Already at the arrival we were little pleased with the efficiency at the airport. We did not think that it would be worse when we took off.
First you have to arrive three hours before departure. At the entrance, the passports and flight confirmations are checked. We have made the mistake of assuming that online check-in information is sufficient. This was too little for the post, because there was only standing: “Dear Mr …., you have checked in 3 persons for the following flights.” Unfortunately, the names of the individual persons were not shown here. These were only on the book confirmation, which we had somewhere in one of the suitcases. We were put on the side and had to search our names from the list of all passengers who had international flights in the next hours. At least the list was alphabetic.
During the online check in, only the seats were reserved, but no eTickets were issued (continue reading and it gets clear why). They were overwhelmed by the fact that we had more like two suitcases. It was not a suitcase after another, as usual on other airports we ever used. First all have to be weighed, while the first suitcase almost escaped to the conveyor belt. After all the cases were weighed, the stickers were printed and attached to the suitcases. Lastly we got tags for our hand luggage. The fact that the passports were read electronical beforeissuing the tickets is self-evident, that happens at almose every airport.
The next stop was then the queue for passport control. After about 30 minutes we reached the passwort counter (thats much faster compared to the US immigration, but still very slow). I gave the three passes and the three boarding passes to the officer but this was not acceptable for him. We were told to put the boarding pass into the respective passport to the photo and then hand it over one by one. Both the boarding passes and tickets were scanned, checked, stamped, etc.
Approximately 3 meters after the passport check, the safety check (xrqy) queue was starting. After the passport checks took so long, there was almost no queue here – we were practically directed directly to one of the inspection offices. We, already practiced, pack all electronic devices – with the exception of the photo camera – into their boxes. Also give belts, jackets etc. into boxes for X-ray. The man in front of us did not have his ticket with him and was sent back to his belongings. Good to know that you have to show the ticket again – the Passport and Ticket control is already almost a minute ago and scarcely 10 meters away! So we quickly catched the tickets from the boxes where our belts, handies and passports are and go – men first because there are sex-separated X-ray machines – through, show the tickets which the official immediately takes away and who wants to know who is who. Kasia is still waiting for our things to finally slide forward in the direction of x-rays and you can go through the x-ray machine for women. After a short discussion and waving, it was clear to the security who belongs to which ticket. Then the manual control by means of hand-held devices starts, because the X-ray machine was piping for everybody (at least while we where there). We have also taken care that our clothes do not contain metal but it was not helping. After the manual checks, our tickets were stamped so that the gate number and the seats are difficult to read – but who wants to know where to go and what seat you have in the plane?
So go over to the belt from the X-ray collecting our hand luggage – only they were not there yet. The security, which should sit before the screen, was just in a discussion with one of his colleagues. After 1-2 minutes he sits down again and continues – very conscientiously. Before we can finally take our hand luggage, another security officer swings another stamp and stamps the tags on the hand luggage – except for that one where the camera was inside. We had to take them out and let it rerun trough the X-ray. After barely 5-10 minutes we were finished with the security check – not to believe. The stamps on the pendants of the hand luggage give you much more security – it is inconceivable that someone will put the stamped pendant on another piece of baggage if he/she is planing something bad …
So we stopby at duty-free and getting some alcoholics for two friends. At the checkout we not only have to show a ticket. No, we also had to show the password (which was scanned again!). Since there were two bottles, the staff insisted that we give him two tickets and passes.