Piarco International Airport – Port of Spain – Trinidad

Piarco Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Piarco Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad

An occasional series on some of the world’s least known airports, with some practical advice and guidance to those using the airport for the first time.

Arrivals:

If you arrive from Europe and are moving on from the islands just make sure that all the necessary information is included on the landing card. Empty spaces result in questions and if these are unnecessary the immigration entrance process is relatively easy and pain-free. This is the same for any customs declaration.

There is the ability to buy duty-free goods on arrival at the airport, before passing through immigration.

There is a tourist information office immediately to the right after passing through customs. Stays open quite late even at weekends. Can provide details of accommodation if this has not been previously booked.

Exchange facilities are next to the Tourist Information Office as well as a number of fast food places, leading up to the atrium. ATM’s are the other side of the atrium, in the passage that leads to the check-ins for departures.

Local transport:

As with everywhere there is no shortage of taxi’s. Expect to pay a minimum of US$10, for the shortest ride and about US$25 to the centre of Port of Spain.

There is a bus to the city centre that leaves on the hour directly across the road from the arrivals exit doors to the wide world. This runs Monday-Friday only, from 06.30, 07.15 and then at 15 minutes past the hour until 20.15. Cost: TT$4 (£0.40p, January 2013), buy tickets at the video arcade on the landside of the arrivals hall.

If you book a hotel in advance many of them will offer free (or reduced price) airport transfers.

Website:

Click here for the official website of Piarco International Airport

Accommodation:

If you are stuck in Port of Spain overnight, waiting for an onward connection accommodation can be expensive, especially close to the airport. The Piarco International Hotel isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be on the ratings websites, such as TripAdvisor, but is very much overpriced for what you get if you arrive without a prior booking. If you choose to go there make an internet booking before arrival and try to arrange an airport transfer, its only a couple of minutes by road from the airport.

However, there is now another guest house, also close to the airport that has not yet appeared in any of the guide books. This is small, only has 4 rooms, but is only 3 minutes away.

Airport Inn

60 Factory Road

Tel: +868 669 8207

Mobile: +868 678 6327

Email: sitasingh@airportinntrinidad.com

Website: www.airportinntrinidad.com

Single: US$80, Double US$50 per person.

Includes: Continental breakfast, airport transfer and WiFi.

Departures:

Though a small airport and normally doesn’t have a great deal of traffic, check-in can be slow (possibly annoying so) even at quiet times.

For international departures there is no further check of passports, other than that of the airline staff when you board.

When I was there in January 2013 there was an exhibition (as part of Independence celebrations) of the development of the steelpan (what we in Europe know as the steel drums). For the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t take photos, I was there long enough. However, I was given a brochure detailing the development of this distinctive Caribbean musical instrument and if it survives my travels I will provide a pdf version in the future. Watch this space!

9,784 total views, 4 views today

Rinas – Nënë (Mother) Tereza – Tirana International Airport

Tirana International Airport - Albania

Tirana International Airport – Albania

Tirana International Airport is officially known as Nënë Tereza but is still referred to locally as Rinas, the name of the nearest village.

The airport is small and not particularly busy making the experience of arriving or departing from there not that unpleasant. Although very close to the city centre as airports go it’s worth bearing in mind that the traffic virtually grinds to a halt at certain times of the day (especially the miss-named morning and evening ‘rush hours’) so take that into consideration if you need to travel at those times.

On the other hand if you travel when it’s quiet you race through. Leaving my hotel, not far from Skënderbeu Square, I got into my taxi at 04.00 on the dot for an early morning flight and was in the departure lounge at 04.21, and that was after checking in luggage, going through security and passport control.

Finding consistency at security controls worldwide is an impossible task. The only requirement that was new to me at Rinas was the fact that my computer notebook not only had to be separate from the rest of my luggage but it had to be open. Why? I haven’t a clue – and that might have changed by the time anyone reading this goes through the process. However, it’s worth saying that Albanian immigration/customs have been some of the easiest and most straightforward I have come across in the last few years, this in all the possible means of entry, by road, sea or air. In comparison, try getting away from or into the UK at Liverpool, that’s something else.

There is no longer any entry tax.

There are a number of ATM’s, after clearing immigration and customs, situated in the Arrivals and Check-in Halls for Albanian currency.

There are no left luggage facilities at the airport.

Rinas is not a busy airport and will close after the last flight has departed/arrived, whichever is the later. If you want to avoid paying taxi prices then think of other ways of getting to or away from the airport in the night-time (or plan for a possible 3-4 hours out in the cold).

Getting to/from the airport and Tirana city centre.

Taxi: 07.00 – 21.00, €18, 2500 leke (€20, 2800 leke, outside these times)

Bus: On the hour, from both the centre of Tirana and the airport, from 06.00 – 18.00. In Tirana the bus leaves from behind the National Museum in Skanderbeu Square, at the same place the international buses leave, in front of the Tourist Information Office. Cost: 300 leke.

For more information, for arrivals/departures, airlines and general information about what’s on offer go to the official airport website (in English).

 

4,511 total views, 2 views today