Sunday 26th August
Having flown four times in just over two weeks, and this after a hiatus of about five years when I did not fly at all, I realise they have not improved at all. At least Stanstead has shops and restaurants to while away the time, and plenty of noticeboards to check on the ‘slow’ progress of your flight, but the tiny tin shed which masquerades as an airport at Bergerac is dismal beyond compare. And why, oh why do they all insist on you turning up at least an hour before takeoff. It usually only takes a few minutes to go through security, (don’t get me started on the ridiculous limitations on liquids either) and passport control, so why does the gate close at least 30 minutes before take-off. They should simply warn people that if you are not in the departure lounge ten minutes before take-off you will miss your flight, and let people work it out for themselves. Today for example we were told to arrive for a 12.55 flight at least one hour early. We were still waiting in the departure lounge at 1.10, even though they kept telling us the gate was closed at 12.30. The arriving flight was twenty minutes late, and yet a full flight managed to board and seat everyone and take-off in ten minutes flat. I find the waiting pretty intolerable, even with my i-player and kindle the time seems to really drag. I am okay once we are on the plane and flying, though this is only a very short haul, I am not sure what I would be like flying to America. At least with Ryannair and only hand luggage you do sail through the other end. With computers nowadays they can tell straightaway of a passenger is missing, I just think the time requirement is a hang-back to the bad old days of having to check manually names against lists, and no-one has considered a revision.
Yes, you guessed it….Grumpy old man is back in the UK.