29th July 2018
Well, so much for the anticipated heatwave in the UK, we had rain yesterday morning in Wellington and it’s pretty cool…..after Turkey.
We were not impressed with the new terminal at Dalaman. The experience started well. We had to walk a long way to the check-in desk – the place is enormous – but check in was fairly straightforward. There is the usual queue for security and passport control but no worse than the old terminal.
The duty free shop is absolutely enormous which made it difficult to find things. However, it was interesting that when buying alcoholic drinks, the price decreases according to the amount you buy; two bottles are slightly cheaper than one!!
However, once we came out of duty free the nightmare started. There are very few signs around to tell you where to go so we followed other travelers to find the food court. There are, as usual, McDonalds, KFC, Subway and various other outlets. The problem is where to sit. It wasn’t easy to find seats in the old terminal but that was a doddle compared with this. We eventually had to pinch a couple of seats from an occupied table. We only wanted a soft drink (not paying Dalaman Airport alcohol prices!) but I wandered round for about ten minutes before I found somewhere to buy a bottle of water.
The gate for our flight came up on the board about 50 minutes before departure so we decided to find the gate in the hopes that it might be a bit quieter than the hell of the food hall. Gate 40A sounded relatively straight forward but after a good fifteen minutes’ walking we were forced to ask someone for help. He waved us ‘forward…..forward’ so we walked….and walked….and walked past gate 38 and 39 but where was gate 40? Eventually we found a seating area which we thought might be right so sat down. I then wanted to visit the Ladies but of course, no signs around so I had to ask a cleaner. She waved me in the right direction and I eventually found the loos.
We then decided that we weren’t sitting at the right gate as a long queue was forming outside a taped off area to our left. Yes!! This was gate 40A even though there was absolutely no sign. So we queued….and queued….and eventually got into the gate area. Luckily, although they were carrying out random searches, we avoided that fun. However, there were very few seats, maybe enough for a third of the passengers. We were very lucky as a couple of young foreign girls offered us their seats – we obviously appeared to be a couple of geriatrics – so we could, at least, sit down. As usual, all of sudden people leapt to their feet to form a disorganized queue for boarding. We eventually showed our paperwork again for the second time at the gate and then had a good ten minute walk down a ramp until……hooray, the door of the plane appeared.
After that it was no more ghastly than any other flights.
My personal opinion is that the new terminal has been opened far too early. I never thought I would wish to be back in the old one….but I DO.