| Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport is one of the saddest that I have seen, the infrastructure is totally lacking for the number of passengers being handled. It has the appearance of an overcrowded train station where no one really knows what is happening. The only thing that tempers my remarks is that I was flying business class and thus, benefitted from some preferential treatment that cut down waiting times in lines. Still, the confusion and lack of clarity was almost overwhelming. Also, the uphill and up the stairs hike into the airport can be a little breathtaking: Addis Ababa is 7,500 feet above sea level so do not run! I arrived at the airport via a hotel shuttle that drops one off in a parking lot, rather than at curbside. One has to drag himself (and if he has luggage, that too) up a fairly long path to the terminal entrance, although porters are available. As this is not under cover, one can only imagine the mess it must be in the rain! Business class entitles one to an express security check at the front door and an express line for check-in and immigration. However, the express lines were violated by a number of people while I was there and that defeats the whole purpose. The waiting area is a mass of people all wandering about trying to determine where to go. Fortunately, I was entitled to the business class lounge - but it is in need of more space and improved facilities. Additionally, the restrooms are limited in size and they offer no shower rooms for transit passengers. At the moment, it has the feeling of being a temporary affair, not well planned. Proceeding to the departure gate from the business class requires another security check where one has to remove shoes and watches - and one is advised to plan ahead for this inconvenience as there is no place to sit to remove or put back on shoes - even at the special screening for business class. Watches should be removed and safely stored in a hand bag, too. Going through security, one gets the distinct impression that no one is really paying attention to what is going on, rather they are just going through the motions. Following the screening, there is an a special area where business class passengers can wait for some flights, but not all, so it is best to check with the agent who checks you in or with the people in the business class lounge. Again, there is what seems to be almost total chaos and far too little space for departing passengers. I was able to use the special area for business class, but be aware to pay attention for your departure. I was told that someone would come around and tell me when the flight for Manila was departing. That did not happen and luckily, I spotted some people who looked like they were headed my way and checked and indeed, it was my time to board. From there we went down an elevator and onto a bus to the plane, where we had to hike up the stairs into breathlessness in the thin air. I cannot fault the employees of Ethiopian Airlines as they really try their best in an impossible situation. But the airport is totally lacking in infrastructure to handle the number of flights it handles. And the way the building is designed is faulty: it is too narrow to be able to provide the space needed. What I don’t understand is why so much money was invested in beautiful, new aircraft for Ethiopian Airlines (A350’s and Boeing Dreamliner) and none was invested in upgrading Addis Ababa’s airport. It is a mess.