After years of construction T1 opens at Barcelona El Prat Airport, but does this mean a more efficient arrival and departure?

Arriving in Barcelona El Prat on this occasion found myself in a completely new building on my arrival in September 2008, the atmosphere was large, grey and spacious, sparkling polished surfaces.

Gone is the immediate greeting by customs when departing the aircraft so you can quickly be checked and be on your way to collect your bags, instead a rather long walk takes you to the new customs area built to prepare for the masses that Barcelona expects over the next century, the intend is to make this Spain’s second international hub.

Bag collection means entering an atrium the size of a football pitch, waiting a good length of time to see any bags come out from the turning carousel.

Exiting the airport is slightly less efficient if you rely on public transport, taxis are readily available but if you need to catch the train into Barcelona you’ll need to hop onto a shuttle bus to T2 (free) which is 4km away, where most services leave from, including bus and train services to many destinations.

Both terminals should be better connected where transfers should not be required, plans for the future include extending the Barcelona Metro to the airport but this is not expected to be completed until 2012.

An airport should be a one-stop, all in one service without the hassle of trying to find your way out of it, Barcelona El Prat T1 is impressive when departing but on arriving leaves a rather complicated process for onward travel from the airport.


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