ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Monday May 16, 2011 | Update
 
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102nd Anniversary
Efficiency and comfort at travelers' disposal

Architecture and design play an important role in the area of flights. Airport facilities are taking steps to revamp existing spots and create new areas in order to supply more services to customers around the world; optimize the processes related to journeys, and make the stay more comfortable and pleasant for users. Hence, the importance of combining materials, styles and technological equipment

MARILIN PINO A. |  EL UNIVERSAL
Monday May 16, 2011  12:10 PM


The varied areas that airports form have evolved from being a merely commercial place for airplanes to land and take off to becoming small "cities" where staff and travelers create a lively atmosphere every single second. Experts in the area -- as Amsterdam-based architecture professor Ben Van Berkel - deem it that the workplace, culture and leisure converge in one single space, instead of mere places for walking and loading. In this regard, total or partial transformations and expansions -with the intention to improve comfort and functionality-- are seen around the world.

With the addition of new terminals, they look to double airports capacity to draw a greater number of travelers. But these expansions do not end there. Some airfields offer new check-in and luggage offices, commercial and gastronomic spots; besides VIP rooms or the so-called lounges, where passengers wait quietly, entertained with snacks, beverages, coffee, candies, papers, and internet connection.

One of the global aspects that is worth mentioning is the invention of places for physically challenged people who move through wheelchairs. There are more and more access areas, restrooms and leisure areas equipped for these users to move around the facilities easily. These people can count also on an increasing number of buses containing platforms for wheelchairs and elevators.

Further, as regards accessibility, there is the chance to connect directly with terminals through high-speed trains, as it is done at Frankfort airport in Germany.

We cannot forget that there are accommodation options which are nowadays offered at airports in Europe, America and Asia, thanks to hotels built inside the facilities. It is a supply widely appreciated by travelers who have to stay overnight and are looking forward to stillness, private restrooms to take a shower and change their clothes before continuing their itinerary.

Renovated airports provide a more sophisticated atmosphere, containing auteur works where a variety of architectonic styles are combined, which help expand places and make it easier for people to move.

These improvements have included plans at repaving landing strips in order to seal possible cracks and repainting daytime signs. Redefining perimeter signals; installing runway beacon lights, taxiing, and platforms have been included as well. All this, besides telescope walkways, new luggage conveyor systems and technology applied to safety contribute to the modernization process.

Technology
The renewal of these areas started by including software to facilitate check-ins and service payments especially. However, advances in the field of information technology occur so fast that nowadays travelers can take a great deal of steps comfortably at their own homes.

Electronic tickets are part of the latest novelties
This digital format is to substitute the paper one. Some of its assets include safety and comfort. You will not lose your electronic ticket; neither can anyone steal it from you nor do you have any inconvenient with misplacing it. This will certainly be of comfort to users, as they have the opportunity to book it up to an hour before the departure time. Certainly, you do not need to go to any point of sales.

Buying an electronic ticket -which is reliable and convenient- can be done through the different existing payment methods -directly at your travel agency or at the terminals located in airports. Perhaps, something that might seem sort of tricky could be reading and understanding an electronic ticket. However, just becoming familiar with the codes used for the fee, the departure dates and other items that appear in it is enough.

Trends
Every year, The World Travel Awards are held. These awards are given to honor the companies that form part of the world tourism industry: airlines, shipping companies, airports, hotels and resorts, beaches, car rentals. The nominees list for this year is available at www.worldtravelawards.com. The awarding criteria include the initiatives taken in each country to enhance domestic tour supply, costumer services, leisure time and accommodations. Venezuela is nominated in the category of South's America Leading Airport Hotel, participating with Marriott Playa Grande Hotel, located in the state of Vargas.
mpino@eluniversal.com

Translated by Adrián Valera

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