First impressions count. That’s true no less with airports, the gateway to a globalised world for any country.
Which is why the United States and India may have more in common than they like to think.
I have been one of those thousands that have spent three hours in Delhi International Airport making it from check-in though to the boarding gate. Which is why I read with interest the recent spat between deputy planning chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and civil aviation minister Praful Patel over who is responsible for the chaos.
But this kind of controversy is not just confined to India. I read this piece in May from Thomas L. Friedman, the author who coined “The World is Flat”. The full article is here. But have a look at this paragraph.
“A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.”