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Improving the passenger experience in airports

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Improving the passenger experience in airports

Old 21st May 2022, 06:58
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Improving the passenger experience in airports

I've flown about 50 times since the start of the pandemic, primarily for business. Almost always overseas in both Europe and North America.

One thing I had hoped that the pandemic had taught airlines and airports is that the airport experience needed to be enhanced. Alas, it feels worse now than almost at any time in the last 25 years.

Queues at airports. MAN used to be terrible before the pandemic, but having to turn up FOUR HOURS before a flight is beyond stupid. You shouldn't have to turn up at an airport more than two hours before a flight in my opinion, regardless of destination. I fortunately haven't been affected bar a dash to the gate at LTN a couple of months ago, but I'd assume there is no sympathy from airlines and are simply blaming passengers for not turning up on time? That said, this is certainly not a UK only problem - almost every country that I've come across is having this same Covid-related problem.

On the security issue - why are liquids still restricted in hand baggage? Why can I have a 95ml bottle or aerosol but not a 105ml bottle? And one that is sealed. The technology is available - SNN and AMS have this. Why are other airports not investing in this equipment? From what I recall, this restriction came in after the Christmas Day plot in the US in around 2006? Was supposed to be a temporary solution that, like many things, remains permanent.

Finally - boarding calls before the aircraft even arrives or boarding too early with LCCs. Went through STN a few weeks ago - 45 minutes before boarding begins and closes (I think) 25 minutes before the flight departure. The aircraft hadn't even arrived at the "final call" time let alone deplane, clean and recater. Why? Just to be held in a corridor or staircase. Targets no doubt, but is this really the way to treat your passengers?
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Old 21st May 2022, 10:01
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Angry

Originally Posted by Dannyboy39 View Post
I've flown about 50 times since the start of the pandemic, primarily for business. Almost always overseas in both Europe and North America.

One thing I had hoped that the pandemic had taught airlines and airports is that the airport experience needed to be enhanced. Alas, it feels worse now than almost at any time in the last 25 years.

Queues at airports. MAN used to be terrible before the pandemic, but having to turn up FOUR HOURS before a flight is beyond stupid. You shouldn't have to turn up at an airport more than two hours before a flight in my opinion, regardless of destination. I fortunately haven't been affected bar a dash to the gate at LTN a couple of months ago, but I'd assume there is no sympathy from airlines and are simply blaming passengers for not turning up on time? That said, this is certainly not a UK only problem - almost every country that I've come across is having this same Covid-related problem.

On the security issue - why are liquids still restricted in hand baggage? Why can I have a 95ml bottle or aerosol but not a 105ml bottle? And one that is sealed. The technology is available - SNN and AMS have this. Why are other airports not investing in this equipment? From what I recall, this restriction came in after the Christmas Day plot in the US in around 2006? Was supposed to be a temporary solution that, like many things, remains permanent.

Finally - boarding calls before the aircraft even arrives or boarding too early with LCCs. Went through STN a few weeks ago - 45 minutes before boarding begins and closes (I think) 25 minutes before the flight departure. The aircraft hadn't even arrived at the "final call" time let alone deplane, clean and recater. Why? Just to be held in a corridor or staircase. Targets no doubt, but is this really the way to treat your passengers?
Lets be honest here .As far a the LCC's go, if you travel with scum you can expect to be treated like scum.
As regards your other points. Airport security is there for three reasons ,
1. Politically correct.
2. Helps with the unemployment stats.
3 Keeps old ladies tweezers from hijacking planes
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Old 21st May 2022, 16:43
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As far a the LCC's go, if you travel with scum you can expect to be treated like scum.
How unpleasant and not true. Plenty of legacy airlines experience disruption in flight, and often from those 'entitled' homo sapiens in the pointy end. If you treat people as you yourself would like to be treated life is often much nicer than popular opinion might suggest. I am definitely not 'scum' as you kindly refer to people who use LCCs, and have never been treated as such by cabin crew, ground handling staff or by their call centres when I have found these companies' routes and prices to my advantage .
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Old 21st May 2022, 16:51
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45989Many people travel on LCC's for many reasons. I have travelled from LCC through numerous permutations to Upper Class and their related cabins, across nearly 50 years.
Alsacienne is correct. Just ask taxi drivers about fares in London's Mayfair and similar expensive destinations.

