Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fortress Britain=Travel Chaos Ahead

British airports are already the worst in the world for delays and restrictions.
The much hated "one bag rule" has led to lost luggage and huge lines.
Airports in the UK are privately operated and this has led to cost cutting and maximizing profit.
This profit motive results in 3 of 18 security stations operating on a given day and queues winding through the terminal.
There is no incentive to resource passenger screening regardless of the traffic.
If you walked into your local supermarket and the lineups at the checkout stretch to the back of the store, you'd turn on your heel and go to the store down the road.
Management makes sure this doesn't happen by keeping staffing levels high and opening new checkouts as traffic rises.
Private enterprise breeds competition, better service and increased efficiency.
This principle doesn't apply to airports.
The one you're at is the only game in town.
There is no competition.
Heathrow is building, building, building.
The problem is they're concentrating on "enhanced retail space".
Its important to keep you shopping as its likely you'll be spending hour upon hour of your life whilst stuck in the terminal.
Privatising airports has brought none of the benefits of the private sector and exposed all of the negatives associated with the profit motive.
The present situation is intolerable.
Its about to get a lot worse.
The government recently unveiled plans to gather up to 53 pieces of information from each and every traveler BEFORE they travel.
For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.
All of this information will be held in a vast new database dubbed the "e-borders" system by the government
Critics warned of mayhem at ports and airports when the system is introduced, beginning in earnest from mid-2009.
By 2014 every one of the predicted 305million passenger journeys in and out of the UK will be logged, with details stored about the passenger on every trip.
The scheme will apply to every way of leaving the country, whether by ferry, plane, or small aircraft. It would apply to a family having a day out in France by Eurotunnel, and even to a yachtsman leaving British waters during the day and returning to shore.
The measure applies equally to UK residents going abroad and foreigners travelling here.
The information will be stored for as long as the authorities believe it is useful, allowing them to build a complete picture of where a person has been over their lifetime, how they paid and the contact numbers of who they stayed with.Anybody about whom the authorities are dubious can be turned away when they arrive at the airport or station with their baggage.
Those with outstanding court fines, such as a speeding penalty, could also be barred from leaving the country, even if they pose no security risk.

(Daily Mail 20 Nov. 2007)
You can bet your life there will be new charges to cover the costs of all this.
Big brother and bureaucratic chaos will find a loving embrace at the UK's airports in the future.
I can honestly say that I travel for a living.
The vision of hell outlined above means, if I'm still in this game in 2009, I'll do something else.
British Airports are already the worst in the western world.
Now they're going to sink even lower.
The emperor is not wearing a stitch of clothing.
Hope this brightened your day!


Anonymous said...

I had heard about this new checking up on you idear, !! and thought of you and the amount of flying you do, what a nightmare !! hopefully frequent flyers like your self will get concessons :) or a quicker way of going through this big brother questionair :) penny xx

Chris said...

Just wait till they decide the way to save the planet is to penalize frequent fliers!