Manchester Airport is taking ineptitude and incompetence to almost professional levels. True story. They shunted the car rental outfits off-airport last week to their sparkling new Car Rental Village.
"Good" I thought. "It's always been a hassle trying to inspect your car in the pouring rain and the dark on the roof of the car park for the minutest scratch that Avis will claim you caused and charge you £200. Must be better over there"
This is how it works. Car rental company (Avis) doesn't bother telling you that they've moved. Manchester Airport doesn't think of putting up signage in Arrivals. You find out that they've moved when you get to the lifts after having walked through the terminal. Walk back all the way to the exit and THEN walk another 100 metres (uncovered) to Bus Stop D with a shelter for perhaps 10 people. But not their luggage. Wait 10 minutes for the shuttle bus. Which is a normal bus with luggage racks screwed in. Luggage racks that obviously fill up from the bottom (after 10 passengers...) and whose top racks are almost too high even for me (6'4", fairly strong) to stow a normal 20-ish kilo suitcase on. Full bus. 50 people, most of whom had their luggage in the aisle. First stop - hotel. For passengers who are at the back of the bus and their luggage is at the bottom of the luggage stacked in the racks. Off to the Rental Village. Another full busload waiting at the bus stop. The bus stop is 2 metres wide, full of people and luggage and we (with our luggage) are meant to get through THEM and their LUGGAGE to the rental desk exactly how? Pushing and casting off all pretenses of a veneer of civilization works quite well. Days later. Return the car. It's raining. Covered walkways to the Rental Village Reception? Not a chance. Ask the Avis guy where I can get a trolley.
"Manchester Airport haven't given us any" Rental Village Reception. A Bauhaus chunk of a building with no overhang. As in "weather protection overhang". You either clutter up the rental desks with you and your luggage or you get wet. You CERTAINLY get wet waiting for the folk getting OFF the bus to push their way past/through/over you. (See above...) Get to Terminal 2. Another full bus load of embarking passenger to fight your way through. Trolleys? You can get those at Level 5 Departures. Not at the shuttle bus stop.
Having gone through a vast number of airports on almost all continents i have to say MAN is down there with the worst.
The difficulty of getting a ludicrously priced trolley across to the car drop off point in departures, the minimal room allocated for PAX to stand at check in (they fly 380s into there but checkin has barely enough room for a 737 load), the funnelling of all PAX through one entry point to security, the neanderthals they managed to revive from cells found in the tundra and then assign uniforms and allocate to the security screening... the lack of any form of customer service in the food service area, filthy tables, floors etc in this area, so-so business lounges... The paltry space assigned to people waiting to greet arrivals and the chaos there as people waiting to greet PAX impede the traffic thats meandering about the shopping area. Bad signage all round (good airports are well lit and have copious signage, knowing that a large percentage of visitors are not well versed with the layout)... the list goes on.
So what the OP says about car rental... sounds very much part of the same "plan".
I'm with the OP on this. Life is too short to spend time at any place (eg an airport) scanning every notice to see if there is one that someone thought is all that is required to handle a situaltion. Any facility should be intuitive and straightforward.
Sounds like Manchester has done what a number of places (eg Edinburgh) have done. At the latter the rental cars were moved away from the terminal, so it is now either a 10-minute brisk hike, or a wait for the ONE bus which circulates to both the rental car locations and also the remote car park, which is just beyond, and takes about 15 minutes for the round trip.
I find the Ikea cum Hall of Mirrors that masquerades as a duty free emporium highly disconcerting. Power goes out, emergency exits are ......where exactly? The reflections in 4 mirrored columns? Or the one that you think is a reflection and ignore. I'd like to see the protocol of the emergency evacuation exercise that I assume was a precondition for its approval.