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Old 21st May 2022, 19:10
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I suppose that most airports are just glorified shopping centres/malls these days and apparently derive most of their profits from the activities in the terminals. I'm one of those passengers who DETESTS having to go through those 'yellow brick roads' offering duty-free before getting to the departure gates area. Yes I might want a coffee, or a newspaper or whatever, but all I really want is to get through check-in/security and to my gate with as little friction as possible. There are others of a similar mind, but it would appear that most travellers seem to love the whole airport experience and are somehow prepared to accept the circumstances up to a point (that point having been reached in the last months).

Putting aside the shutdowns between 2020-22 and the need to claw back revenues lost in this period, the shutdown(s) had been a chance for airport owners together with planners to re-shape the whole kerb to gate experience, to bring down 'through times' to a decent minimum, thus making the comings and goings more efficient. Ingrained culture and vested interests won. I appreciate that the govt was making forward planning challenging for airports regarding staff, but it would seem that many really didn't keep their ear to the ground and have been left woefully understaffed as things ramped up, pun intended ;-)

As to the LCC's, probably 20% or less are passengers who shouldn't be flying anywhere due to their behaviour, but the other 80% are of varying demographics who appreciate the routes and pricing and are willing to accept the downsides of which there are many, if things go wrong as they sometimes do. As we hear all the time, if you can abide by their rules and be good with it, it works.
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Old 21st May 2022, 19:26
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
I suppose that most airports are just glorified shopping centres/malls these days and apparently derive most of their profits from the activities in the terminals. I'm one of those passengers who DETESTS having to go through those 'yellow brick roads' offering duty-free before getting to the departure gates area. Yes I might want a coffee, or a newspaper or whatever, but all I really want is to get through check-in/security and to my gate with as little friction as possible.
Couldn't agree more...the yellow brick road, complete with migraine-inducing lighting and never-ending perfumery, is utterly awful. Add in ridiculously long security queues at the moment, and yes, the queueing for an incoming aircraft in a stairwell...this isn't the way the 21st century was supposed to be!

Is it not time for a Trusted Traveller scheme, like they have in the US? Allowing fast-track security, and hence, late arrival at the airport, and arrival in your seat just before the door closes? Although in the present age, it would likely require a QR code on your Covid app, if not an embedded RFI.

And while we're at it, a "straight to departure lounge" route to avoid the malls!
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Old 21st May 2022, 19:30
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Originally Posted by NWSRG View Post
Couldn't agree more...the yellow brick road, complete with migraine-inducing lighting and never-ending perfumery, is utterly awful. Add in ridiculously long security queues at the moment, and yes, the queueing for an incoming aircraft in a stairwell...this isn't the way the 21st century was supposed to be!

Is it not time for a Trusted Traveller scheme, like they have in the US? Allowing fast-track security, and hence, late arrival at the airport, and arrival in your seat just before the door closes? Although in the present age, it would likely require a QR code on your Covid app, if not an embedded RFI.

And while we're at it, a "straight to departure lounge" route to avoid the malls!
How much are you willing to pay for that?

You get what you pay for, prices are at an all time low, airports have to make money somehow.
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Old 21st May 2022, 19:39
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
How much are you willing to pay for that?

You get what you pay for, prices are at an all time low, airports have to make money somehow.
Zilch for the bypass corridor...shouldn't be a big deal for any airport. And I would pay for the Trusted Traveller scheme...I think personally, you could persuade me to part with a small three-figure sum for that.

And I would dispute prices being at an all time low...

