Airport nicknames

Do you travel a lot ? If you do, you may well have developed nicknames for your most commonly visited airports. Or you may just refer to them as “living hells”. Personally I went with affectionate nicknames. Here are my nicknames for my top 5 most visited airports.

“The Groper” – Coolangatta Airport – Gold Coast, Australia

I don’t travel to the USA so I don’t experience the horror and indecency that is the TSA groping. Australian international airports are as close as I get, and they don’t actually grope you… normally. I have seen them giving a Muslim guy a very thorough “random” pat-down. Me, I just manage to score the “random” explosives test… every single time. I swear I have not failed to get that the last 5 times through that airport. By the time you’ve been through the second security screening and gone into the giant x-ray machine and told to hold your hands above your head while it scans your whole body, you’ll feel pretty violated.

“The Amazing Race” – Tan Son Nhat – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This airport is really nothing unusual. The security checks are very casual most of the time and often they’ll barely look up from the game they’re playing on their mobile phone. But if you aren’t a Vietnamese passport holder, there’s a game we play among the expats that I like to call “The Amazing Race”. It’s where you push your way ahead of all the tourists to rush to the immigration counter to get your visa-on-arrival stamped. The newbies will all just stand around dumbfounded complaining about how inefficient it is and how no one offers any advice or speaks intelligible English. But if you’ve been there before, you know the drill and you have all your documents and photos and money all ready. This is the only airport where I rush to get off the plane first. It should be called Tan Son “Nhanh”, if you know what I mean ;)

“The Cockroach Trap” – LCCT – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is as close to hell as I know. And I actually don’t mind waiting around in airports. This thing is so passenger unfriendly you’d think it was designed that way. There are no information booths, no staff who aren’t already busy, and often you get assigned to a gate which doesn’t exist and you have to desperately hunt around for someone to ask who will tell you that you wait at a different gate and then someone will call out for you and walk you around the back of the terminal to a gate that basically consists of a steel and glass shed… with no toilets. Pure hell on earth. It looks like a cockroach trap too. Thankfully I no longer have to visit it now that they’ve built …

“The Mouse Trap” – KLIA2 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a magnificent airport and it’s huge. Unfortunately that’s the problem. It’s too huge. You pretty much walk for thirty minutes through twisting corridors and up and down escalators before reaching the customs checkpoint. This place is massive and most of it is just empty corridors. It really does feel like a mouse trap, especially with all the ramps and side corridors that make you feel like a giant metal ball could roll out of them at any moment and send people running for their lives. Don’t take your granny to this airport unless you want to give her a piggy back. Once you actually get to the lounge itself, this place is really quite good, especially for such a new and not quite finished airport, but they don’t tell you to allow “up to 50 minutes” to get from the main lounge and entrance to the actual departure lounges for no reason. If you’re in a hurry and you don’t have much time then I hope for your sake that you’re a marathon runner.

“The Ziggurat” – Changi Airport – Singapore

Yes, what airport review could be complete without the famous Changi. I’ve named it The Ziggurat after the fictional building in 1920’s movie (and later 2000’s anime remake) Metropolis. Because it’s just freaking huge. It’s also mind-blowingly awesome. I actually book myself a few days stay in singapore just to explore this airport, and I’ve done it several times and STILL not seen everything. There are three terminals connected by trains. Terminal 3 is my favourite, but did you know that Terminal 2 has a 4 storey slippery slide ? This is an airport to get lost in, and I have. Don’t forget to change your watches, because if you leave yourself short of time in this airport you can kiss your flight goodbye.


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