Mauritius MRU Airport Reviews | S. Seewoosagur Ram. International Airport

MRU S. Seewoosagur Ram. International Airport

Mauritius FlagMauritius
2.9 out of 5
IATA Code: MRU
ICAO Code: FIMP
Latitude: -20.430000
Longitude: 57.683056
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"TThe new terminal (Oct 2012 ?) SSR has now sorted out its 'wrinkles' "

Review

On my third attempt using the new SSR Airport International Terminal in Mauritius I can report that most of my previous grunts of criticism seem to have been resolved positively.
I have now located the Guide to checking in desks and notice that there are lots of them and cannot understand why i did not see them before.
The viewing gallery is now open. Apparently one of the the food outlet proprietors on the second floor (open to the public) complained about behaviour of some of the members of the the public using the viewing gallery, and it was closed while frosted glass was installed so that the Food and drinks outlet is now not visible from above. However , although now open, the two sides of the terrace were devoid of any viewers when i was there and although it does offer a birds eye view of passengers in the departure area and a glimpse of those arriving in immigration it does not give all that good a view of the tarmac.
It looks as though the part that would give better views is still closed off.
The operators of the baggage delivery carousels seem to have mastered the knack of allowing baggage to get to the reclaim belts and not get snarled up in the curious bend in the system.
They let the bags through in jerky batches- it solves the problem.
I can now give the Airport terminal the 5 star rating it deserves,.

Conclusion
Facilities: Excellent
Check-In Area: Good
Security Level: Satisfactory
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"New Airport. Better, but – still some wrinkles."

Review

It may seem unfair to be so hyper critical about the new Airport Terminal in Mauritius- but they have set very high standards and although overall the Terminal is a wonderful piece of equipment and far superior to any other Airport in the area, the high standards set must be judged as such.
I used the facilities on Monday 7th April and had an easy bag drop at the Air Mauritius dedicated Premier Kestrel Silver card holder counter.
However, as a departing passenger I cannot fathom out why there are so many entrance doors to the Check-in area, and no guide as to which one to use.
Inside the main (middle) entrance there is still no guide to direct passengers to the correct check-in or bag drop area. There IS an illuminated guide on the wall outside the entrance- but it is not obvious, and very easy to miss (as I have done each time at the Airport.)

Departing passengers on domestic flights (the only one being to Rodrigues Island) are now instructed to be dropped off at the International flights ARRIVALS area, and temporary painted sign boards have been positioned there to direct them to the Domestic check in area on the ground floor.
The dedicated drive in road direct to the entrance has been blocked off and seems to be no longer accessible.

Even worse is the fact that also.. no longer accessible, is the much vaunted public viewing gallery on the 2nd floor of the main terminal which was given so much praise and prominence at the opening ceremony last year, inviting the Mauritian Public to visit the airport, make use of the facilities and have a wide angle covered view of the inside of the terminal and also the Apron outside
I ask….. What has happened?
All this has been closed off and locked up.
There are no explanations or signs –just locked doors.
It seems a huge waste of investment to have such a promising and interesting airport attraction and for it not to be open.

However for departing passengers , once through check-in and baggage drop, the security is as good as anywhere in the world if not better, and the inside waiting area and departure gates – all excellent and a real improvement on the old terminal
Lastly….. I do not like the American twanged computer voice on the Arrivals tannoy.

Conclusion
Facilities: Excellent
Check-In Area: Good
Security Level: High
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"The New Airport Terminal in Mauritius has to iron out some wrinkles in its otherwise sterling image. "

Review

The new airport terminal at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is shaped like a ‘traveler’s palm’ (Ravinal)
The best way to see the effect is from the air- and the flights of the Air Mauritius ATR72 Turboprop from Rodrigues sometimes fly directly over it and then circle before landing.
Brand new,(opened in October 2013) the overall impression is quite stunning..
One innovation over the previous terminal building, is that there are now separate arrival and departure channels for passengers on the only Domestic service out of the airport- to the Island dependency of Rodrigues (350 kms to the N.E. of Mauritius. It is where I live.)
Previously domestic departures were handled from the former main International Terminal.
The room allotted for Domestic departures is generous to say the least, considering that here are only two or three flights per day of a turboprop Aircraft seating 60 or so passengers.
Eight check in desks, and fully equipped screening and document control. A comfortable seating area and a Snack bar. – all this for so few potential users.

Passengers arriving from Rodrigues enter the new arrivals area through a ground floor entrance reserved just for this route.
However many of the passengers arriving from Rodrigues are tourists in transit to an international flight and, on the day I travelled, the clearly marked transit channel which was, I suppose, designed for them to use, was closed and unmanned, and there was no official to guide the transit passengers, they were left in the arrivals baggage claim area wandering like lost sheep and were unhappy about their situation..
Previously in the old terminal there was always an official waiting to escort the transit passengers to the departures and Passport control barrier. But here in the spanking new terminal there was no one to offer assistance.
For passengers (like myself) who wished to claim baggage and exit, the only noted snag was that the indicators to the baggage carousels were at the far end of the apparatus and out of view, and so some exploring and searching was required to locate the appropriate carousel.

