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Munich Airport über alles

By roving hack Ignatius Rake
Munich, Germany

Posted May 27, 2012
Fancy a pint? Munich Airport kicks buttock. © Ignatius Rake

If you get the choice, always fly through Munich and stay the hell away from Paris Charles de Gaulle.

For Man U fans, the words 'Munich Airport' are no doubt synonymous with the tragic events of February 6, 1958, when an Airspeed Ambassador 2 crashed on takeoff, ultimately killing 23 people, including eight players and three staff.

However, while I pray that the poor sods who died are now very much at peace, Munich Airport for a frequent flyer such as this particular hack means something altogether different, viz the best airport in Europe if not the world1.

Admittedly, I have not flown through every single aerodrome on the planet but I have certainly experienced a fair few, both military and civilian.

While some stand out as rare treats, such as Fua'amotu in Tonga, the bulk are pretty humdrum affairs, quickly blurring into a fuzzy mush the moment after boarding.

Others stick out like sore thumbs.

Madrid-Barajas, although flash and new, is just too damn long while Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is just a bloody nightmare.

Believe me, I could go on about Paris CDG, recounting endless tales of stress and woe, such as the time some tosser of a bus driver not only drove as slowly as possible between terminals, but also repeatedly circled an empty roundabout just to piss his passengers off, but I won't.

Except to say that the entire ugly hellhole has clearly been designed from the bottom up to make getting your flight as difficult and as unpleasant as possible.

Paris-Orly's OK.

Just avoid Paris CDG like the plague.

travel fanny
It could come in handy: Travel pussy, anyone? © Ignatius Rake

Sitting where the village of Franzheim once stood, Munich Airport, on the other hand, has been planned from the get-go to be as user friendly as possible.

Not only is it easy to navigate, but this clean, orderly and well-lit joy is positively awash with amenities (unlike the piss poor efforts known as Frankfurt and Cologne/Bonn).

As well as all those facilities you might expect/hope for at a major airport, such as ATMs, bureaux de change, toilets and food outlets, Munich also boasts pretty much everything a knackered traveller might require, from barbers and masseurs to shops selling fresh pants and socks.

What's more, in the Lufthansa bits at least, it also has numerous free tea and coffee machines, themselves located between newspaper racks stacked with complimentary rags in both German and English.

From my experience, the staff are always friendly, courteous and helpful as well.

And if you smoke coffin nails, there are plenty of smoking lounges that seem like the Ritz compared to the eye-watering lethal chambers you find in Cairo and Doha, for example.

Then there are the khazis, which in addition to being spotlessly clean are also equipped with well-stocked bumwad dispensers and seat sanitisers to boot.

And of course, this being Germany you can not only buy Billy Boy condoms in the gents, but also 'travel pussies' and 'vibrator-penis-rings', which is no doubt great news for anyone needing to grab some last-minute souvenirs for the folks back home.

bangers and beer
Bangers and beer: You won't be getting that at 30,000 ft. © Ignatius Rake

The real clincher for Munich landing the Rake and Herald Airport of the Year Award 2012, though, concerns the quality of its bars.

Käfer in Terminal 2, for instance, is not just a pleasant place in which to kill time, with its fin de siècle decor, but it also affords the hungry punter the chance to load up on top-notch Nürnberger rostbratwürsten2 while supping something tasty.

And when it comes to something tasty, Munich stands head and shoulders above the rest.

After all, Munich Airport brews its own beer.

Oh yes, since 1999, this fantastic flughafen has operated its own microbrewery.

Aptly named Airbräu, Europe's only airport brewery produces a range of quality German beers, including Kumulus, a hefe weisse so good it leaves you wondering whether to bother with your flight or simply stay put for a few more scoops.

Yep, Munich Airport rocks.



1) The Munich air disaster, as it came to be known, actually happened at the city's old airport, Munich-Riem, which closed the day before the current airport opened in May 1992.

2) The Nürnberger rostbratwürst is the best sausage in the world, even better than the Polish kiełbasa pieprzowa. And that's not just my opinion. That's a fact.

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