Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bIA on top!

IA on top!
Dave Evans, a seasoned traveller, in a letter to Bangalore Mirror expresses his bewilderment at all the negative publicity surrounding the Bengaluru International Airport. For him, BIA is the best!

I’ve been closely following the recent coverage of the Bengaluru International Airport. I am quite surprised by all that I have been reading and in particular, the negative comments regarding the airport and its operations.
As someone who has spent time in far too many domestic and international airports—dozens of cities in as many countries—I have been consistently impressed with the Bengaluru International Airport. My favorable impression continues to this day, having been through the airport twice in the past two weeks alone.
When I first visited India in June of last year to lead a series of social media marketing workshops in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, I was pleasantly surprised when my check-in bags were available in less than ten minutes after landing at the airport. Compare this with the 30 minutes or more it takes elsewhere. I have re-told this experience in subsequent workshops, and written about it in my regular online column at ClickZ.(LINK:http://www.clic My line of work is teaching businesses how to effectively tap the power of the social media by creating favorable customer experiences that people will talk about. The Bengaluru International Airport creates an exceptional experience for travellers, by design.
Consider the following:
1. Typical flight check-in times are ten or fifteen minutes, and often less than five.
2. Security staff move travellers very quickly—my time on line is generally under five minutes—and provides a thorough, professional screening.
3. While waiting in the airport, there is a wide range of concession services. I recently purchased a holiday gift for my wife. The waiting area itself is very pleasant and relaxing.
4. The airport provides complimentary Wi-Fi, a practice that I wish was followed at home in the US!
5. On arrival, bags are ready for pickup in less than ten minutes.
6. On leaving the airport, there is a clean and well-organized pick-up area and an excellent access road leading to the main highway.
Taken together, you can understand my surprise given what I’ve been reading recently. I’ve become quite a fan of the Bengaluru International Airport and look forward to traveling through it. I’ve seen many online conversations by young people and families choosing to spend a weekend day relaxing in the green area surrounding the airport. A quick search of Twitter reveals plenty of positive talk about the airport, to the credit of Bangalore and Karnataka.
From my perspective, the airport itself and the surrounding grounds are worldclass: It is a facility that Bangalore and the employees of the airport together can take pride in. The experience provided to travellers, and in particular, the very important initial experience provided to people on their first arrival to Bangalore, is one that sends a clear message about India and its vision for the future and its role as a technological and social superpower.
To conclude, while improvement is always possible, people and the things people create are never perfect. The Bengaluru International Airport is a striking example of how well an airport can actually run and offers an experience for travelers that Bangalore as a city can be truly proud of.


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