gilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2880 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1753 times:
Flew from Birmingham airport the other week for the first time in about 2 years, and gave us the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about with the airport going on about their new single terminal integration...
We were flying with Ryanair, and traditionally they have used the airports old BA Eurohub terminal (since they launched a base there).
Im not too sure to what I was expecting, but disappointed to not landside, both terminals are almost untouched, and check in was as before - two area's for check in, the main terminal and the old Eurohub terminal. You have the walk way between both terminals but this has been in place for about five years now...
Noticed Security has been completely redeveloped and is now just one area, this was very large and quick to get through. But the disappointment soon kicks back in, when you are all funnelled through from security and forced to walk through the duty free shop and into the departure lounge, which isn't new and was the existing departure lounge in the main terminal.
What a depressing place that is, with low ceilings, hardly any natural light and an array of over priced shops...
We were flying on a Sunday evening and the airport was reasonably quiet, but I could imagine on a week day morning that departure lounge could be hell, with all passengers from both terminals forced to use this existing one departure lounge now! I was pretty sure Ryanair would still be using the boarding gates in the old Eurohub Terminal, but not flying from there in recent years decided it would be best we remain in this area until our flight was called.
As predicted the flight did operate from the Eurohub building, and only to find out you end up having to back track and walk behind the screens where security was, and is about 5-10 walk from the departure lounge. I was expecting the Eurohub departure lounge area to be refurbished, and be just boarding gates. How wrong could I be!
It is just the old departure lounge, but like a ghost town! People only come into this area as and when their flights are called up on the boards.
If only we had known our flight was boarding from this area before we would have headed to the Eurohub departure area first as it is far more airy and still has all the old shops open.
I can't comment on the arrivals situation at BHX, as we flew home with Ryanair from Reus to Luton.
What is other peoples view of the "Single Terminal Integration" at BHX?
I maybe had overly high expectations and was expecting a completely refurbished airport. But I have read so much on the airports website on how this is going to make the experience so much better and about all the money they were investing!
The security area was very good, but this is really the only area I can see they have invested in.
Does the airport have any plans to integrate all the check in into one area and also will they be spending any money airside? Because I get the impression the "Single Terminal Integration" project is now complete.
Is it also intended all airlines will continue to fly from their existing locations at the airport, for example Ryanair and FlyBE from the EuroHub, or does this not happen and does the aircraft parking chop and change?
It reminds me a bit like LTN, how they had a whole new terminal building built, but if you are flying with Ryanair or from a boarding gate that backs out on to the old apron, you end up walking into the old terminal building's departure lounge to board your flight and how hardly a penny has been spent on it in years!
HarpandShamrock From Ireland, joined Mar 2011, 133 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1113 times:
From what I've seen so far, the changes to the security area have made a huge improvement, the queues have been about half of what they used to be before. It's also an improvement for passengers on FR, BE and AF who were previously combined to T2, the old Eurohub terminal. You may prefer it, but personally I thought it seemed very dated and "1980's". Now passengers from those airlines, have the option of using the old T1 facilities. Yes the lack of windows and the low ceilings in the waiting area are a bit depressing, but there is nothing stopping you walking out to the gates area, and the T1 gates are amongst the most pleasant areas in any British Airport.
Overall, the terminal integration doesn't make much difference, but the difference it makes I think is overall positive.
2011 so far: LX (4), FR (2), EI (2), BE (2) - 4004 miles