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My experience at two very different Indian airports: TRZ vs HYD

At one of the airports, a cab service provider tried to fool me by showing the fare for an SUV that was much higher than that for a sedan.

BHPian vigsom recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Introduction

This is a brief account of my experiences at two airports in India - the lesser known Tiruchirappalli (code TRZ) versus the bigger Hyderabad (Shamsabad) (code HYD). The intent here is to showcase how a smaller airport, although short in style, can be a surprisingly pleasant and hassle-free experience.

How did I get to use a lesser-known Tiruchirappalli Airport

I was in town for work and had to go to Hyderabad at short notice. I knew that this airport was connected to Hyderabad by an ATR72 in the evening, but when I checked, I realised that the late evening ATR72 had made way for a morning service which was an A320. I booked myself on the morning departure as it made better sense to board at TRZ than go by road/ rail to Chennai and then fly out to Hyderabad.

Small yet significant information on the Tiruchirappalli Airport

For the uninitiated, Tiruchirappalli Airport in Tamil Nadu has apparently been functioning since pre-Independence times to cater to mail service to/fro Colombo. Commercial flights started after independence. From what I know, there was a time in the 80s when this Airport would serve three commercial jet planes a day of the then Air Lanka to Colombo, but would have just one Indian Airlines Avro HS748 service to Chennai a day.

Even today, this airport services more international flights than domestic - of the approx. twenty flights a day, six are domestic connecting Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, while the rest are international, connecting Colombo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Some of the international services are daily while some of the Air India Express ones are on fewer scheduled days every week.

Experience at Tiruchirappalli Airport

I took an autorickshaw to the airport, and realised on arrival that they aren't allowed inside the airport gate; got off at the gate, walked in, and was pleasantly surprised to see beautiful parking and an even more beautiful terminal against the morning sun. However, I was shocked to see a serpentine queue of passengers waiting to get into the terminal.

Reason: There were two or three international departures lined up around that time and only two security personnel to check passengers and let them in. Although I was there two hours prior, I felt that this queue might play spoilsport to those arriving late for baggage drop.

My fears were allayed as I was in the terminal in a mere 15 minutes, which was very good considering how long the queue was. Post that, my baggage drop, security and move to the gate was another 20 minutes. This, despite the fact that the security check area was rather small.

The visual treat aka parking at Tiruchirappalli Airport

Terminal Building against the morning sun

Queue outside

Pre-baggage drop screening and belting

Check-in and baggage drop area

Cafe before moving up to the gate

Passage to the new gate area

Gate area

Continue reading about vigsom's airport experience for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

 
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