I have just been reading an article by the ever wonderful Seth Godin which uncovers why it is that none of us likes to fly. What it boils down to is that it’s not flying we hate, it’s airports and the way they make us feel. You can read his short article here.
There is much to agree with in here but it does come down to the individual airport and to the staff.
I have to say that having come through Edinburgh airport this weekend, it really is a pleasant environment – easily the most attractive and relaxing of the UK airports I’ve been to. It doesn’t stop inside the terminal though, they have a fantastic bus in and out of the city centre which costs £6 return. It was noticeable coming in to land in Gatwick that the in-flight Easyjet team were offering to sell us Gatwick Express tickets to central London for £33 return. Granted it’s further from Gatwick to central London than it is from Turnhouse to central Edinburgh but not that much further!
In defence of Gatwick airport or at least the ancillary services. I parked up in Airparks car park at 6am on Saturday morning, hopped on the bus to the terminal only to realise that I had left my phone in the car. I called Airparks to say what I’d done, initially just to let them know that I knew that the phone was in the car so don’t let any of your employees try to nick it. How wrong I was. Within 4 minutes my phone had been retrieved, put on the next bus to the terminal and 15 minutes later was back in my hand. Fantastic service and yet I’d paid the lowest possible price for that parking (£12 for 2 days). So congratulations to Airparks Gatwick for their team and the service they deliver.
It did put me in a good frame of mind for the journey though and I just sailed through so I, like Shashank Nigam of Simpliflying, might like to defend airports, they are getting better. In this Simpliflying article there are some great examples of good practice.
My favourites are the bloke tweeting Heathrow to ask where he can get a good pint of cider in T3 (I mean honestly!). The tweets about dirty toilet facilities and of course the flashmob at, I think, Dubai airport.
At this stage though, I’d be happy if all UK airports could be brought up to the standards of Edinburgh’s Turnhouse, I think we’d all be a little better off for it.