HAVING TRAVELLED through Edinburgh Airport frequently in the last four weeks I was dismayed at the utter chaos that meets you coming and going from what used to be one of the best airports in the UK.
Instead of the usual check-in desks you are now met with a set of weighing scales for checking-in your luggage and at least four of them had an out of order sign on them. The queue to do this is long, as passengers struggle to get these weighing machines to scan their boarding pass to continue to check cases in. Although manned by four 'assistants' on each of the occasions I went through, the staff looked bored, were rude and more interested in talking to themselves than helping customers.
Any passengers that needed help were treated like idiots , as customer service took a new low.
Having got through the weighing process you then have to label your case and take it to a member of staff, where you show your passport before lifting your case on a conveyer belt.
As a passenger you are stressed even before the ordeal of going through security but as you follow the flow upstairs with a sense of dread you are met with huge queues to go through the automated security barrier where you have to yet again scan your boarding pass. This is so busy that on one occasion last week the barriers were locked down to enable the crowds already through to disperse a little, causing even more queues. On waiting for the red cross on the screen to turn to green we were informed by an airport employee that we could by-pass the delay if we bought a £5 ticket to go through fast-track; there were no takers.
Having made it passed this obstacle the “fun” really begins. On all of the occasions I passed through in the past month not all security belts were open causing delays but there seem to be plenty staff standing around yelling at passengers the do’s and dont’s of what you can put in each tray.
I had a coat and cardigan which took one tray, my iPad and phone had to go in a tray by itself, my hand luggage in another and lastly my handbag and perfume in another. I thought I was good to go when I was told to put my spectacles and shoes in another. That was a total of five trays and whilst filling them I was constantly shouted at to do this quickly and to move along.
Now I am a frequent traveller and relatively fit so my sympathies with older passengers and parents with children was immense.
The amount of trays on the conveyer belt meant that my trays were constantly separated with other peoples trays and when I hung back before going through the body scanner to make sure my handbag was safe I was barked at to go through. I refused to do so informing this member of the shouty brigade that I was hanging back to make sure my handbag was safe and at least making it to the top of the scanner. She looked at me incredulously and shrugged.You wouldn’t leave your handbag and valuables lying around with complete strangers anywhere else, except it would seem, airport security. Having got through the body scanner – where I was asked to raise my arms and scanned, then patted down afterwards by security. To say I was baffled that this was necessary after the scan, would be an understatement.
I, along with my fellow passengers were then shouted at to quickly empty the trays and move along,meanwhile your trays are being pushed along whilst others join it.
Emptying five trays is no mean feat, putting shoes on, belts etc and on completion of this, getting by now teary and stressed, I was then yelled at to pick up the five trays and put them on the pile that eventually is sent to the unfortunates to come back at the start.
All this before even flying...
There then follows a long walk on a narrow pathway crowded with passengers snaking through the many shops. It is another obstacle race and I wonder why this is so narrow, adding to the chaos?
Whilst I appreciate the need for security, this could be done so much better, not the least having security fully manned, the staff showing some awareness and customer service in helping passengers.
It would seem that the qualifications for a job in Edinburgh Airport is to be able to look bored, be abrupt to the point of rudeness, and be able to shout at the top of your voice. In my rankings Edinburgh is now just behind Stansted as the worst UK airport – and don’t get me started on that...