Guest Blogger - Mrs Weasel

I was outraged by this article:
Luton Airport Fleece Passengers
Now, my parents live within spitting distance (although of course St Albans folks NEVER spit) of Luton Airport, and so the Edinburgh-Luton run is one I do fairly regularly. Edinburgh airport is owned by BAA, who have recently been told by the monopolies people to give up several of their airports 'in the interests of the public'. Now, my experience is that Edinburgh have shorter check-in queues, lower parking charges, handier pick up/drop off points AND possibly the best baggage handlers in Western Europe - there have been occasions when I have arrived at the carousel around 30 seconds before my luggage. There have also been occasions when I have had to phone my parents from the Luton carousel and explain why the plane has arrived, but I apparently haven't, and all the time the meter on the parking charges is going up, up, up.
On the plus side, the shopping in Departures is much better at Luton, but since I generally have more time to enjoy it, that is only fitting.
Anyway - it raises the question; is it better to have a monopoly, or a decent critical mass - BAA have so much more to lose from any negative passenger experience at any of its airports?
(Oh and the worst airport I have experienced in the UK is Birmingham - there is so little to do in its departure lounges you end up chewing your toenails for entertainment, and it seems acceptable to announce a 30min delay to departure 5 mins before the scheduled departure time).


Conand said...

Hey! Hi Mrs Weasel, I'm one of those strange internet chaps who amuses himself in strange text-based and very stilted conversations with your huzzy.

On the point at hand. I'm in two minds about BAA (Is 'Bloody Awful Airports' unkind?) the 'critical mass' argument certainly has some weight. I do however think they suffer somewhat from the dead hand of bureaucracy. As I say, very much two minds.
My Grandfather tried to get a network of small regional airports running in the 1930s. It didn't really 'take off' as it were. Then the sky filled with German aircraft determined to give the Brits a very poor service indeed. The Post-War system does seem to evolved into something of a monster.
International Airports have to balance a lot of plates. Commerce, Defense, Anti-Terrorism, Safety, Customs, Immigration etc; I don't envy them one jot.
I certainly agree with you about Birmingham Airport. I always make sure I'm slightly late and run through in a complete panic to avoid the mind-numbing tedium.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. I'd better get back to my book.

Have a good flight!

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

I look forward to their charge for breathing the air inside the terminal building.

Anonymous said...

Luton Airport is not owned by BAA, it's owned by some Spanish folk...