A journey from one town to the next, or between two countries, gives us two points of comparison. It’s difficult not to compare. We notice how quickly cities have developed, especially if we are returning to somewhere we have been before. And one of the top topics to muse about over a coffee in the local café is how life has changed and how development has eroded our sense of community.
I don’t even think you have to leave the airport before the comparison starts. I’m sitting in Belfast airport, feeling a little bit abused. The problems started with my air ticket with a certain orange liveried bird of steel. You may say you get what you pay for, but I had thought that they were operating a business and the focus of any business should be its customers. Forget that.
Move a little further along the airport conveyor belt and you are greeted with several offers to relieve of a few heavy coins. Would you like to buy a plastic “security” bag for your cosmetics? No. Would you like to pay extra to shorten the frisk queue? Not keen on that either. Would you like us to be so inflexible that you think we are taking the …. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Above all, especially in an airport, security is paramount. I get that. But I can’t help beginning to feel that it is being used as an excuse to take short cuts and be lazy. I understand that you have an important job and we all benefit from the role you play in the airport game of manoeuvring thousands of people safely from one place to another. But apart from feeling like a pawn on a chessboard, I feel if we all smiled, phrased our requests with a little more respect and offered a helping hand rather than a slap, we would have happier and more efficient airports, and help to stem the community erosion. Rant over. Apparently, for safety reasons I “need to turn the computer off now”. Please.
Now for something to lighten the mood: