Opinion: Has the Airport Experience Become Horrible?

Interior of main terminal at Dubai International Airport, Wikimedia Commons, 22 March 2011 by OrderinchaosHas the airport experience become horrible?


Oh, you want more. Well, Vanessa Barford on the BBC News blog site asked this one a few weeks ago:

“Rarely a week passes without passport queue woes in the UK or tales of overzealous security staff in the US. So has going through an airport become a horrible experience? Airports were once an exciting window to the world. But with immigration services staff in the UK set to strike and passengers said to have waited for up to three hours for passport checks at Heathrow last week, for some the romance is over. Across the Atlantic, the American airport experience has also been generating ire.”

So what’s on my current ire list?

  • Signage
  • Queueing
  • Broken carousels
  • Broken luggage
  • Broken trolleys
  • Broken customer service (as in, what customer service?); “honestly we’d be much more efficient without the passengers.”
  • Creating shopping centres full of shops and restaurants which occasionally allow you to get on board an aircraft; “honestly we’d be much more efficient without the aeroplanes.”
  • Insincere customer service (“get away from me, you piece of meat, before I get the cattle prod”)
  • Those scanner things irradiating my meat and two veg
  • Sweeping children for weapons and explosives (there’ll be psychological scars in ten years time)
  • Ridiculous rules on food, drink, aftershave, nail clippers, shoes, underwear, hand luggage, luggage in general
  • Daring to complain about airports or even make a joke about them gets you arrested
  • Budget airlines. All of them. In every aspect. Including not being budget.

And lastly, the whole circus that aviation expert Chris Yates calls the “theatre of security”.

Although the Independent‘s travel editor Simon Calder does make a good point in that “…it certainly isn’t glamorous, but goodness it’s effective – transporting you safely and economically around Europe and the world, opening up horizons that previous generations can only dream of…” I can actually dream of quite a bit more than that. AJS

Image Credit: Interior of main terminal at Dubai International Airport, Wikimedia Commons, 22 March 2011 by Orderinchaos.

About Allan J. Smithie

Allan J. Smithie is a journalist and commentator based in Dubai.


3 thoughts on “Opinion: Has the Airport Experience Become Horrible?

  1. Reblogged this on txwikinger's blog.

    Posted by txwikinger | Jun 7, 2012, 12:44 am
  2. Yes.

    Posted by Nellenback | Jun 7, 2012, 6:25 pm
  3. Sat in airports far too long since 911 watching gesture theatre of security. Either its a shopping mall or a secure port. What is this BS?

    Posted by Glaza Engemann | Jun 8, 2012, 9:03 pm

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