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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 12:58   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Edinburgh Airport, could it be any worse?

I have had the misfortune to use the services of Edinburgh Airport several times in the last few months but last Saturday, 29th of July, was a prime example of the disorganisation that exists at this site. I arrived at the check-in desks for the Vueling flight to Alicante and took my place in the queue about fifth from the front. The queue was in line with check-in desk 11 and there were two operatives at desks 10 and 11. Shortly a member of staff decided that there should be two queues and rigged a barrier, directing my wife and myself into this new queue opposite desk 12. After a period of around ten minutes this same operative opened desk 9 leaving the queue at desk 12 with the task of crossing the queue at desks 10 and 11. This was objected to most vociferously by the occupants of that queue who perceived myself and others from desk 12 to be 'queue jumpers' However, having crossed over to desk 9, on arriving there the culprit decided to move the operative from gate 10 to gate 9 (necessitating a logging out and logging in process) whilst she went and opened gate 12!
On getting by the grumpiest security staff in the known world we decide to have some refreshments. The floor of the cafe area was sorely in need of deep cleaning, the tables covered in crumbs, as were the seats and of course the previous occupants discarded litter. As a Scot I am ashamed to think that this airport will be viewed by overseas visitors as a lasting memory of Scotland.
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 15:21   #2 (permalink)
 
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Travelling during the school summer holidays is always going to create its own issues with passenger congestion and staff stretched in all areas.
I have been a regular traveller from Edinburgh Airport over the last 25 years and its expansion over that period (especially the last ten) has been continual with the builders still resident in the terminal building as it looks to expand further. You could argue that Edinburgh has become a victim of its own success with 11% passenger growth in 2016 and over 330 flights per day. So, despite its continual expansion physically, the terminal building struggles to cope with high passenger numbers but its little different from many other UK airports. My experience at LHR T5, NCL, LGW, LTN, LCY is all the same - a deliberate focus on retail outlets and the associated revenue with actual space for passengers limited and is further restricted by the early formation of queues at gates as passengers anticipate boarding their flights. If you don't have the possibility to use one of the airline lounges, which are relatively quieter, Edinburgh is not a pleasant experience but not that different to other UK airports listed above. The only way to overcome the issues you mention are to improve staffing levels throughout the airport, change the building 'model' to provide more room for customers (no, we don't all want to look around shops) and spend some revenue on the cleanliness and hygiene within the terminal building. Will it happen? Just take a look at the profits Edinburgh Airport is making and draw your own conclusions.
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 17:28   #3 (permalink)
 
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As someone who has used EDI in excess of 150 times and at least once a year since about 1996 and as someone who has worked there I agree it's growth rate has been exceptional and it has simply failed to keep up. There has never been a desire to actually extend the terminal in any real, meaningful way and the problems that needed addressed, mainly the check in hall and arrivals process have been utterly swept aside. They have used gimmicky things like self bag drop and podium style desks...which has created more room for more airlines...but...there are now more people crammed into a hall designed in the 1970s.

I do think the departures process is nicer than the likes of LTN for example, which is just a horrible airport all round really. LCY is not that great either. At least EDI does have quiet spaces to go to and sit. In the morning rush, perhaps it's limited, but come about 11am the areas on the SE Pier and around the 1 gates become pretty quiet for long periods of time between flights. There is nothing like that at LTN with its centralised cattle pen and almost no seating available anywhere else, or LCY where the lines for some shops and food outlets are so long I'm never sure where one ends and new one begins.

That said, the major problems with EDI sourround the arrivals process. Domestic passengers still need to traipse through the gate area and mix with departing passengers. Not a security risk, but a major cause of congestion, in effect there are often nearly double the amount of passengers airside than there needs to be. The international arrivals process is the shame of Scotland, for sure. I am utterly ashamed to think this is what welcomes millions to Scotland each year, especially the cow shed that is International arrivals 2, which doesn't even have a real roof, floor or a single sign showing you where to exit. The walk for arriving passengers on Stands 10A, 12 and 14 is a mess, actually quite unbelievable this was even made to be just so amateur and unwelcoming...it's not even weather proof...one 12 and 14 not even covered!! This is where some of EDIs biggest stands are, so are used by their most prestigious airlines, namely QR and EY, but often also AC and AA. This is also where any future long haul flights would be serviced, an absolute joke. Having said that, the original international arrivals experience is not a lot better. With that corridor set up, which was not a good idea in the 1970s and certainly isn't a good idea now, leads to congestion, delays and misery.

They simply needed to build a new terminal about 10 years ago, but it's too late now. All they can do is build on piece, by piece and slowly change the layout of the airport. The SE Pier was possibly the biggest wasted opportunity in the history of EDI. Had that been built with a new check in hall, new contact gates and much better infrastructure in general, they would have had the space to play with to sort out the older parts of the terminal. The baggage system needs a complete modernisation too. They are still using paper bingo cards and the actual baggage belts break down so often, for both arrivals and departures. I just don't know where they can start.
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Old 2nd Aug 2017, 18:16   #4 (permalink)
 
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Can't disagree with any of that. Maybe we should console ourselves that we don't have to fly from Glasgow. Admittedly it is about a year ago since I had the misfortune to fly from there but the place was held together by gaffer tape and was still falling to pieces. Flying from the EZY shed in the winter is an unforgettable experience!
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 05:38   #5 (permalink)
 
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I flew in and out of EDI on a business trip last week. I was astonished at the lack of security separation between arriving and departing passengers, the crowds in the departure lounge, the complete mess of a car rental 'village' with far too many cars and people in real danger of being run over and the ridiculously long walk to the gates on the SE pier.

Compared to almost all overseas airports I have been through the UK are very poor.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 07:05   #6 (permalink)
 
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sign of the times of easy and cheap air travel for the masses to go from their local airports

airports like EDI STN SOU and BRS (and now even SEN) all only saw a few flights a day back 20 years ago or so now its non-stop all go, and flights to anywhere and for anyone

airports have expanded way beyond their means and BRS is a fine example - its chaos even often trying to drive into there let alone inside the place

I was shocked at coming back from EDI a couple of years ago how busy it now was after my days as D/O with BMA in the 1980's when it like say BRS or SEN was a sleepy little place

But saying that MME has died a death sadly when in the 1980's it was quite up and coming
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 12:56   #7 (permalink)
 
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My answer to the horrors of Gla and Edi is to take the train when possible. Far less stressful and just as quick to London after all the unpleasant messing about.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 14:33   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think it's "the masses" I think it's modern commerce wanting to extract more than fare shares from the customer. We see this in every single walk of life these days.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 15:48   #9 (permalink)
 
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hmmm not sure you got my take on why provincial airports are now so busy - its the masses that have made the likes of EZY and FR et Al very wealthy indeed by being able to travel en-masse cheaply and from almost anywhere to anywhere

apologies to anyone who think EDI is provincial but you know what i mean lol
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 16:13   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
airports have expanded way beyond their means and BRS is a fine example - its chaos even often trying to drive into there let alone inside the place
This.
Glasgow is the same, redesigned with bolt-ons until the logic, grace and thinking of the original concept is lost in an overpriced mall rather than the original built for purpose terminals. Airports used to have a much higher % of real business travellers who demanded speed and convenience, think the LCY demographic. Now as more of us fly more often on leisure they have to cater to a different audience.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 17:48   #11 (permalink)
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rog747. My local airport is LTN! I have used it since the mid 1980s and agree that the regionals have expanded way beyond expectations and capacity. I agree the airlines are wealthy but the factors making the airports so bad are many.
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 19:01   #12 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Espada III View Post
I flew in and out of EDI on a business trip last week. I was astonished at the lack of security separation between arriving and departing passengers, the crowds in the departure lounge, the complete mess of a car rental 'village' with far too many cars and people in real danger of being run over and the ridiculously long walk to the gates on the SE pier.

