CELEBRATING a decade in operation next year, the ‘new’ terminal at Cork Airport may have saddled its operators with massive debt, but it is a bright, airy and very comfortable terminal for travellers.
Among the facilities which the enhanced offering has brought are state-of-the-art security and x-ray equipment, and a total overhaul of the security operation, says marketing manager Kevin Cullinane.
‘The building was built to future-proof the aiport, and there is plenty of unused capacity here yet,’ he explained.
The airport has won several customer service awards, and ranks highly among European airports of its size, in surveys of customers.
Other innovations which the airport has introduced include a flight tracker facility on its app, which has proved very useful for those arriving to collect passengers at the terminal.
‘They can literally see how many minutes away a flight is, of if it’s delayed, or how far out from the coast it is at any time,’ said Kevin.
The extended duty free area has recently added the Mac cosmetics brand, which has proved very popular.
There are six food and beverage options at the airport, between Departures and Arrivals, and two newsagents – one on either side, both run by WH Smith.
Market research has shown that Cork Airport passengers have started to change their behaviour in recent years. With so many more people booking in online, and others using their smartphones as their boarding cards, the new trend now is for people to arrive and go straight to Departures.
As a result, the airport has enhanced its ‘pre-queue’ area. ‘The whole experience is much more pleasant now, and more linear,’ explained Kevin. ‘We have also deliberately kept the airport “quieter” – you will hear very few announcements – that helps reduce stress, so people don’t feel as frazzled.’
The car park rates compare well with other airports – and even long-term parking is mostly within walking distance. But for those who would prefer transport, there is a courtesy shuttle bus operating from the terminal.
While the old terminal only allowed for aircraft to be parked alongside the terminal – many will recall seeing the aircraft lined up outside the building – the new terminal allows for nose-to-terminal parking, maximising the use of space.
And while there are now airbridges operating to the planes (at the old terminal all passengers were required to walk to the planes), only Ryanair opts not to use them.
‘Ryanair want a 25-minute turnaround on aircraft, so they need to open both front and back doors of the aircraft. We give them a 22-minute turnaround at Cork,’ said Kevin.