Hand Baggage & Security

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Queues at airline check-ins seem to be diminishing. Being able to check-in online or use one of the airport machines has helped certain airlines to cut queues. (Charter airlines seem to still have the problem). From check-in at least!
Now they have some delays where you drop off your hold luggage but that also doesn’t seem as bad as it was a couple of years ago.
No the problem now is going through security. No problems at little airports usually although a Gothenburg City queue for a Ryanair flight a few weeks ago took a good while but the problem is at the biggies and those with lots of leisure flights. Luton, Stansted and Heathrow immediately come to mind. At 6am at Stansted this week, it took me about 30 minutes to get through. Maybe that’s not too bad but some people were certainly beginning to get nervous that they wouldn’t make their flights due to the seemingly long queues.
Why is it?
A couple of reasons. The length of time it just takes to get through is an obvious one but the other is the push by airlines to charge for hold baggage which has led to people carrying more and more. This means they search their pockets, take off belts and shoes, jackets as well as unpacking laptops as well as forgetting that bottle of liquid or gel at the bottom of their suitcase. The security people should and must do a thorough job of checking so probably more body searches take place than they did (And given the comments they get, I am surprised at how cheerful on the whole security people are. Much better than immigration people at making you feel at ease.)
A few airports have signs like they do at some attractions saying at this point in the queue you are 10/20/30 minutes from reaching the front. This is helpful in itself for settling those of a nervous disposition and if a person, was available to take those who are really late towards the front of the queue, then that might help.
But surely the biggest problem is that we have removed the queues from the check-in to security. They haven’t gone away just been relocated. And that is an issue for airport designers. To make more space available so that more machines can scan more people more quickly.
Or people will use airports that provide a better service for getting through security.

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