Vienna International Airport has a new terminal. 1 and 2 were always there (or at least for as long as I can remember flying) and now there's a number 3. Last Monday, going out to Copenhagen, I went through the new terminal for the first time and it sucked, it sucked real bad. Here's what I posted to Facebook before boarding my plane to Denmark:
I'd gotten off the train the same way I always used to (as in step out and walk to the right) and had to find my way through remnants of construction sites and all new signage in the old terminals 1 and 2 before I finally found the right way to terminal 3. Then, once there, it all went so quickly - self check-in and handing off the bag and getting through security - that there was no way I could have gotten anything to eat outside the expensive gate-area.
Today, a week later, I went through the new VIE terminal 3 again and this time I was prepared. Not prepared as in looking up where I was supposed to go and what the path should look like, but prepared as in I wasn't surprised by this terminal's existence.
And, guess what, once you're not completely lost this terminal is pretty awesome!
This is where I'd have blogged from if I hadn't gotten distracted and done other stuff instead:
Yes! It's an individual seat with an individual table with two electrical outlets for charging your laptop or your phone or both so you can spend the time you have to wait at the gate doing something useful like watching cat videos on YouTube. Seriously, though. This is pretty cool. These units of four seats are all over the place, there's one to three of them at most gates and at the three I've been to so far (What, three gates for two flights? That's beause I can't count and waited at F26 for an hour last time only to find out I was supposed to be at F36. I did better today.) the reception is really good. Free WiFi at the airport and you can actually use it comfortably too!
So about finding the way... I was all like "AAAAARGH VIE! Y U NO NICE TO ME?" last time and felt lost half the time and confused all the time, but today I found out the reason for that was simple: walking right instead of left. So, if you know beforehands what terminal you're supposed to go to, it's actually really easy. Today I took to the left after getting off the train and the escalator/stairs there take you right into the middle of the terminal. You'll first get to the arrivals area, but go left immediately and up the stairs and you'll be in the departures zone. Then it's easy-peasy through check-in and baggage drop-off and depending on how much time you have, you can go back downstairs and get food.
This is where you go to the departures area right after coming out the train tunnel.
Downstairs you have a big Spar supermarket, a McDonalds and McCafé, an Anker bakery and other cafés and little shops (last-minute souvenirs, for example) so there's a lot to chose from for you pre-flight breakfast/lunch/dinner/whatever and you don't have to get an expensive coffee at the gate. This might sound like silly information to some, but last week I had to get up really freaking early for my really freaking early flight so obviously I didn't have any breakfast and was also very tired and I could have killed for getting a a nice hot coffee and some small pastry before getting to my gate (seriously, I get really grumpy when I'm tired or hungry or - and that's worst - both at the same time).
And then when you're through security (and passport control, if you're leaving the EU), you don't have to wait at your typical ugly gate with uncomfortable seats - you get the workstations from the picture at the beginning and even the regular waiting areas are really nice and comfy!
You can actually lie down there! And the seats have NO ARMRESTS!!! No armrests at any seats in the whole terminal!! - Anyone who's ever had to spend a night in an airport knows why I'm so excited about this.
Last week I had a really awesome time in Copenhagen even though it started pretty bad what with the new terminal and not knowing anything about it. This week the trip started pretty well what with the new terminal and knowing about it - so how great is my time in Belgrade going to be? Very, I hope.