I fell foul of this "move" to the car rental village last week. Collecting my car was on the roof/level 13 of T1 car park, as normal, when I arrived on 6 September. However, I was given a leaflet in respect of returning the car, as to quote the operative,"By next week, we may have moved." The leaflet was meant to show where the new car rental village was. However it was necessary for the operative to draw an extension to the road system printed on the leaflet, as it was not complete, as printed and not easy to understand. A phone number was handwritten on the leaflet that I had to ring the day before I brought the car back, to see if car hire had moved or was still on the roof of T1 car park. On ringing the number I was connected to a private phone company, to be told by recorded message that the number was not operative. Three calls and twenty five minutes later to various numbers of the car hire company, I was told to return the car to T1 car park, level13. It was explained that the move to the new car hire village had been planned for several weeks, but dates had come and gone, as Manchester Airport and their contractors had continually failed to deliver. The latest problem was that the phone lines had not been connected by BT. I must have been one of the last people to have returned a car to the T1 car park, as a single operative was seated in the wooden hut waiting for me to return my car. Demolition of the old car hire company desks was taking place around him. All new hires were from the new village. I am therefore not at all surprised by RevMan2's report of the state of the new car park village and how you get there. Another almighty cock-up and ill-conceived "improvement" by MAG.
Passengers being put into Staff West (which has already been reduced in size to accommodate 'meet n greet', resulting in not enough room for staff or passengers at peak times )
Valet parking vehicles dumped all over the airport site, next to fences in Area 7, along the grass ON the airfield (albeit in the new-ish landside bit next to Staff West)
Multi-story short stay car parking oversubscribed with long stay passengers, with them last few gaps filled up during the quiet periods with valet parking vehicles - God forbid you actually try to park there during peak times or in T2 when the PK is due...
Bus driver shortages, but we won't let the pax suffer... Just reduce staff bus frequencies
Now they've got to scrap their new 'naked' body-scanners.
This because of the EU directive?
At least thats one problem gone (though i fear it will be a return to the days when the eagle eyed neanderthals made judgement calls on what to do). Last time i went through they had 4stabs at scanning mrs cc and the little bubs, because the operator was inattentive\incompetent\untrained.
Said operator thought it was a hoot. Me and mrs cc less so
There comes a point when airport expansion is no longer a benefit, and instead becomes a burden. Manchester reached that point some time ago, and passengers have begun to suffer. Eventually, they get so frustrated with the long walks, queues, and types of inconvenience cited above that they take their business elsewhere.
There are some good things about Manchester Airport. If you go to train stations in places like Darlington, Blackpool or Huddersfield, you will see 'Manchester Airport' on the departure screens. The direct train services, though eye-wateringly expensive, are a boon.
Secondly, in some cases it is possible to transfer airside, thus avoiding those horrible security people.
Thirdly, err... that's about it for good points. Ah no, the Aviation Viewing Park is actually quite cool, and the cafe does good chips.
But Manchester's exponential growth in recent years has brought additional destinations and frequencies at the expense of convenience, comfort and hassle-free travel. Some are willing to pay that price; others are not.
But it's the ultimate monopoly isn't it? If flying to MAN it isn't coz you love the airport, it's because the airport is closest / most convenient to your destination. Until and unless it actually becomes a danger to your health, you / we have no real choice IF our destination is nearby. This is what all airports hold as a trump card (except where there are multiple ports serving a single city like in London).
The issue with MAN like all crappy airports is that the company charged with running it managed to get a sweet deal that included no KPIs or customer satisfaction measurements or penalties re. customer (viz airport traveller) satisfaction.
That PLUS the fact they seem to have (as mentioned before) access to some pool of deficient genes from whence to recruit their staff.
Best warn people, but you can't expect them to stay away. Kinda like a dirty toilet - if you have to use it you do, but you do appreciate being told it stinks BEFORE you walk in there!
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
Join Date: Dec 2002
CC, LGW is no way our nearest airport. On my count we have 6 closer but LGW remains the airport of choice. Some don't fly where we want to go. Some do but their fares are extortionate. Some might but they are inaccessible.
As medical flight crew going through Manchester a while ago, had to put all our kit through the scanner, lots of fluids for that trip, pointy hings called needles, scanner operator just looked vacant, thankfully we were going to our own aircraft and back to home ase. Another case, security wanted to take all the I/V fluids from he team, so medic told security if anything happened they would be responsible for cost and in court .