Compared to almost all overseas airports I have been through the UK are very poor.

The mixing of pax is not really a security issue as it is only ever domestic inbound mixing. They are all screened to the same level as EDI outbounds.

That said...the whole layout of the terminal is not fir for the modern age. Making the passengers walk through departing crowds is unprofessional and causes needless congestion. Not to mention the fact that as a direct result of the departure lounge having literally an open door to the outside world, no one is able to transit EDI from international to international without having to clear UK border force. Not only is this a terrible passenger experience but is also, to the best of my knowledge, unique as most other major UK airports have the ability to transfer from non-UK to non-UK without having to clear immigration. The fact that many people doing so are non EU citizens mean there are often missed connections because they have to wait upwards of an hour just to then walk back out into the check in hall and clear security again using central search.

That simply must be improved as the airport claims there is a 1 hour transit time, it just cannot be realistic if you're going, say, DOH-EDI-JFK or AMS-EDI-JFK for example. If the airport is serious about getting US Pre-Clearance then they will have to seriously step up their game as the Americans will need dedicated areas and gates to go from at the very least.
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Old 7th Aug 2017, 17:10   #13 (permalink)

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I hate to say it, but the private terminal at EDI is an absolute joke. It makes the main terminal look easy and straight forward to use. I am not having a go at the FBO staff, just the dozy procedures EDI airport and security have imposed. Spectacularly ridiculous.
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 10:55   #14 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
I agree the airlines are wealthy.
Are they ?

I thought most airlines make a low % margin overall ?
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 14:15   #15 (permalink)
 
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Most airlines are currently making money but overall they are a terrible investment

But the terminal and it's services are normally the responsibility of the owner - which these days is often a large financial investment company or the local authority.

The aim to maximise profit and minimise investment - after all they don't sell the tickets - they just handle the passengers. They have absolutely NO interest in where people are going or how - their job is to maximise the amount they can skim off /gouge from those passing through... think of them as operating a toll booth .. or highwaymen

and we wonder why facillities are so overcrowded?
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Old 8th Aug 2017, 15:46   #16 (permalink)
 
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Anyone who thinks Edinburgh is bad should try Manchester or Aberdeen.
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Old 9th Aug 2017, 12:08   #17 (permalink)
 
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Flew to in EDI short haul and back to Europe for my summer hols and for me it was fine. Might have been lucky but the queues were small for Passports and check in.
They did stop us on our arrival in one of the corrdors as I presume another flight was also arriving but it wasnt for long.
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Old 10th Aug 2017, 05:08   #18 (permalink)
 
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I arrived at the check-in desks for the Vueling flight
So you got what you paid for then!
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Old 12th Aug 2017, 21:14   #19 (permalink)
 
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Sorry but disagree strongly on the transit point. MAN now has ANOTHER security check on ALL domestic travellers at the biometric gates to allow the SMALL volume of connecting passengers to avoid UK Border checks. EDI is a p2p operation, don't overcomplicate it even more for us run of the mill punters.
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Old 13th Aug 2017, 01:29   #20 (permalink)
 
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It's attracting much more than P2P these days. I have first hand experience of it. Every. Single. Day. EDI is now a place where a lot of the long haul carriers send people to transit to other long haul services. The airport has a connection time of 1 hour. This is impossible as even if you give yourself 1 hour to connect from Int-Int you won't make it as by the time you clear border control the check in for your onward flight will be shut. You have no chance at all. I would imagine many of the people who book a transit flight through EDI don't even realise they need to que up to enter the UK even if they aren't even coming here. "run of the mill" passengers wouldn't be affected by this... why would they?

The system employed at MAN sounds the same as LGW and LHR...it works perfectly well in those two airports and I do sincerely hope EDI copies that. It most certainly is needed to remedy the current amateur set up they have.
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