Duesseldorf Flughafen
A building site with a runway.

Currently, Duesseldorf airport is under construction but flights do operate. The parts of the airport that are finished range from disappointing to rubbish but perhaps I will give them some leeway and only really criticise when they are finished.

There is a main line station at the airport which is a good start at least. It has a limited range of facilities including the smallest selection of newspapers and magazines that I have ever seen on sale at such a large station. You can check in for some flights at the station but most likely, you will have to drag your luggage to the free bus that runs to the terminals. The bus station is a non smoking area which would be fine but the idiots who planned it failed to understand that if you make a smoker stand and wait for a bus, he will light up anyway. As a result, the no-smoking area is full of people smoking and there is nowhere to escape from the smell.

When you get the bus, be careful. The fact that the airport is a building site means that the bus route changes faster than the lazy folks responsible for the signs can be bothered to update them. So, do not rely on knowing that your stop is the second on the route. Don't look for signs when the bus stops either. The only way to be sure is to listen to the driver's announcements. If you are lucky, the bus will have recorded announcements n English and German but you may have to listen to the driver in German only.

Part of the building site appears to contain the makings of a high-tech dangling monorail so perhaps that will replace the bus sometime.

Inside the terminals, the range of shops and other facilities is disappointing. You will be able to buy an English newspaper but the choice of English magazines is tiny compared to most major German airports.

I was especially impressed by the cafe in Terminal C. They have a coffee machine surrounded by a large pile of tiny espresso cups. Great, that's how I like my coffee. In small very strong doses. Except that the machine itself proceeds to deliver a third of a litre of very weak coffee. Of course, this pees all over the counter and you do not get what you were led to believe you would get.

The cafe has a non-smoking area. Out in the corridor for heavens sake! OK, at least you do not have a smoke billowing German businessman sitting next to you. Instead, you get several dozen walking past each minute which is worse especially as there are clearly not enough litter bins in the airport as the locals will just dump their rubbish on the table at which you are eating! (Yes, they are locals, nobody left a pile of English newspapers on my table.)

Of course, if you live in Duesseldorf, this will be your airport of choice but it you are used to the likes of Muenchen or Stansted, you will be jolly disappointed by this one.

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