely different. Before security there is actually a decent amount of shops and cafes. There is still a chance to buy last minute souvenirs as well as drinks, chocolate etc. from a newsstand. If you go up a lift, you can also have a bite to eat in the café. After checking our luggage and getting rid of our cases we headed through security which didn't take long at all. After going through security, it was like being in a different airport altogether compared with what I saw the first time. In the departure lounges are many different places to eat including a sushi bar, a café serving hot meals and somewhere to get sandwiches and wraps. There is also shopping for those last minute gifts or cheap booze and sweets. The departure lounges were actually very clean and modern and I was extremely surprised to see this. This part of the airport was so different from what I saw before and I didn't really understand how it could be so different. If all of the airport had been like this I would have been impressed immediately.
Tallinn airport is quite small in comparison to others like Manchester but using it to leave Tallinn was a nice experience. You won't find lots to buy here like you would in bigger airports but you can still buy the odd gift and some food. I wish the whole airport was as modern and nice as the departure lounges. I think that the impression this airport gives as you enter Tallinn is not a very good one and because of this, my experience here was quite mixed.
Tallinn airport is really quite strange and is like going to two different places.