Nigeria’s new and improved airport ....
Nigeria’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport is a bit of a mouthful, so let’s stick to its code name: LOS. Located in Ikeje, Lagos State, LOS is Nigeria's largest international airport and the base for its national carriers, Air Nigeria and Arik Air.
The ultra modern LOS has an international terminal plus a new, privately-funded domestic terminal known as MMA2. The terminals are located about a kilometre apart, and share the shame runways. The airport dealt with over 5.6 million passengers in 2009, and is located 14 miles north west of Lagos city.
Admittedly, Murtala Muhammed Airport has had its fair share of challenges in recent decades, from safety and service issues to a devastating fire (which led to the commissioning of the new MMA2 terminal in 2007). But from these ashes a new, customer-focused airport has arisen like a phoenix, with world-class airlines like Emirates, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic once again operating flights in and out of this new and vastly improved airport.
Many restaurants, banks, lounges and tax and duty-free stores now exist to cater to the increasing number of passengers, with further improvements and extensions in the pipeline. There's even a four-star airport hotel with a pool, casino and conference facilities, linked to the terminal building by its own private bridge.
The multi-level passenger terminal bustles with high quality concessions, from cosmetics and skin-care outlets to high fashion, jewellery, watches and fantastic gift shops. There is a food court on Level 2 of the passenger building, whose eateries include The Promise, Things Remembered, Double 4, Barcelos and Village Kitchen restaurants.
Also in the International Terminal is Reacon Duty Free. It's just waiting to tempt you inside with great offers on tax-free luxury goods, from jewellery and electronics to tobacco products, confectionery and top-shelf spirits from Chivas Regal, Smirnoff, Jim Beam and Bombay Sapphire.
Fashionable fragrances for her include best-selling scents from Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Moschino. Gents, consider the latest eau de cologne and skin-care products from Paul Smith, David Beckham, Ted Baker, Lacoste and Juicy Couture.
For cosmetics and beauty products • many of which come in exclusive-to-travel retail sets and compacts • airport and in-flight offers should be grabbed with both hands. Gifts for her include limited edition hair straighteners and curling wands from GHD, BaByliss, Cloud Nine and Yogi, whilst the man in your life might prefer a new Panasonic, Wahl or Remington stubble shaver to maintain that sleepy, ruffled look.
For cosmetics and skin rejuvenating lotions and potions, Reacon Duty Free also stocks products from all the global big hitters like Lancôme, Mac, Barry M, Too Faced, Clinique, Garnier and Shiseido. There is a Cartier boutique within the duty free store, home to the world-renowned watches, lighters, belts and gifts of this most coveted brand. For something a little less extravagant but of equally high quality, select a watch from prestigious designers such as Diesel, Tissot, Citizen, Aviator, Pierre Cardin and Fossil, many of whom treat their flying passengers to limited-edition watches you simply won't find online or on the high street. There's also a dedicated Swatch concession and a Watch Gallery. There would be a certain irony to missing a plane due to choosing a watch, though so see it, want it, buy it!
If you need a new mobile or personal entertainment accessories, pop into the Nokia store. Or if you run more miles than you send texts, LOS also has a Nike store, for all the sports, fitness and leisure clothing and kit you could possibly require. For more business like apparel, the TM Lewin store on Level 2 will meet all your executive suit, shirt and accessory needs.
Nigeria's Murtala Muhammed International Airport has gone out of its way to provide you with an attentive airport experience and thousands of great tax and duty free offers. Maybe it's time you gave it another chance, too.