Finally Bangalore is blessed with a new airport. Few of us happened to travel from Bangalore to Mumbai on the inaugural day. While I was excited to be part of the new airport experience, I was scared that we would end up becoming victims to the chaos at the new airport on the first day. Well we really did not have a choice, so we embraced it.
The new airport is 45 Kms from the city. So we had to leave 3 hrs before the flight so that we could get there at least an hour before the flight takes off. Luckily it just too us less than an hour to get there. The airport looked beautiful from outside. It’s very nicely done. At par with most international airports.
When we reached the airport everything seemed fine. We did not find people running in different directions like headless chickens. But this joy did not last long. The most frustrating experience turns out to be a damn software installed at the airport.
Venkat Subramaniam and I show up at the airport, we are thrilled to see a checkin kiosk. Venkat and I rush to the kiosk to checkin.
While Venkat is happy and thrilled to be part of the new airport experience, the screen times out.
Venkat patiently goes thru the process again. And guess what he finds?
A touch screen. Notice we have to check the 4 check boxes, mostly meaning the same thing and there is no option to check all in one go. The funny thing is if you see the size of Venkat’s finger is equal to 2 check boxes put together. The problem is not that Venkat’s fingers are fat, but the items on the screen are so damn small. With great difficulty we click all the check boxes and then what next? Venkat and I stared at the screen for a couple of mins, we could not find any Continue or Next button. After a couple of mins, Venkat screamed in joy (or was is frustration), when he found :
A scroll bar at the right corner of the screen. With great difficultly we managed to scroll down and then clicked Continue. But I think by mistake we had forgotten to check one of the check boxes. It complained about it. (Well, they had validations.) After fixing it, we moved to the next screen, on the next screen, we entered our reservation number and finally it complained that they cannot check us in and asked us to see a representative at the checkin counter. All of this to finally go back and stand in the queue.
So what was the real problem with this software? I’m sure they would have functionally tested this software. The problem is they would have never tested it on a touch screen. It was simply not usable. This is an example of a disgusting user experience. If you find these guys, shoot them down. Such a disgrace to the software industry.
Screaming and yelling we go join the checkin queue. After waiting there for 10 mins, we were told that they had an issue. I guess they somehow heard Venkat’s talk on Agile tools and took automation too seriously. They forgot the porters. They thought they could eliminate manual labour and automate that. Turns out that they could not checkin anyone till they found some porters to lift the luggage off the belt.
Luckily we did not have any checkin luggage, so we could avoid the queue and get ahead.
Well if you live in Bangalore and have not visited the new airport, you are missing something.