بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْم
“So we will depart from international airport?” I asked Musa who was busy playing the wheel.
“Yes, that’s Yusuf instruction.” Said the looks-like Morgan Freeman actor wearing a cream beige with a vertical stripe motif.
Basically there is no problem whether we will be boarding through the international airport or hajj airport because both have their own uniqueness.
The international airport is smaller and similar to terminal two of Soekarno Hatta International Airport(located in Tangerang, Indonesia) but have no two-storey. Here the pilgrims only need to travel a short distance from parking lot to the entrance of the airport and the prospective passengers here are not entirely Muslim. Another advantage of the international airport is also evident from the relatively quick and practical check-in process and the close distance between the immigration counter and the boarding room.
Unlike the international Airport, Hajj Airport is much larger with characteristics of giant white umbrellas that became the roof for the court. Once off the bus the pilgrims have to travel about 100 meters through the whole blue floor to go to the check-in room. Prospective passengers here are all Muslim and we easily find many long queues of umrah pilgrims who will return to their respective countries.
On the other hand we also easily witnessed a group of new umrah pilgrims coming in a state of ihram. One of the advantages of this airport is the availability of mosques and toilets in such a large number. Here also we can find a shop that sells zamzam for pilgrims who want to go home. We can see the white or orange boxes distributed to travel officers who stick them with agency sticker. Later at the destination airport, the handling officer can easily recognize which boxes belongs to and which belongs to another travel. Just look at the stickers.
Another advantage at Hajj Airport as my experiences, can also be found at the passport counter which officers fluent in Bahasa Indonesia.
Jeddah has four interconnected airports through a super wide field which so many hangars and runways. Pilgrims coming or going home are usually directed to Hajj Airport or International Airport. The passengers of Saudi airlines, although initially equally directed to one of the two airports before but after boarding, they will be transported by bus to the special terminal of Saudi Airlines. Finally there is also a special airport of the royal family that is not accessible to the public.
Yusuf (a friend of mine and handling officer) welcomed us right in front of the bus. The face of fat man with curly hair was calm without fear of getting hit by cars. After saying salam, Yusuf asked me and the pilgrims to sit in empty chairs while he was taking care of the tickets. Alhamdulillah did not take long to find a row of empty stools and we sat without the need to fight over the place.
Around fifteen we rested quietly, where the pilgrims each expressed what plans they would do upon arrival in the homeland. Some pilgrims had already visited the food shops just to order a warm coffee that accompany the rest. Mrs. Ani and Mrs. Erni asked me about the brand of moslem dress belong to my wife,
“It’s La Moura (https://www.facebook.com/mourasolshop/), mam.” I said.