Sunday, 13 September 2009

Above us only sky - or a cynical, money-grabbing owner?

A bad press this week for Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) thanks to this post by fellow travel blogger, Grumpy Traveller.
The main thrust is a bad experience recently, involving the way passengers are encouraged to pay extra to join the Fast Lane queue and speed up their progress through security to the departure gate.
Making for particularly uncomfortable reading for LJLA is the line: "Surely Liverpool Airport’s management knows that they’ve got a massive understaffing and queuing problem. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that this is an act of greedy bastardry on an epic scale."
The post was just gathering readers across the travel blogs when local newspaper the Daily Post reported that LJLA was planning an ambitious £12m expansion to improve security facilities and almost double retail space.
Peel Holdings, which owns LJLA, plus Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster and Durham Tees Valley Airport in Darlington, said the scheme reflected plans by budget carrier easyJet to move extra flight capacity to Liverpool from Luton and East Midlands airports.
The airport outlines the Fast Lane scheme, which carries a charge of £3 per person (including children), with a FAQ on its website, citing the following:
"Buying a Fast Lane ticket does not guarantee that you won't have to wait in a queue, however, your queuing time will still be shorter when compared to the standard passenger queue and Liverpool John Lennon Airport will always attempt to ensure that your wait time is kept as short as possible."
Grumpy isn't happy and nor are some of the readers who posted their comments on his blog and below the Daily Post story. But what do you think? Is this a total rip off? Or a logical way to jump the queues - assuming, of course, it even works.
I'll be discussing this with Duncan Bakes on City Talk Breakfast this Tuesday from 7.45am and we're hoping to get some response from LJLA about the concerns raised.
Meanwhile, post your comments below and I'll put them on air.

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