Long Walks at Airports

The trudging long walk to Gate F60 at the Changi International Airport to get to the RBA airplane is a real pain. I must have gone over like 5 travellators and still see no sign of F60, it's like climbing up the first bukit at Shahbandar. You go up this hill and everytime you looked up, you still have not seen the top but when you do reach the top and then you looked back, you realised how far you really are. That's what F60 looked like.

All sorts of things come up to mind during that long walk. I remembered at Heathrow Airport, if your flight gate is a long walk, they actually tell you that you flight gate is a certain time distance away like half an hour walk or something. So you do know what you are getting yourself into. So that's something to mark down Changi Airport for not having that facility. Another thought was, is the distance of the flight gate proportionate to the amount of fees the airlines pay? If so, either RBA is getting broke and unable to pay the high fees to be nearer the teriminal or RBA is not getting value for money by being given miles away gate.

Actually I have a strong suspicion, RBA is the one asking for the far away gate. When I was the PA to a VVIP, it used to be fun getting out early as that end gate is actually the first gate to the Changi Airport VVIP room. Presumably all flights which have VVIPs on board will end up on that gate as RBA does not use the end gate all the time. There are times when the plane does arrive at a gate slightly further up like F53 or F51. So I have not been able to verify that proportionate to distance fee yet. Though when one is lugging alone duty free stuffs and a hand luggage, forced to walk that mile walk, boy, you sure are not in an optimistic mood.

Though the Brunei Airport itself is no longer known as short walks. Gates 7 and 8 are also far especially when you are walking from the VIP room. I learned to ask the VIP pink ladies about gates and remind them if it is Gate 6 above, I have to start walking earlier as I don't want to be the cause why a plane is delayed. Mind you, we are still lucky RBA still operates. When if is no longer there and the replacement is the equivalent of a Brunei Air Asia, then be prepared to walk everywhere including down the airplane's steps as budget terminals are now built without aerobridges. Hmm, reminds me of Surabaya Airport climbing up and down those stairs.


FlyBoy said…
For your info, the reason we get Gate F60 , the furthest gate is usually because there is a VVIP on board the flight.
So whenever we do a Singapore and a VVIP or VIP is on board, we dread the flight as we will likely get F59 or F60 which is a long walk not just for the full-fare paying passengers but for us pilots too.
It is especially long when we do a turnaround flight and the wife has asked to buy chocolates or make-up at the duty-free shops.

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