One other point...I regularly use Nuremberg airport. No yellow-brick road (shops yes, but they are easily avoided), no silly security queues, and no waiting in corridors / stairwells. It can be done!
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Old 22nd May 2022, 09:10
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From an airport's commercial viewpoint, the yellow brick road really does work. It never ceases to amaze me how much money people will pay for overpriced rubbish at airports and on an aircraft - it's almost as if the desire to find bargains that exists when shopping normally, completely disappears and pax instead desire to be ripped off with expensive shiny beads. Large numbers of the pax (including Mrs Johnson) at airports do not fly every week, and really do enjoy the whole retail experience.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 10:37
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Originally Posted by NWSRG View Post
One other point...I regularly use Nuremberg airport. No yellow-brick road (shops yes, but they are easily avoided), no silly security queues, and no waiting in corridors / stairwells. It can be done!
It's good to learn that using Nuremberg isn't too much of a trial.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 22:50
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
It's good to learn that using Nuremberg isn't too much of a trial.
Very good!
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Old 24th May 2022, 09:03
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They have to make money from shops food and retail as the LCC do not pay a sufficient amount. Personally I do not have an issue walking through Duty Free or the Food outlets but I am fortunate to usually going to a lounge. I do agree that security can be a pain though, and it does vary as to how it is administered around the globe. The only good thing about the pandemic was the lack of people at security.

Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 24th May 2022, 11:42
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy39 View Post
On the security issue - why are liquids still restricted in hand baggage? Why can I have a 95ml bottle or aerosol but not a 105ml bottle? And one that is sealed. The technology is available - SNN and AMS have this. Why are other airports not investing in this equipment? From what I recall, this restriction came in after the Christmas Day plot in the US in around 2006? Was supposed to be a temporary solution that, like many things, remains permanent.
Airports are investing in it, but it is a lengthy process and some may be waiting until:
prices fall
technology improves further
more providers come to market
the best operational times to switch out technology
the time by when their regulator might require upgrades to be made
Providers' supply chain allows for supply and installation (if everyone suddenly wants it)

Don't forget that airports have taken a financial hit during the pandemic, and this technology has the potential to reduce spend in the departures lounge if passengers can now bring their own.
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Old 24th May 2022, 13:45
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I have the Trusted Traveller with TSA Precheck. Very useful in the US.
Shopping mazes do my head in. Although I have bought stuff but I have usually researched the prices first. The travel size stuff can be handy.
People are their own worst enemy. As we know, the 100ml stuff hasn't changed, removing laptops etc isn't new and nor is removing jackets etc.
But folks still approach the machines like it's just fallen from the sky.
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Old 24th May 2022, 15:11
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People are their own worst enemy. As we know, the 100ml stuff hasn't changed, removing laptops etc isn't new and nor is removing jackets etc.
But folks still approach the machines like it's just fallen from the sky.
And I'm usually standing behind them in the line ;-)
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Old 24th May 2022, 19:13
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We know that politicians love to put in restrictions to 'protect' us and never take them out in case a single case (even unrelated) can be picked up by the press.

I am constantly amazed that the expensive shops make any money. Their prices are crazy but they seem to have crazy customers. I cheerfully ignore all shopping on my way through. Sometimes a small chemist item or Ms PAXgirl thinks she needs something. It's her money and I see it as an easy way to collect more points!
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Old 24th May 2022, 21:32
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Originally Posted by NWSRG View Post
Very good!
Indeed - one doesn't want to be left hanging around....

Jack
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Old 25th May 2022, 12:52
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Originally Posted by redsnail View Post
I have the Trusted Traveller with TSA Precheck. Very useful in the US.
Shopping mazes do my head in. Although I have bought stuff but I have usually researched the prices first. The travel size stuff can be handy.
People are their own worst enemy. As we know, the 100ml stuff hasn't changed, removing laptops etc isn't new and nor is removing jackets etc.
But folks still approach the machines like it's just fallen from the sky.
Well yes everyone knows thatís the rule, but why is the rule still in place if thereís such a limited chance of something like this going wrong? Youíre penalising genuine people with sealed liquids for the sake of a few millilitres.
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Old 25th May 2022, 14:06
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
We know that politicians love to put in restrictions to 'protect' us and never take them out in case a single case (even unrelated) can be picked up by the press.

I am constantly amazed that the expensive shops make any money. Their prices are crazy but they seem to have crazy customers. I cheerfully ignore all shopping on my way through. Sometimes a small chemist item or Ms PAXgirl thinks she needs something. It's her money and I see it as an easy way to collect more points!
Paxboy
Have to agree with you re collecting points, though somehow they seem to be relatively easily lost as well ☹️

Cheers
Mr Mac

Last edited by Mr Mac; 25th May 2022 at 19:09.
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Old 25th May 2022, 14:18
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I improved my experience by not going to airports....
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