& Bullets

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Brize 2010 Reds 3

Airline travel can be over-rated

By psmiddy, Mar 4 2018 05:41PM

I have spent far too much time in airliners of late, and too little time in my own trusty steed. When I did take her out last week she behaved impeccably.

I am beginning to think that airline travel has little to recommend it. A couple of weeks ago I was on a Thomas Cook flight from Gatwick to Innsbruck scheduled to depart at the inhuman time of 0610. We, the passengers, were seated by 0530.Now Innsbruck is one of the most geographically challenged airports in Europe – it is situated in an Alpine valley with nearby peaks of over 9,000 ft. It does not have an instrument landing system (the system of choice around the world which enables automatic landings). Approach minima are higher than most other airports. Indeed it is one of the few European airports where a commercial pilot needs specific training and clearance before he is allowed to fly an approach and landing.

The weather at Innsbruck at 0530 GMT was fog down to the ground (I checked). The forecast was for it not to begin to clear until after 0900 (ie well after our scheduled arrival time). So why in God’s name did the captain have us boarded so early? We actually pushed back from the stand at 0910, and were therefore trussed like turkeys in Thomas Cook’s constricted seats for 5.5 hours – long enough to fly the Atlantic! A poor piece of customer care and captaincy I would have thought.

More recently I flew BA on a Saturday morning at Gatwick, only 7 of the 17 economy check-in desks were manned – resulting in >30 ins queues. They claim staff had difficulty in getting to work. The weather did not stop passengers getting to the airport! Could it be that Mr Walsh has eroded staff morale to the point that they are not that bothered about overcoming the odd snow shower? When I took my seat it was broken – just like the previous time I flew BA. How are the mighty fallen….

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