The new Bangalore Airport opened on the 24th of May, and soon I was having nightmares about my next bangalore trip. How will I reach office ? or Rather WILL i reach office? Will I get a bus? OR Will I have to shell out HALF the airfare just to get to koramangala? Gosh..Life was soo much more blissful before this new airport opened up 40 km from the city! I used to peacefully catch the 8:50 Deccan which landed at 11:30 and I’d be in my office by 12..which isnt too bad! But this time around I had to take a 6:15 am flight, to take into account the 2.5 hours of travel from the airport to the city..not to mention the fact that I had to get up at an unearthly near-midnight hour (4:30 to be more precise!)..Sobb! The only consolation was I’d atleast get free breakfast on Jet Airways..yayy(luckily this flight was cheaper than Deccan). So I landed at around 8:45 am.It took us some 30 minutes just to get down from the flight, reach the baggage claim, get the baggage and head out. Anyways, I expected to see path-breaking architechture and creativity flowing in the new airport but was deeply disappointed.Its a rectangle, made of glass and shiny and glossy but thats about it.And to think, people were comparing this to the Dubai airport. But to be fair, I saw only the “domestic” arrivals area so hopefuly things get better elsewhere!
Continuing with my “Travel Saga”, There were signs pointing to where the bus stand is , so I followed that and reached the bus stand. There were conductors in white uniform standing there just to point out which bus to take depending on where you are going.Ofcourse ideally, they should have just made bigger versions of the route map which is being circulated everywheree, and displayed it prominently along with bus numbers. But what the hell, the airport started off only 10 days back so I shall cut some slack. It took the bus another 10 minutes to get full. The bus was one of those Vayu Vajras : Airconditioned Volvos with luggage berths in the front plying to and from the new airport.Not bad at all. It took us 1 hour to get to malleshwaram and the likes..and then almost another hour to cross the traffic and reach koramangala.So the bus started at around 9:30 and I was in my office at 11:20. ALmost 2 hours. Thats exactly the flight duration too! The buses have designated drop off points so I had to get down at the st johns hospital signal and take another minimum distance auto from there to reach my office near Maharaja. Not too inconvenient since I was travelling light. But I did notice, people with a lot more luggage struggle quite a bit to get down at the middle of the road esp near the indian express building and queens road etc. Anyhow net-net, It wasnt TOO bad an experience. Its obviously a much bigger discomfort for domestic passengers than having it on “old” airport road but well we cant do anything about that can we?
And now to give some fundaes about how to travel from/to the airport :
Option 1 : Take the MERU / EASY taxis from the airport. This costs a bomb though.800 bucks to koramangala! And they have phone numbers , which you can call if you want a pickup from your home to the airport
Option 2 : Take the bus. 150 bucks to Koramangala. From the airport, its a no-brainer taking these buses. But if you want to get to the airport, just check out the website www.viaworld.in
You can book your seats in the volvo and for 100 Rs more you can book a cab which will pick you up from the house and drop you at the Vayu Vajra pick up points
Option 3 : www.airliftonline.com : A very impressive company having a fleet of 32 innovas. Its a sorta share-taxi thingy where you pay 350 bucks to get to the airport from specific pick up points (Another 150 bucks if you want a pick up from home) .But its all hi-tech..GPS tracking system to track traffic ; Personalised tv screens for every seat to entertain you in those 2 hours ; a Luggage box on the top of the innova. Pretty neat idea!
Well these are the 3 options. I am sure more companies will soon start catering to the “I dont mind paying more than 150 but 800 is too expensive” category of people 🙂