Silly Billi at Bordeaux

Silly Billi at Bordeaux

Had my first experience of the new Billi terminal at Bordeaux airport recently.  Quelle horreur!  After years of choosing Bordeaux airport as a preference (all carriers shared the same attractive terminal with its space, light, no queues and no pressure) this was a bleak contrast. Guess what, choose to fly EasyJet or RyanAir now and you can enjoy what the airport operator calls “up-to-date simplified services”.

That’s PR speak for a cattle-class pre-fab building which is not even connected to the main terminal,  where you have to man-handle your luggage around the check-in desks (no trollies), and worst of all,  where you dread the early announcement to go to the departure area.  Once you get there you will appreciate why the term cattle-class is not an overstatement – people all of all generations crammed into a shed-like enclosure, mostly sitting on the floor – and inevitably the plane had not even landed before we were herded in.

I thought this was all temporary, but no, get used to 0.75 sq.m per person and having to stand whilst waiting – it’s all part of the documented plan.   These aren’t early days teething problems either as you can see from the history of complaints.  And there’s worse to come – the aim is to double the capacity over the next few years  – best of luck all you low-cost Bordeaux fliers!

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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A valued member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor to our publication.

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  • Will H
    2013-08-11 09:48:33
    Will H
    Two years on it's just as bad - really the worst airport I have ever flown from, designed with utter contempt for passengers. It's very notceable that there is more space for shops than for refreshment or waiting areas. If this is the future of air travel I'm driving from now on!


  • Hayho
    2011-04-20 09:25:32
    Just returned from a fabulous trip to Bordeaux, a beautiful city, but we are thankful we went in April not August. Silly Billi is not just silly; it's potentially a truly awful experience. If you were not 100% fit and if the temperature were any hotter it would be sheer hell, with the tin roof and tiny, cramped space. The description is exactly what we experienced - appalling. Find another way to get there!