Flights of fantasy under the spotlight
LOCATION, location, location. The mantra used by smoothtalking real estate agents should also be a maxim for the smart traveller. Centrally located hotels, restaurants, cruise terminals, railway stations and airports can make for a seamless holiday experience, saving time and money. But it’s not always easy separating fact from fiction, particularly when it comes to airport classification.
Flight comparison site Skyscanner has found that many airports take the name of their closest city despite being more than 100km away.
The site names our own Melbourne (Avalon) airport — more than 55km from the Victorian capital’s CBD — in its list of the world’s most misleadingly named airports. But it’s by no means the worst.
Also singled out are Frankfurt (Hahn) airport, which is 110km from the German city; Munich West (112km from central Munich) and Paris-Vatry (Disney), a whopping 150km from Paris and 112km from the home of Mickey Mouse and his cohorts.
Travellers to Tokyo’s Narita airport, meanwhile, must pit their wits against heavy traffic for a good 60km before they reach the Japanese capital.
With increasing numbers bypassing travel agents — who can offer valuable insights into the pitfalls or otherwise of certain holiday decisions — and making their bookings online, results can be hit and miss.
And in many cases it’s the budget traveller who is caught out. Skyscanner cites low-cost carriers’ frequent use of ‘‘secondary’’, more isolated airports due to their lower operating costs, which can ramp up the initial ‘‘budget’’ price with costly ground transfers.
The solution? If booking online, do your research — find out exactly where you’ll be landing and factor in additional transport costs, and transfer time, accordingly. Fail to do so and that too-good-to-be-true discount Paris flight may turn out to be just that.