Flying this year to Crete again after two years of break we used the airport in Heraklion. Therefore, we would like to share our insights with you about the changes we have noticed there. Our return flight was about two hours late so we had time to look at what the airport looks like right now.
Although in the next part we will focus on the description of the facelift of the departure zone, which was completed at the beginning of last year, but for now we have to mention the ills of this airport. It is impossible to hide that this place has long exceeded all limits in terms of the number of passengers served. Virtually every part of the current infrastructure is subject to burdens. In the rush hour, there is an unbearable crowd here and some kind of disorganization.
For many people who are used to using modern Polish airports, the baggage collection can be a big shock. During the hours of the greatest load, a relatively small room in which the tapes are located is bursting at the seams. It is difficult to move around with the hand luggage alone, let alone pull a larger suitcase behind you. With such a large number of people, the air-conditioning system also fails to cope, so that the baggage is stifling and hot in the reception hall. It must be admitted, however, that this situation was not new to us. Such conditions have been invariably in this place for many years.
Heraklion airport - luggage pick-up
The general chaos that prevails here during rush hours is further intensified by the fact that there are periods when one baggage is thrown out of two flights. It was with this situation that we met here in person this year, when the double number of passengers gathered around one tape, for which luggage from both flights was issued without any regularity. It is humorous to write that the airport in Heraklion gives a very clear signal that baggage collection is an activity that should be done quickly and efficiently without unnecessary delay.
We did not notice any major changes in the arrival hall. You will find here a few small points with car rental offices and travel agencies. It is also regrettable that also the sanitary facilities, whose condition is definitely below the level considered satisfactory, have remained without major changes.
Dozens of check-in positions available at Heraklion airport are divided into two sections A and B. It is worth paying attention to when checking your flight on the board with the departure schedule. This will make it easier for you to go to the right part of the hall.
Queue for check-in at the airport in Heraklion
At the outset, it is worth noting that the checki-in posts are finally connected to a common conveyor belt. At present, there is no need to place the second common queue after sending the main luggage, where the baggage is screened and subjected to the necessary security procedures.
Each of the check-in and check-in sections has its own part of the security clearance. At first glance, the queue in this place seems to be gigantic. However, it must be fairly acknowledged that the procedures are carried out very smoothly. Service handles the number of people passing through this part of the airport very well. The procedures themselves look similar to those of other airports. We have not noticed major changes or deviations here.
What has changed the most since our last stay at the airport in Heraklion is the renovated Hellenic Duty Free Shop and new waiting rooms in the area of gates. In these places, the airport is Nikos Kazantzakis in the end is not inferior to other airports. This is particularly evident in the case of the Duty Free Shop, whose area is much larger than in previous years. You can count on a very good selection of local products, which in most cases are displayed on shelves grouped thematically. The profitability of their purchase is quite debatable, but if you could not buy something because of weight restrictions on your luggage, you might just find it here.
In the pictures attached to this article you can see an assortment of local products that you will find here, among others. Of course, in addition to this type of goods in the store you will also find a wide selection of cosmetics from global brands, small gifts, as well as electronic gadgets.
Within the Duty Free Zone you will also find restored toilets. Their condition is much better than those available before renovation. It is worth noting, however, that even though only a few months have passed since the renovation, there is clearly visible wear on some of the sanitary equipment. This is an excellent proof that the airport infrastructure is clearly overloaded compared to the planned capacity.
Waiting rooms in the area of gates
This year, new gates and waiting rooms next to them were also available to travelers. They are certainly much more comfortable in relation to those before renovation, but it can not be hidden that their surface is still too small in relation to the needs. The number of seats is insufficient for passengers even for a single flight. In the case of delays, the free space within the gates shrinks at a very fast pace. In such situations, finding seats is practically impossible.
At the disposal of travelers in the Duty Free zone, a new gastronomic outlet has also been opened. In addition to the possibility of buying cold and warm drinks, you can also buy a rather limited selection of hot snacks. In the area of gates there are also points where you can recharge your phones if necessary.
Heraklion airport - food point
In our opinion, although we appreciate the changes that have taken place at the airport in Heraklion, we also believe that no further lifting of this place will improve the comfort of passengers too much. The number of tourists passing through here in the high season is just too big in relation to the surface of the terminal. All that remains is to wait patiently for the new Kasteli airport.