The first thing for me to say is, it isn’t Gatwick it is airports, and my
reaction to them. Soulless places designed to make you spend. As if you haven’t spent enough on your flight, extra leg room, priority boarding, insurance, car hire blah de blah. Ok I can hear you saying ‘ If you dont want to shop then don’t shop’.
We arrive after a five hour journey frought with average speed checks, irate impatient travellers, road works, accidents, road diversions and rain. We checked in on line and determined to be chilled about everything ;after all I am (we are) so looking forward to the end result, the reason for taking a long haul flight with no promise (or suggestion) of sun. We dropped our bag had our searches and walked through to… Fluorescent lighting and shops!
An attractive lady steps forward hastily brandishing an atomiser, she glances at me but focusses on my husband ‘Try a little, smells great’ she said flashing her ultra white smile and blinking rapidly. He raised his hand and smiled sleepily ‘not for me thanks’. At this she squirted the air before us and we both walked in to the mist of fruity notes coughing as we went,. Thimbles of liquor, pieces of chocolate on cocktail sticks and raffle tickets for a car, all did their best to tempt and lure us; It was exhausting ‘but we didn’t crack’.
At last we know which gate to go to, swallowing the last of my tea i went to use the facilities. Queuing for six toilets were twenty or so ladies, all patient calm and silent , only the mighty whoosh of hand blade dryers could be heard; hence not bothering to try and speak. ‘Why do I have to be the one to get a warm clammy seat that hasn’t had time to lose the imprint of the previous persons bottom.?’ to top it off I believe she must have been a nervous flyer… Holding my nose I peed , anti bac gelled my hands, wiped the seat flushed and vacated. Chore completed i went in search of my tired but uncomplaining husband. A mile or so walk to gate 22 proved tiring, if only because the queue was out of the lounge and forty deep ; people were rattled. I asked ‘what was the point of priority boarding ?’… When I figure it out I will tell you.
My husband is a large man (compared to my four foot eleven ) So leg room was important and paid for along with the flights. But what you gain in leg room you loose in width, a compromise I hadn’t thought of. This extra leg space so generously afforded me was also where passengers chose to queue for you the facilities. The stretched sleeping torso of my husband obviously didn’t warrent stamping on, unlike me who took the punishment for having such space as Brits tend to… apologetically. Mr uncomplaining , slept his way over sea’s, Rekyavic, and Greenland, waking only to eat and drink or wriggle his torso. Meanwhile he is comfortably dropping his arm and shoulder over the arm rest, making my space narrower. He had a long drive to come at the other end so I leave him sleeping.
I was excited at take off, and turbulence and landing, while watching two movies and reading a paperback. ‘Apparently excited was weird ‘ the air hostess or cabin crew were efficient polite but not so discreet when they chortled at my excitement and my squashed position.
On landing we were hearded like cattle between a maize of nylon barriers that took you slowly around the airport, they had been laid out (no doubt with great thought). Back and forth we went , we were being controlled as the average speed checks or as smart motorways do vehicles. The penning in or herding as I called it was so security could get us at a drizzle, and not a marauding lump of foreign visitors. Tired fed up dying to find a warm clammy seat… We were on our way, what we wanted at this point was a hot cup of tea a toilet and somewhere to purchase a sim card. One out of the three would suffice. My point is do we really need to have designer perfume, watches, sun glasses, clothes, shoes, caviar bars etc… or do we just need comfortable inexpensive places to rest and feed us between travels, help with directions to hire car companies taxis and the like? Answers and opinions welcomed, unlike airports I am not selling a thing.
Welcome to Vancouver pleased as we are to welcome our visitors, shouted a voice from above, i thought it a nice touch until someone called security to shut him up.