View Full Version : They've gone and messed up again

8th Jun 2008, 23:21
Just when I thought the air travel industry was starting to give something back, it's just screwed up again - in my eyes anyway.

Until today, recent flights I've taken, such as one from LHR to KUL and another from from LGW to SFO, were greasers: the bags came off the plane in little more time than it took me to get to the carousel, the outbound security queue getting on was fast because BAA has finally invested in more arches rather than more shops, and the planes were on time (more or less!).

But that was travel for business (albeit in steerage - ugh) and today I got back from a long weekend with friends in Holland. So we get to AMS security and the sealed jars of honey I carefully chose are confiscated - it hadn't occurred to me that they fall foul of this charade of a regulation about liquids. Of course, the grim-faced security nark wasn't interested in a discussion.

We got to LGW, where there was a smoke alarm problem, with hundreds of people hanging around in departures, going nowhere and looking pretty fed up. Trouble was I was in the north terminal and needed to get to the railway station at the south terminal in order to get home.

But, because of the situation, the monorail shuttle that runs between terminals wasn't working. Or rather, it was but it arrived and left having not opened its doors. No-one was available to say how long the shuttle would be out of action, nor why the it couldn't have been used to remove people from what was, presumably, a potentially dangerous situation.

Finally we got a bus, having missed our once-an-hour (on Sundays) train connection because it took as long to get from one terminal to another as it did to get to LGW from AMS. Instead of arriving home at about 1900, it was 2000, an hour late and without the souvenirs I'd bought.

So thanks to the airline industry for reminding me why, when I have a choice, I travel by car or train.

9th Jun 2008, 06:15
S**t Happens, take the ferry everyone has to deal with this including airport workers and airline staff .Blame the DFT who put these restrictions in place .

13 please
9th Jun 2008, 08:40
sorry, are you blamimg the security guard because you didn't realise/think about the honey...???
I'm not surprised he wasn't interested in a discussion,it's not really a grey area there, whether we agree with it or not.... when a forgotten bottle of water is found in my bag while going to work, I apologise, look sheepish, tell them I forgot it was there, I get a big smile in return, and we all go on with our day....

9th Jun 2008, 09:48
sorry, are you blamimg the security guard because you didn't realise/think about the honey...???
I'm not surprised he wasn't interested in a discussion,it's not really a grey area there, whether we agree with it or not....

Nope, he didnt blame the security guard, that guy was just doing his job.....He said that the whole airline industry is to blame for screwing up his holiday, for making what should have been a memorable trip, memorable for the wrong reasons.....

....and guess what, I agree with him !!!

If the airline industry as a whole had turned around to the government with one voice and said "you are alienating our customers here, treating them all like terrorists without good cause" then the industry would have real security, not the farce we see today......and people might actually enjoy flying!! The only person in the industry who actually raised a voice against the stupid UK rules introduced a couple of years ago (and then adopted worldwide) was MOL of Ryanair - who ironicly is the one airline guy who's attitude I generally dislike!!

Ive said it before, the airline industry has lost me and my family as willing customers. I have to fly the airlines for work, but I won't subject my family to it anymore unless absolutely required.

Regards, SD..

Notso Fantastic
9th Jun 2008, 14:36
Bit of a pathetic sob story, isn't it? That's a 'disaster'? Because you were ignorant of security rules? You could have packed your honey in your bag! And a smoke alarm was going off? Don't train stations/ferryports suffer such 'disasters'? Would you like everyone to ignore smoke alarms...and suffer another Kings Cross? I genuinly thought there was a serious saga coming, not 'woe is me- I was an hour later than expected at home!'. About as exciting as Neighbours. Tell you what- don't travel by air!

9th Jun 2008, 15:54
Er - disaster? I don't remember using that description. And the honey was in my bag. And of course I don't expect people to ignore smoke alarms - though judging by this one, no-one was taking any evacuation action, the assumption has to be that it was a false alarm. There have been no stories about a fire at LGW that I've seen. My point was that the PTB weren't telling anyone anything.

The point is not that the whole thing was a nightmare - those are few and far between these days - but that the accumulation of little annoyances add up, and that they seem to be particularly frequent in the airline industry, where passengers (oh - sorry, customers - forgot the PC terminology) has little or no control over their fate. Or even information about it.

