Srinagar Airport customer review
Review by David Leston 29th July 2008
Srinagar Airport is quite an experience but then so is the whole of Kashmir for Europeans travelling there. The airport is currently in the process of being rebuilt so arrivals are processed in what can only be described as a shed. Departures use the half-finished terminal where it is impossible to hear announcements due to the deafening construction noise. There is dust and noise everywhere although it looks as if it might be quite nice when it's finished! Be prepared to be repeatedly screened monitored searched and grilled every couple of steps along the way by a mixture of airport staff troops and military police and don't expect them to be polite or friendly - they are not.
Srinagar Airport customer review
Review by V Gainey 4th October 2006
On the understanding that Srinagar being the capital of Indian- administered Kashmir is at the centre of one of longest running conflicts in the world then one should expect a particularly unique experience regarding airport security. Srinagar airport in this respect does not disappoint. On arrival (on Jet Airways from Delhi) one is immediately struck by the fact that this is a military airfield masquerading as a civilian airport. MiG fighters and helicopter gunships abound at the far end of the airfield and all buildings are camoflauge painted. The odd civilian Boening 737 looks incongruous. For arriving foreigners you are accosted by a security official (fairly politely it must be said) to fill in a long registration document. He then accompanies you out of the arrival and baggage collection hall on a dirt track to the carpark to ensure you are being met by whoever you had claimed you were on the form. Only then can you be on your way. If you are not being met I am not sure what your fate would be. Departure though is an object lesson in airport security. The first hurdle is a kilometer or so before the airport terminal where you are stopped at a roadblock and put your luggage through an x-ray machine. Entering the airport (and only passengers are allowed not guests or friends) you again put bags through another x-ray sceeening. Then you are allowed to go to check in after which you must as a foreigner fill out another lengthy departure registration form for the police. No hand luggage whatsoever is allowed on Delhi bound flights so all you can carry is what you can fit in your pockets (therefore travel with a multipocket vest or similar to maximise carry on potential). Hand carried clear plastic water bottles do suprisingly seem OK though to carry on. The waiting area after check in is basic but OK as long as you don't mind being stared at suspiciously by numerous armed army and poice men. Then there is another long queue for a more detailed security check which involves turning out all pockets and being individually scanned. Finally you are through to the actual departure area but this is not the end. After being released to go out on foot to your waiting Boeing you again go through another security check; all pockets and a patdown before eventually you board the plane. Great views of the Himalayas to the north on the flight out but since cameras are not allowed on board the memories stay in your mind and not on film.