Holidays and Airports

Holidays and Getting Through the Airport Unscathed

To many of us going on our holidays, one of the major hurdles to overcome, is getting through the airport trauma and maintaining the mild sense of euphoria, anticipation and all-round good vibe that the occasion would seem to merit.

Going on holiday is hopefully a time that we look forward to for some rest and relaxation, perhaps some exploration, experience, sport or pastimes that just don’t come our way home in Britain.

What we are faced with is often a maelstrom of uncertainty, crowds, queues, endless walking, expense, and above all, stress.

The tragic events in the US of September11, 2001 have changed air travel, probably foe ever.

The seemingly endless and intrusive security is something that we grimly suffer in silence, in the knowledge that it is for our own good, but rather wishing there was another, less intrusive and easier method of achieving it.

Regional airports generally offer a less harrowing experience, mostly with cheaper car parking, less crowding and shorter queues, and for those checking in luggage, a quicker turn around for reclaim from the baggage carrousel.

London dwellers can find regional airports such as Southend, or Bournemouth as accessible as the majors of Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead, or Luton (which itself is an example of a regional airport and its limited facilities, considering itself a central airport, thus charging outrageous fees for inadequate services), within an hour’s striking distance by train or possibly car.

Long haul flights from smaller UK airports to hubs such as Charles De Gaulle, or Schiphol, do not necessarily mean you are exposing yourself to two doses of airport stress, as some other countries seem to manage the experience quite smoothly!

Check-in has become far more tolerable with the advent of printing your own boarding card at home, or down loading the bar codes onto your mobile phone, which for those with only hand luggage makes for a more tolerable experience.

Unfortunately, those with luggage to check-in, took advantage of online booking-in when it first came out, to fast track into the online drop-off, but of course that is now where the main queue is, although it is obviously shorter these days.

Once through the stress enhancing check-in and security levels, it could be time to relax and look forward to the journey, but in most airports, that’s pretty unlikely.

Departure lounges are usually overcrowded, overpriced, and walled with outrageously expensive shops and boutiques selling items that you didn’t realise you don’t need until too late. All part of what we do to find rest and relaxation.