Thanks skydriller for your understanding of the point I was trying to make.

9th Jun 2008, 17:30
[quote=liteswap;4170062] And the honey was in my bag.


Not wishing to "nit-pick" but, Notso Fantastic is saying why did you not pack the honey in a checked in bag.

The liquids rule only applies to hand luggage.

Yes, I know it's an annoying and frustrating system but, by ignoring it you ended up have your honey confiscated.



9th Jun 2008, 18:03
Annoying - yes
Disaster - no
earthquakes, flooding, famine are disasters...not this !

9th Jun 2008, 18:06
We were travelling light - no checked bags...

Final 3 Greens
9th Jun 2008, 18:26
Hi Liteswap

I completely empathise with you, since I travel by air nearly every week and encounter the "sales prevention" processes that you describe in your posting.

The last 10 years have been a period of strong growth for the airlines and the focus has been bums on seats, not service.

The next couple of years are going to see what economists call a "correction" and a lot of industry people are going to be ex industry people.

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on service levels, but it will certainly alter the worldview of a lot of people who have got used to people using high levels of disposable income to purchase air travel.

Watch this space, from about September/October onwards.

9th Jun 2008, 19:47
We're going on a cruise (again) this year, as with two young children air travel is just a step too far at the moment. I have to fly more or less weekly with my job, it's ok, and we all understand the need for the various arrangements in place, but it's not worth subjecting the wife and kids to. No doubt I'll get shot down in flames, however, many of my colleagues (in the high disposable income category) are of the same opinion - not good for the industry, and, not it's fault.

10th Jun 2008, 08:07
I have to fly more or less weekly with my job, it's ok, and we all understand the need for the various arrangements in place, but it's not worth subjecting the wife and kids to.

This sums it up for me too, so thats four of us saying the same thing now.....

What with the increases in air traffic on the crest of the good economic times of the last 5-10 years, maybe our tiny stand against the system is un-noticed, but as F3G says, I think the next few years will see some changes to the industry where we may matter just a little more.

Regards, SD..

Notso Fantastic
10th Jun 2008, 08:41
You won't matter one iota! The industry goes through ups and downs- that is the nature of the economic cycle. All I can add is: if you find travelling by air a complete PITA....then don't. It won't make any difference to anybody but yourselves restricting the options open to you. Travelling by air over the last 40 years has changed from being a rich person's privilege only to cheap travel for the masses. If you can't take the rubbing shoulders with large numbers thing, like rail travel, in order to have the wide range of travel options open to you, then don't! Whilst YOU may be fed up with it- it may still be an attractive prospect for your family as they do not travel nearly as much as you, so they may not be happy for your arbitrary decision. But just don't whinge! It is so unbecoming!

10th Jun 2008, 09:46
Sobering to have to read so many posts that seem to be of the opinion that the ludicrous treatment doled out to the paying customer is somehow acceptable. This is the main reason why air-travel has become the extremely unpleasant experience is is today - the fact that this mediocrity is not just accepted, but defended. :ugh:

Final 3 Greens
10th Jun 2008, 10:20
You won't matter one iota

Interesting viewpoint.

A major carrier has approached me to see if they can cut a deal to secure my corporate business for the next 12 months.

My turnover is by no means huge and I think this shows that the airline in question is waking up and smelling the coffee of what will be a lean winter season.

Still, a nice written offer should act as good leverage to show to the incumbent and kee them on their toes.

10th Jun 2008, 16:13
Surely everybody knows honey is a liquid?

wrt the terminal transit at LGW, for future reference you can take a local bus (10, 20, 100) between terminals for free.

In the end, you got back an hour late. And none of it was the airline's fault. Sh*t happens sometimes but we just get on with it.

Final 3 Greens
10th Jun 2008, 18:56
Honey is a liquid

At the risk of thread drift and pedantry.....

It ain't necessarily so.

Liquid honey contains about 17% of water, but tends to crystallise into a solid.

So it can be either.

But given the intellectual capability of the searchers, they may not realise this.

Like the one at LGW the other month who tried to tell me that my stick deoderant was not allowed airside, as it was a liquid.

I don't waste time or energy arguing with morons like that anymore, just ask for the supervisor and then go on my way shortly afterwards (with stick.)