Airport Copycats

By | Category: Travel rumblings

UPDATE: 13th July.
“The Scotsman” newspaper says that the MD of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, has said that the £1 charge for drop off/pick-up may not be enough to change people’s habits. He expects that the number of cars using the drop-off area will fall from 1.6 million to 1 million. If it doesn’t will BAA raise the price? The petition launched by Gavin Brown MSP has so far collected only about 1,200 signatures. If you wish to support the petition you will find it at
http://www.gopetition.co.uk/petitions/say-no-to-drop-off-charges-at-edinburgh-airport.html.
Like the proverbial London bus – you wait for ages and then two come along- two airports have announced identical prices for identical services. Belfast International and Edinburgh airports have both said that we’ll have to pay a pound to drop off or collect passengers at their airports.
What else is this but another case of the systematic mugging of the airline passenger?
And, of course, it is purely coincidental that it occurs just as the busiest period at airports is about to occur. And that only a few days notice has been given so that we are probably unable to change arrangements. No we have been well and truly mugged.
In Northern Ireland, the Consumer Council estimates that this charge will swell the coffers of Belfast International by a couple of million pounds a year. At Edinburgh it will be even more. 15p in every £1, claim the owners of Edinburgh, will be spent on improving public transport. It will cut emissions they say. Scottish politicians of all political persuasions have doubted this in language more colourful that we can print. Can local politicians in both the province and Scotland do anything? Slap a windfall tax on the profits of airports which happens to equate to the amount that the airports take from us or nationalising them? Neither of those is going to happen so what can we do?
Not a lot. Use a different airport? Not practical in most cases but at least Belfast has a second airport. Use public transport? Again this option isn’t very practical first thing in the morning or late at night. Drop people off a bit further away and let them walk the last part? Again, not very practical if you have a luggage and it isn’t of the wheelie variety. (Even then the wheels can get bits of grit caught in them and become difficult to move.)
So just like after drop off charges were introduced at Luton and Newcastle Airports, we are just going to have to grin and bear it. But with gritted teeth

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