Friday, June 17, 2005

Gatwick Airport :-(

I've never liked Gatwick airport. Today's trip reminded me why. I waited for almost an hour for my bag (I should have used my colleague's trick and left a premium tag on it from the journey out... his arrived much quicker) and the road to London was gridlocked all the way.

To be fair to BAA (one of the greatest examples the UK has of why monopolies are bad things), most of the traffic problems were caused by people who fail to maintain their cars and then act surprised when the engine overheats the first time they go for a long drive in the summer.

But, BAA can't blame others for the lack of air conditioning in the passport and baggage-reclaim halls and the lack of staff to check passports.

However, the queues and waits (a 747 carries a lot of bags...) made me realise that Boeing are probably correct in their assessment that people dislike hubs and mega-planes (here and here) and would much prefer to use smaller regional airports and smaller jets

For example: London City Airport is a joy: you can check-in less than 30 minutes before your flight and your bags are waiting for you before you reach the carousel. The problem is: it doesn't fly to many places. If planes like the 787 can fix that, then it will be a success.

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