Sunday, 17 May 2009

Alicante airport – the gate of the Mediterranean

Each year, several millions of travelers come to Spain and Costa Blanca through Alicante Airport. Despite its small size, it is one of the most busy airports in Spain. For many travelers, it is the starting point of their vacation on the Mediterranean. Alicante airport is well connected with many cities of Europe. Around 80% of all the visitors are from UK, Germany, France, Holland and other European countries. In addition, it is indirectly linked with the rest of the world by local flights from Madrid or Barcelona.

The airport is located quite close to Alicante – just about 10 kilometres (6 miles) away from the city center. You can find it between places of Torrellano and Urbanova, close to the city of Elche, following the roads A-79, N-338 and N-332.

The airport halls are spacious, with a lot of light, having large entrance doors. They are organized in three levels. The arrival hall is in the lowest level, with a coffee shop, offices of several travel agencies and a Police station. Around the arrival gate you can also find offices of Alicante car hire agencies. There are 6 of them on the side of the coffee shop: Solmar, Goldcar rental, Europcar, Auriga crown, Record and Avis. Another 4 are situated closer to the exit: Sixt, Hertz, National-Atesa and Centauro.

The check-in area is situated on the middle level (the first floor). It has two parts. In the first hall (above the arrival gate), there are 38 regular check-in posts of terminal T-1 (numbered from 1 to 38) and one post for bulky luggage (number 39). Passing by the last post and walking further through a corridor you enter the hall of terminal T-2. There are additional check-in posts, numbered from 51 to 64. The departure area is situated on the second floor (upper level), with a standard shopping and restaurant zone.

Close to the stairs and the elevator, connecting all three levels, you can find the Information desk, as well as offices of several airline companies: Iberia, Flybe, Monarch, Air Europa, Spanair, Jet2, Air Algerie and Airberlin. You can also have a snack in a self-service coffee bar La Marina. The offices of other agencies (such as Alicante air service, Thomas Cook, Air Finland, ServisAir, Thomson Tui, Travelplan, Aga airlines, Easy Jet and Menzines Aviation) are situated near the corridor connecting halls of two terminals.

In front of the airport building, you can find a large car park. Currently, new additions are also under construction. Once the new Terminal 2 is finished, the airport will provide a large parking area for more than 6000 vehicles. The new terminal, which should be finished during 2009/2010, is added as a solution to an increasing number of flights. Some of the airlines (such as Ryanair and EasyJet) are already operating from the new terminal.

The staff of the airport is highly professional, friendly and always ready to help. Most of them do speak English. The airport is organized well – I personally never had any bad experience. My luggage always arrived; it was never lost nor damaged. However, if it happens that your luggage is missing, just follow the standard procedure. Fill in the form and let the airport staff help you. In the worst case, you will get a survival package for your basic daily needs. In the most cases, the lost luggage is found within 24 hours.

When planing your flights to Alicante, check them on time and book them early. Visit the websites of travel agencies in order to find possible bargains. One of them is AENA - Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea . It offers the complete information about scheduled flights from and to Alicante, available in both Spanish and English languages.

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