Up at 4am to get to Aberdeen airport. Drove through the fog and the frost, wondering if I'd lost my mind. Wandering through the car park to an empty, cement block strewn area. Yup. Its the front of the building, resembling something more akin to the Europa Hotel, Belfast, in the 70s ("The Most Bombed Hotel in the world"). Thankfully, I've printed out the boarding pass, so I dont have to stand in the tiny check-in area, waiting for some bored check-in person to needlessly ask me if I'm carrying a car battery, hatstand, thermal lance or flagon of hydrochloric acid. Stand in a queue at 5.15am to get through security. Two machines going full pelt, and only one chap on the metal detector. (Note that they spent hundreds of thousands in this area last year. No new machines of course - just a larger queueing area. Such is the mentality of BAA). Tut loudly to myself.. Find the BT OpenZone area, with nice padded chairs and easy to get to power sockets. Nice. But some numpty hasn't plugged in the chairs to the wall. (That really sounds bad, doesn't it?). A little groping on the floor, and I have power. Sitting beside the coffee shop - a lady has been there since 5.20am, chasing away customers with the regular bark of "opening at 6am!" - just as the first flights leave. The larger terminal - expanded last year - has a smaller cafe area, and fewer tables - fantastic planning, eh? So no point in even joining *that* queue to get a bacon sarnie. I might risk a coffee later. Oh - and I've paid BAA £59 today in airport dues for here and Heathrow (now *that* will be a joy!). British Airways wanted a further £240 out of me today for the pleasure of being uncomfortable in one of their cattle-floats, but I scraped together the last of my BA miles - I'd much rather spend the money on beer.
In other words, the whole experience is sh*t. Nothing is badly broken, per say, but all of these small pieces of excrement build into a huge smelly pile of poo.
Why on earth do some people persist in thinking that air travel is somehow glamorous? Just give me 10 minutes, a sound proof room, a codling grinder and the CEO's of both BA and BAA, and believe me, customer experience will improve dramatically..
Give me the train (if there is a choice) any day. At least you don't get someone feeling the inside of your legs before you get onboard (unless you *want* that of course).