GateHold From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 24075 times:
Funny "Ask the Pilot" column this week over at Salon (by Patrick Smith, a regular to this board)...
WELCOME TO DAKAR, HOME OF THE WORST AIRPORT ON EARTH
>>> All around there are people, but few of them are passengers. They are touts, hawkers, vagrants, drifters, thieves -- a melange of dubiously intended hangers-around, eyeing you with the stubborn, languid glare of a vulture. There is nowhere to sit, no seats. Which really is all right because the worst thing you can do is cease moving. The approximately 5:1 scoundrel-to-passenger ratio ensures youâ€™ll never remain unmolested for more than a few seconds. The moment you stop, somebody is hovering over your shoulder, mumbling incoherently. Brush him away, and he instantly replaced by a man asking if youâ€™d like to buy a plastic watch or a counterfeit phone card. Resistance is futile, and in the honored tradition of third world hustlers, he is a man of many trades. Do you need any souvenir trinkets? Do you need to exchange currency? Do you need a hotel room; itâ€™s just up the road and his â€œcousinâ€ is the â€œownerâ€? No? Okay, well then maybe youâ€™re the giving sort, and would be generous enough to hand over some money, along with a few of your clothes? You know, a gift, a small cadeau -- to invoke that ubiquitous, reckless plea that floats about French Africa like a desperate wail. Your sneakersâ€¦ what are those, New Balance? â€œYes, you can give me those please, thank you. I can have your sneakers now. Cadeau? Cadeau?â€ <<<
LHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 665 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 23740 times:
it was the thought of the Dakar stop that sent me running to take AF/SA from LAX-CDG-JNB last month rather than DL's LAX-ATL-DKR-JNB even though DL was cheaper and shorter....(well, that and the prospect of 20 hours in one of their '3rd world' 763s...)
Quoting GateHold (Thread starter): touts, hawkers, vagrants, drifters, thieves -- a melange of dubiously intended hangers-around, eyeing you with the stubborn, languid glare of a vulture
that are reported elsewhere.
On the plus side the views from the terminal building at BRR are outstanding. But they do have difficulty sticking to the timetable - something, they say, to do with the moon or the tides or something.
Comorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4908 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 22527 times:
As Patrick Smith points out, Dakar is one of the world's great Caravanserais - like Samarkand in the past. How disappointing then to read that the romance of old flying boats and Concorde has been replaced by sordid reality!
BOM, however, has no excuse. The late-night international departure experience leaves a very poor impression - are improvements on the way? Aptly named, however - looks like it hasn't been refurbished since Shivaji's days...
OwlEye From Netherlands, joined Feb 2006, 977 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 22320 times:
The worst airport to me was Logan Airport, Boston-MA: very old fashioned, crowdy, chaotic, reconstruction here, reconstruction there, nasty, frightening and annoying US-customs. I thought I stepped 40 years back in time. Unbelievable to get such a first impression of the USA though the city of Boston with its museums and Harvard University made it all right again, very impressive even. Okay it was close after 9/11 but still... Meanwhile the airport has improved I believe...
KL577 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2006, 782 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 20879 times:
Quoting Craigw (Reply 5): Dakar actually has a pretty nice business class lounge..... I've been to a lot worst in Africa and the one that springs to mind is Douala.
Many airports in the African continent do not live up to the expectatiosn, but according to many Dakar is one of the best. Kano airport, in my hometown, is very bad, with zero facilities and a first class lounge where you can only get a softdrink. Toilets which haven't been flushed in months (you can imagine the smell), no conveyor belts to speak off, the luggage is being offloaded from the metal containers in front of you. A disproportionate amount of government officials who all need to speak to you about the contains of your luggage. The bus used for transport between terminal and aircraft was built in the 1960s. The cargo-loaders often break down (about 50%) and then they start loading cargo with a common fork-lift truck. Electricity goes off frequently and everything goes dark (including runway lights) untill somebody finds the diesel-generator five minutes later. And this is the international terminal, the domesic terminal is a long shaped barn with zero facilities. And I can go on, but then again, those are the stories that make travel in Africa special.
The best among the wost: Maradi, in Niger republic. There nothing here, except a small terminal building. There is a bar in the airport and chairs and tables at the tarmac. Planes haven't been there for years, but it is the best place to drink a cool beer in town after the heat of the day.
SkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 20879 times:
I flew through Dakar on a stop over on my way IAD-JNB, but never got to go inside the airport. I have to say, though, that the worst has to be the old terminal at DCA serving NW, AirTran, etc....that place is just abysmal.