I turned up a few days later to take an international Departure by Air Mauritius to London.
Departures are handled on the first floor of the terminal.
I entered the main new terminal building by the middle of 7 entrances (the main one) and once inside the doors looked vainly for an indicator to tell me where the Air Mauritius check-in desks were located.
Actually if I had turned to one side just prior to entering the building I would have noticed an indicator board, but as I was looking forward, I missed it.
There are actually 7 entrances to the Departures Hall- but no advance indicator as to which one is to be used.
After wandering to and fro with my luggage trolley I found myself in the Area A where all flights except Air Mauritius seemed to be being handled. So I relocated to the other end of the checking in area and found the correct queue for Air Mauritius Premier passengers who are either travelling in business class have checked in previously on line or who have Kestrel flyer Silver or Gold cards.
After a wait in the queue I got checked in and then retraced my steps to see where I had gone wrong at the start.
Actually there were some more indicators that I had missed, but noted that they were so small that only a close inspection revealed their data usefulness.
I will know for next time.
Passing through Security and document control, all on the first floor, one arrives at the curved departure and boarding area, which is also well supplied with shops, and food and drink outlets.
The floor is heavily and expensively carpeted, which does not make easy going for passengers with ‘wheelies’..There a good views on the tarmac area and the main runways of the airport.
Boarding gates and aircraft access for passengers on international flights are well signed and of easy access. No problems to mention here. The Jetways are windowed and very pleasant to use.

On arriving back on an International flight – one is on the first floor but transported by moving staircase to the second floor to go through Document control.
Like many airports these days, this area seemed understaffed on the day I arrived ( 25th Nov 2013) resulting in quite long waits for document processing.
One is then transported on moving staircases down two floors (and past a waterfall!) to the baggage claim area.
Big problems with the baggage delivery from my flight (the prestigious Air Mauritius non stop MK053 from London Heathrow) as the system got snarled up with baggage unable to maneuver a bend in the system.
25 minutes delay but the Airport staff could have been a lot more helpful with some man handling of the snarled up baggage if they had used a bit of initiative.

Leaving the airport the next day on the only domestic route from Mauritius to my Island home of Rodrigues) I found that the new airport terminal has a dedicated check in and waiting area just for the two or three daily flights to Rodrigues. (Mentioned above)

Conclusion
Facilities: Poor
Check-In Area: Satisfactory
Security Level: Satisfactory
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"I have No Complaints about this Airport. "

Review

I ‘ IN & OUT ‘ of this Airport quite frequently( about 20 times a year) on Business, for Long Haul (Europe & Far East), Inter Island hops (La Reunion, Seychelles & Madagascar) & Domestic(Rodrigues).
I have no major complaints at all.
It’s not Terminal 5 at LHR but over the years I have witnessed the Airport authorities trying to adapt and upgrade to meet increasing traffic and needs.

They have to, as it is the only entry point really to the Island of Mauritius which is a top grade resort destination, and the economy depends heavily on tourism .
The Terminal is busy in the mornings with a wave of departures to Europe. & others to Long ,medium haul and local destinations, and especially busy in the evenings –mainly to Europe and Asia.
In the middle of the day the place is nearly empty.
However there are plenty of check in counters and Premium class & Fast bag drops etc are indicated.
Queues are usually not long.
At weekends it is very busy all day with Island hops (La Reunion -30 mins,Rodrigues 90 mins and Madagascar 60 mins)
The short hop flights to La Reunion are quite often operated by wide body jets –Air Austral 777’s and Air Mauritius Airbus 330’s or 340’s. as well as a batch of ATR 72’s. so the terminal can become crowded.
All passengers whether international or domestic (to the Mauritius run Island of Rodrigues) are channelled together. The Rodrigues Imnmigration channel is not always well marked, and so you have to ask which queue to join to avoid a wasted wait.
Inside the Departure area there is a very good duty free shopping area, if that’s what you want.
The catering area on the other hand is not impressive.
Arriving in Mauritius. Immigration procedures are not fast, but well signed for different categories. Conference delegates, Tourists, Mauritian Nationals ,each have their own lines. the baggage is delivered quite efficiently, but there are only 2 carousels and sometimes the same carousel is dedicated to more than one flight.
There is a duty free area here to for arriving passengers.
The Good News is …..for those who would like it better, there is a brand new, and fabulous looking new terminal going up fast adjacent to the existing one.
Should be open in 2013 I was told.

Conclusion
Facilities: Good
Check-In Area: Good
Security Level: High
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"Never Again"

Review

A complete shambles.

Conclusion
Facilities: Very Poor
Check-In Area: Very Poor
Security Level: Satisfactory
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