Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Shamshabad Airport

Having got so used to going to the airport in about 15 min when it was in the middle of the city I was a bit apprehensive about the long commute to the new International Airport at Shamshabad. So I went to their website and found out all the options about getting to the airport.

I decided to try out their airport shuttle option and I took it from the Paryatak Bhavan at Greenlands junction. The cost of the trip is Rs. 95 per head and there is a bus that leaves every 30 min and it is pretty much on time. On weekdays it takes about 1 hr and 30 min to get to the airport but since the date of my travel was Sunday we reached the airport in about an hour. The ride is very comfortable and smooth.

The airport itself is very new and swanky. It has quite a few food and beverage options inside the airport but they are quite expensive. You do not have baggage screening anymore as it is all automated. So you have to find your airlines counter and directly take your bags there and get your boarding pass and the baggage is checked in. You then have to go through security check and there is a very comfortable waiting lounge.

On the way back we decided to try out the cab option. So we came out of the airport and there were these whole row of Meru cabs waiting. We just got into the cab and I was told that it is Rs. 15 per kilometer and there was no minimum charge. This worked out very good for us since our house is about 30 km from the airport and the cab works out to Rs. 450 and the bus for the 3 of us was Rs. 285. So for just Rs. 165 more I was able to get a nice A/C car to get me home in just a little over 45 min on a Saturday which I would have paid the auto to come from Paryatak Bhavan to my house since I had luggage.

There are some car rental booths as soon as you come out of the airport but they are very expensive. They wanted Rs. 1200 for this same journey. Just walk a little further and you will see all the radio cabs that I took lined up one behind the other.

The question I guess is what option to choose to go or come back from the airport. If you are a single person traveling then the bus is a good option. But if you are more than one person traveling then you can do the calculations based on the above rates and decide. The commute to the airport is really not as bad as it is made out to be. My experience was quite nice and enjoyable.

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