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« Delivering the New PR in Edinburgh | Main | Commenting on This Blog »

September 14, 2006


David Phillips FCIPR

I could not agree more. BAA who run most of the UK big airports is shambolic. It seems they are suprised when lots of people want to use thier terminals (the clue is that planes are landing with people in them). They can't keep thier web site up in a crisis and seem to think that no one goes to airports in cars.

Also note that if they take your lipstick away this side of the security check, there is a handy store on the others side and guess who owns the real estate/ You got it BAA.

BAA is a badly run company and is abusing its monopoly all in the name of .... um... um.... um...

Colin Farrington

A bit rich coming from an American! Have you not noticed the 2-hour 'homeland security' queues (my last three visits over 18 months) in Miami and New York airports for non-US passport holders??

BAA and the airlines have certainly struggled with additional security demands recently but again these have largely been US inspired.

A little less arrogance please.

Elizabeth Albrycht

Arrogance? I hardly think so. (To be arrogant I would have had to crow that the US is the best of all, which I certainly did not do here.) I was simply commenting on my last hideous experience traveling experience. I have indeed had similar experiences in the US - my last trip through JFK was a travesty. The ceiling was literally raining down on us as we walked into the building (it was raining outside too). Simply disgusting and a very poor welcome to the US indeed.

Mostly, I fly in and out of France, which, if you can escape Terminal 1 (avoid if possible by flying Air France), is a breeze, the bus rides to/from the planes notwithstanding.

BTW: The queue for EU passport holders in Luton was 3x as long as the non EU passport holders, but they had 3 people working. People still waited up to an hour with babies and packages. Very boring indeed.

Colin Farrington

Not only arrogant but ungenerous. You clearly haven't grasped or appreciated the practical consequences of the UK support for the US war on terror (which many of us individually did not support), and the repercussions we are facing in our daily lives as a result. Of course France is not so affected!! Joined up thinking please....

Elizabeth Albrycht

Colin, I am frankly rather surprised by your attacks. You don't know me and have no idea of my opinions, other than reading what I say through some kind of "yucky American" lens. I really don't care to get into this further with you.

Colin Farrington

Your blog speaks for itself and creates your own reputation. if you don't want to defend it that's up to you.

Ian Green

I can only apologise on behalf of other Brits.
What can I say. With all the worries about terrorism, life's a bit shit at the moment. We flew to Prague recently and couldn't take any liquids on board either - plus we had to have our shoes X-Rayed, and my wife was frisked and this was flying out of the UK.
Maybe we've lived under the burden of terrorism for too long over here - since the 1960s and the bombings of the IRA - and as a nation we are very phlegmatic anyway about these thing: "one shouldn't make a fuss."
But do please come back. As a rejoinder in the US it is a pain going through passport control though, and I sometimes wish they had a reciprocal agreement with us given our "special relationship", especially a couple years ago coming into San Fransisco when we where kept waiting for two hours while my five-year-old daughter was projectile vomiting.
However, these are stories you can dine out on.
I'm just saddened that you're directing Americans away from London to Paris while British soldiers are putting their lives on the line in Afganistan and Iraq (I'm against the war by the way). I'm sure President Chirac will be pleased.

Ian Green

Oh yes and the one point I forgot to make is that I suspect that Colin Farrington - is none other the Director General of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the UK. A man who is very suspicious of social media and PR's role within it.

Dennis Howlett

I'm dreading flying into Newark next month but at least I have oodles of hours on layover before going on.

As a person who regularly flew 100K miles ot the US in the 90's I can attest to the treatment of non-US citizens at the entry points. I was told very clearly: 'Never mention you're a journalist or you'll be given a ton of crap.' That was after I made that mistake on my very first trip and found out for myself just how rude and aggressive US immigration people can be.

As I understand it, the problem in the US is that the immigraqtion service is not desperately professional and staffed by poorly paid employees. I don't know if that remains true as I stopped flying there after 9/11.

It will be interesting to contrast the experiences I had.

But you have to laugh when you look at the non-US immigration green card thing. Some of the questions just cry out for a cynical response. e.g.

Q: Are you a war criminal?
A: Do you see numbers tattooed on my forearm?
Q: Have you been convicted of pandering?
A: Duh...except when trying to brown nose for a job you mean?

Almost Dilbertesque.

To be serious for a moment, the situation in the UK used to be pretty slack and some might argue that even now it's not much better so what you experienced is what one might call a 'shared problem.'

Another of those pesky things our Tony and George W could maybe straighten out next time they meet. -:)

skybus airlines

This kind of problems on airport security exists not only in one place in the world. Terrorism is a worldwide problem - and tighter security is what the government wants. All the people can do for the moment is abide by the rules - no matter how irritating the rules seem sometimes.

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