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Southampton Airport

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Location - The 20th largest airport in United Kingdom is just 4 miles from Southampton. This airport is known as Southampton airport and is managed by the BAA, he body which manages affairs for famous airports like Gatwick, Heathrow and likes. The airport is not only close to Southampton but also to a host of other places like Portsmouth and Winchester - all of which fall into the 20 mile radius. The important roads like M27 motorway, the M3 and A33/A34 links the airport to major parts of England and the rest of UK.

Know your Airport - Interim numbers suggest that Southampton airport has handled more than 1.5 million travelers in the year bygone. Owned and managed by the BAA plc. The Southampton airport has humble beginnings from 1936. Established in Eastleigh, the airport served as a testing ground for the Supermarine Spitfire. Recently it has undergone a near about £5 million investment, which has transformed the look and feel of the airport. The energy-conserving mechanisms on site have added to the eco-friendly nature of the airport and Southampton airport can be truly called a green airport. New projects are on anvil, which would increase the current terminal and other facilities for departure & arrival to accommodate the perceived increase of travelers using this airport in a quarter of century. This would make the airport not only suitable for flights but its facilities could be termed the very best in its region 25 years from now.  



Airport Structure

  Terminals - There is a single terminal which has catered to the interests of nearly 1.5 million passengers in 2005. Travelers from as much as 33 different destinations have found the airport facilities and also the amenities outside a comfortable experience.

Transit systems
- While there exists no specific transit system inside the airport, the airport is on all bout one level. This makes the airport much easier to navigate for the young, the old and the differently abled. The absence of stairs and escalators has further added to the friendliness if the airport as some passengers finds it difficult to negotiate stairs as well as rapid stairs in the escalator.

Inside the terminals
- The terminal facilities at Southampton airport are remarkably traveler-friendly. Lets us start with the check in. The check-in desks are in a straight line in front of the entrance; it is the first thing that you will notice as you enter the building. Please note that the check in times should be verified with the ticket or with your airline. The general guidelines for check in procedures at Southampton airport advise passengers to international and domestic flights to be present at least an hour before departure. For travelers going by MyTravel, TUI, First Choice and Thomas Cook holiday flight, the minimum 2 hours before departure is a rule. The boarding might begin 45 minutes before the departure but the check in usually entails a lot many procedures. To avoid missed flights, flight departure information as flight numbers are displayed on the television monitors located all throughout the main public area. After the £5 million investment, the new look airport terminal is like a cove opening only a little. Lined by small plants and well-planned seating arrangements, there is hardly a dull moment inside the terminal.

Safety - Please remember that improved security procedures means that inspection in the airport can take a bit of your time. Please be patient as the checking ensures unwanted events to not happen. One of the main issues of concern has always been hand baggage. At Southampton airport such issues are treated fairly and passengers are advised to follow certain strict guidelines. The maximum weight of any hand baggage should ideally be 7 kilos. The ideal dimensions should not extend beyond 450cm in height, 35cm in breadth and 20cm in depth. Please remember that most airlines have a hand baggage measurement estimate at check-in so if you don’t comply to the requirements stated above, it could lead to unnecessary delay in boarding. Please ensure that you are not found in possession of flammable liquids and solids, gas cylinders, infectious substances and harmful substances of any nature as they will be treated as contraband if found within your baggage.

Business facilities
- The business amenities for the business traveler have been carefully planned keeping in mind two things: communication and freedom of thought. There is British Telecom as well as Mercury telephones in the terminal area. Make calls as you want when you want, when there is a problem with the mobile phone. Freedom of thought or space for plans has been a bane for business travelers all over the world. For training sessions or just important business meetings that might require staying up to 3-12 hours, why hire a hotel and make the costs expensive? The conference centre at the airport can be hired and it comes loaded with a full range of presentation equipment. Please pre-book as availability might be problem if demanded suddenly.

Family interests
- The Information Desk of the Southampton airport can give you specific information about all the facilities at the airport and can help you find your way, in case you are lost. The toilets are cleaned at regular intervals and are categorized for male, female and disabled. They can be easily located in the arrivals and departures areas. As far as baby care is concerned, there is a baby care room located in the main concourse. It contains arrangements for feeding and warming food in form of a private feeding cubicle and bottle warmer. For older children, the parents traveling with children can accompany them to the unisex toilets, at all important junctures of the airport. While at the airport, the passengers and their families can catch some snacks or involve children in their one of those ‘eating’ fiestas. Children are most welcome in all airport restaurants and menus are specially ordered to suit their purpose and easting habits. While everything is good about having a family vacation or a short trip, small bruises must not be allowed to dampen their spirits. This is why the Southampton airport terminal has a first aid room with an attached toilet. Look for the one by the arrivals exit in the main public area. After medical attention, children are best calmed by the fantastic air-views of the airport or airplanes flying by or landing at the airport. The viewing gallery that is situated at the end of the passenger concourse is a good place to just that. It is free of charge to all visitors and serves as the best places for mommy and daddy to comfort their children as they fly to work.

Parking options - Southampton airport is situated outside the busy city center. Naturally the short stay parking is ideal for travelers or family seeing off their relatives. Park for only a couple of hours at the short stay car park just yards away from the terminal. The long stay car park is situated north of the Southampton terminal has three zones to accommodate all the vehicles and the rush. There are recurrent transfer buses taking passengers free of charge to and from the terminal building. You should allow 15 minutes from parking your car to arriving at check-in.
   

  Extra information - As mentioned before, the Southampton Airport is located on a single level making traveling within the airport easy. Special facilities for those traveling with special needs begin from lifts to conference center. For those low on hearing, induction loops increase the volume of announcements or conversations for the concerned passengers. With payphones located at low levels in the terminal area, disabled will have absolutely no problems in communicating. The airport directions are given in colors of black on yellow to help those with poor vision by lending their sight convenience and proper directions. There are reserved seating areas for the special passengers and space is allocated for wheelchairs and arm rests. Parking facilities for the disabled are also available.

Leaving from Southampton airport - It is said that Southampton Airport has one of the quickest times as far as train to plane connection amongst all European airports. The nearby train station Parkway has links with London and the journey takes under 3 hours. If you are leaving the airport by coach then you can opt for National Express which operates coaches from the whole of UK to Southampton city centre. Bus 101 or other lines of bus services can provide you with quick transfers to and from the airport. 24 hour taxi services are also available from the Southampton airport.

Essentials
- Tickets and accommodation may be important when traveling but other things are essential too. The Bureaux de Change doling out currency foreign or otherwise is the first need of travelers coming by international flights to Southampton. You can find one in the main landside public area just located before security and adjacent to some shops there. The cash dispensers are also important and can be found right next to the currency exchange. Free baggage trolleys are provided to all passengers in important areas at the terminal building. If you are one of those looking to make a quick exit from the airport, use the car hire service available at the airport. Just look directly behind you at the check in desks.

Airlines operating from Southampton Airport

  The major airlines serving Southampton airport are Aer Arann, Air France, Brit Air, Air Scotland, Aurigny Air Services, British Airways, bmi, Eastern Airways, Flybe, Isles of Scilly Skybus and Scot Airways. New airlines will be added soon to keep up with the demands of the travelers.

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