Thursday 8 September 2011

Opinion - The Glamour of Travel

I've just booked into the Sheraton at Munich Airport. I still don't like Squeezyjet. The flight itself was OK, but it's all the pfaffing and queuing I hate. A couple of Border collies would organise it better and communicate more clearly.

The 'experience' also sharpened my dislike for BAA who were bleating recently about having to sell off some of their airports. Well, I've got no sympathy for them. If they had made a better fist of running their airports in the first place they might not have found themselves in this position.

Airport terminals are regarded first and foremost as 'cost centres' these days and only secondly about customer service. As soon as you turn off the Motorway into the airport the tills start ringing. Extortionate car parking, overpriced food and expensive shops. Everything is designed to part the traveller from his or her cash.

And then you get to the sheep sorting pens known as the Security gate where inadequate numbers of disgruntled and bored uniforms make sure you get rid of all your toiletries and drinks so that you have to buy more of the costly necessities on the other side. And it's all in the name of passenger service, safety and security.

The airport concession staff are all well versed in this 'experience' business too. I just wanted a cup of coffee, I didn't want to invest in a 'coffee experience'. I had to wait bluidy 10 minutes while some Italian chrome enncrusted, pre-war steam engine crushed some beans, biled some waatter and frothed the milk.

Tonight there's a product presentation, a bite to eat and some convivial company before we get to drive the vans in the morning. That's the highlight. All too often we spend more time in the air and in the airports than we do driving the product, but it will be the first chance to see and drive the new Transit ahead of it's public debut at the CV Show at the NEC next April.

Anyway, I'm here now, but I've got to go through it all again on the way home tomorrow. Happy days.

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