Want to improve UK airports? Here's some ideas...
Recent news announced that BAA must sell 3 UK airports within 2 years. This would include Gatwick, Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Timed with the economic downturn and a reduction in the number of overall flights and passengers, this could have a major impact for frequent flyers out of those locations. In fact, Stansted passenger numbers are already freefalling.
Times Online points out that if you aren't a big fan of these UK airports like most frequent flyers, now is a time to pitch and plea for potential new owners to implement new ideas. They even made 10 suggestions on how to make UK airports a better place for all.
The list from Times includes pretty good ideas, such as more electric sockets for gadgets, free wifi, cheaper airport express trains, better food, and fast tracking. But it also includes a few trivial ones, like a gym/swimming pool, manicure service/massage and a child's play area. Child's playground in the airport? Wouldn't an adult's play area with adult entertainment thrown in for good measure fare better?
Question is, is this realistic, or just idealistic? Grupo Ferrovial, the major player behind BAA Limited, is certainly not cash poor. Surely the landing charges could pay for something besides fattening the wallets of company directors. Perhaps the public government could help introduce policies and/or assets, instead of spending taxpayer's dosh on psychic academies and public ad campaigns that don't work. If other airports around the world can do a fairly decent job at slapping together a somewhat user friendly experience for flight passengers, so can the UK.