Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inefficiency costing sales??

I have just returned from a 24 hour trip to Dublin. DAA Dublin Airport has opened a new terminal recently – and for the first time I went through it today. I was really looking forward, the old terminal is a bit dated – and I do love the new airports for their airy feel (like terminal 5 in Heathrow or Copenhagen airport). But man was I disappointed, not that the terminal is ugly or dark – It did look nice - there were many things I would have liked to explore had I just had the time. But the way you are treated there makes it not only impossible to relax and enjoy the surroundings but also so stretched for time that if you do want to explore you miss your flight.
The terminal is over 3 floors on the ground floor you check in, on the first floor you arrive and on the third floor you have access to the departure gates. As I arrived from the other terminal I arrived on the first floor which meant first going down to check-in then going up to the 3rd floor to go through security, already this is ridiculous – too many people to go up multiple floors and only two escalators and 6 elevators, but I made it. Now through security  - and here is the same issue as in terminal 1 you have to snail your way through a long queue, the people are not very friendly and as you reach “the other side” where you think you can go through the scanners only to be met by even more queues. These queues are “organized” by four employees – and it really begs the question “why not organize the queues from the beginning (as in Brussels airport) then you do not have to have four people standing and shouting at people?” but maybe it is a kind of scheme to keep more people in employment?
So finally I made it to the scanners. I travel a lot – so I am pretty good at knowing what to have inside the bag and what to leave on show. But in Dublin Airport it is always just that little bit more complicated. Obviously I am not the only one in this situation so most people need to put their things through twice. This of course adding to the ever expanding queues. And the people working there (probably mentally exhausted from the endless queues and comments from tired travelers) are quite unfriendly – I mean they say the right things you can just hear that they do not mean it, which do not add anything positive to the experience.
 So this morning despite me travelling with only one piece of hand-luggage and having my stuff ready it took me 50 minutes just to pass security and by then my plane was on the final call. So I could only look longingly at the restos and shops as I ran to catch my plane which was so far out the pier it made Brussels airport look compact.
I feel sorry for the retailers – they must miss out on lots of sales because security is so inefficient.

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