People Are Royally Shitty With Melbourne Airport’s Fancy New Terminal
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The best airports in the world are the ones that make the complete and utter pain of being in transit as painless as humanly possible.
Singapore Changi, for example, frequently gets cited as the world leader in airports, with its luxurious amenities and remarkable efficiency their crowning jewels. Melbourne Airport, in 2015, ranked as the 25th best airport in the world, according to the Skytrax World Airport Awards.
But right now the airport is copping a tonne of flak from travellers, and it’s all to do with their fancy, new T4 terminal.
The facility recently re-opened after undergoing a major, $400million facelift – including a new multi-story car park – and is now the permanent home of budget carriers Jetstar, Tiger, and Rex. Sporting a sprawling food court and retail area, the Terminal is being proudly trumpeted by Melbourne Airport as a major new asset for the airport and one that will serve it well into the future.
And people fucking hate it.
The chief problem with terminal four, as far as travellers see it, is the vast distance between the check-in area, and the actual terminal gates.
At its longest point, the distance between the designated public drop off point and the furthest gates is a staggering 2km. What’s more, the lack of options for mobility impaired people are thin, and the long corridors between food court and gates do not have travellators, despite the $400million spent on the upgrade.
Customers are also voicing concerns about a lack of seating. The terminal features a modified gate announcement system, where the gate of flights is not displayed on the giant departure boards until the flight opens for boarding; seemingly geared towards keeping people in the retail and food area of the terminal for as long as humanly possible.
Melbourne Airport even went so far as to produce videos instructing people how to get to the new terminal’s car park…
…and its drop-off zones.
Meanwhile, terminal tenant Jetstar produced a video of their own, extolling the virtues of the new building.
For what it’s worth, Jetstar representative Zoe Knobel stated that, “while some customers have given us feedback on the walk between check-in and the boarding gates, it’s actually not much farther than what they were used to at the previous terminal.“
The airport, for their part, insists that feedback for the new and improved terminal has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
Suggestion: Steer into the skid and brand the terminal as Fitness Flying – “Get aerobic before you get airborne!”