The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:41am on Wednesday, 7th October, 2015:
I'm sitting in the departure lounge at Stansted Airport, ready to take a flight to Cologne for a talk I'm giving there this evening.
I used to like Stansted, but I'm steadily going off it. To park for two days in the short-term car park cost me almost as much as the flights, and would have cost more if I'd chosen to return a little later tomorrow. Online check-in is great because you don't have to stand in line for a boarding card, but it's not so great when other people who have checked in online can't figure out how to present their bar code to the scanner (you take it out of the plastic, put it barcode down, and actually display it to the scanner rather than to the arrow that illuminates when it has been successfully scanned). Security was so packed it was like queueing at Disneyland, except queue-jumpers were let through unchallenged and there were inexplicable hold-ups to the baggage throughput at the X-ray machine (caused at the post-machine side, not the pre-machine side).
After security, you have to walk a serpentine course between shop after shop after shop. Along the route, you're assailed by people trying to interest you in buying stuff. I realise they probably make more money from exposing people to shop after shop after shop, but those of us who are not going to buy anything because they HATE BEING MADE TO WALK UNNCECESSARILY would appreciate a short-cut. The serpentine walk leaves less space in the departure lounge, too, so it's hard to get a seat. There was even a queue for the gent's toilets, which isn't something I often see.
Overall, Stansted is really trying my patience. If it weren't for the fact it's only 45 minutes from my house, I'd consider using a different one.
It still beats Luton, though.
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