Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Edinburgh Airport 'Access' Charge



Let me introduce you to Edinburgh airport's managing director Gordon Dewar. Pity he couldn't find an attractive tie to go with his rather well-cut suit.

That aside, Mr Dewar is the person responsible for proposing a fee of £1 for anyone dropping off passengers outside the terminal. He needs to generate revenue because there is a hole in the retail budget due to a drop in passengers. Fewer than forecast were flying and they were spending less.

The Scottish Government announced this week it did not support the charge and poor Mr Dewar is all of a dither now because he had expected ministers to remain neutral.

To add to the man's woes, it's recently be publicised that no other Scottish airport is considering this 'tax' on accessing the airport. Glasgow had recently redeveloped its forecourt and drop-off areas without introducing charges.

During a year I often collect or deliver friends or family to Edinburgh airport. It takes around 90 seconds to remove/place luggage in the boot and for my passengers to exit/enter the car. The drop-off/collect areas are heavily policed and drivers are carefully watched. Nowadays it's impossible to sit and wait for your passengers to appear from the terminal so drivers endlessly circuit the building until they do. Then it's a quick stop and off we go.

What Mr Dewar plans is unless you pay up, your passengers will have to walk a fair step to the Airport Hilton Hotel before they can be collected. Not easy if they've heavy luggage and are weary from a long-haul flight.

Perhaps Mr Dewar ought to look to providing more destinations rather than fleece his customer base for £1 a drop. I like to visit northern Spain and the nearest flight I can get is from Prestwick to Balbao. Only from Manchester can I fly direct to Santander which is the nearest airport to my destination and the flights are usually fully booked weeks in advance at any time of year. Very possibly there will be many other destinations which cannot be reached directly from Scotland without changing at one of the London airports - a nightmare which leaves me preferring to stay in Scotland.

Stop this silly idea now Mr Dewar. Oh, one part of his plan has yet to be made public. How much will the dropper-off/collector be fined if they don't pay the £1 charge?

On occasion I've used the excellent collect and drop chauffeur service when I've had heavy luggage. That is a service which collects your car at the drop-off point to save you the hassle of lugging suitcases onto long-stay car park transport. This charge could well affect this business but I doubt if that will concern Mr Dewar. He doesn't gain from it.


24 comments:

Dramfineday said...

The trouble I find with airports is that the business models and actions of other companies has started to influence their thinking. It was noticible to me when Easyjet were being filmed for the series Airport, the check in staff appeared to go out of their way to be rude (Esp at Luton) although did disipate when the camera crews vanished. One thing I always used to chuckle about when using Edinburgh Aiport was the water machines - No Highland Spring or tartan aqua here, oh no, good old Buxton spring so much for connected marketing!!

Still, think what you get for your pound (or not as the case me be) A lung full of the chicken farm "aires" and when walking to the Hilton on an average summer eve, hypothermia and a damned good soaking - welcome to Scotland.

Dubbieside said...

Subrosa

This charge is a perfect example of the misuse of a monopoly position.

We on the east of Scotland have to use a BAA owned airport and Edinburgh Airport are using their monopoly position to our disadvantage.

Its time the Scottish Government started campaigning against this and insisting that either Edinburgh or Glasgow is sold, then we would have some sort of choice about which company would exploit us.

BAA had to sell Gatwick as their London monopoly was unfair to passengers. If it was stopped in London why is the monopoly still allowed in Scotland? Silly question really as one is in England and Scotland despite all Camerons "respect" still gets shafted.

English Pensioner said...

If you are picking up someone at some terminals at Heathrow, it is very difficult to do so without paying because you are routed into the car park and have to pay to get out.

Rob Royston said...

In the States they have car parks that drivers waiting for passengers can sit in and wait until they get called on their mobile phones. Easy, but in the UK they are too busy working out how to squeeze another pound out of you to think about a simple solution.

tris said...

I agree with everything you say, except that he should have had a tie on.

There is nothing more uncomfortable than a tie round your neck rubbing on your adam's apple.

Thank goodness that women are no longer obliged to wear skirts and men are no longer obliged to wear ties.

As for charging good money for drop offs... scandal absolute scandal. They will cahrge for the air we breathe next: You were breathing airport air; thats £5.

subrosa said...

Jings Dram, I never consciously noticed the water in Edinburgh airport, but now you mention it...

It's a fair step from the Hilton to the terminal especially with hauling luggage, in snow or sleet or just plain cold, as you say.

Welcome to Scotland. Those visitors in hired cars who come to collect or drop family or friends are going to feel really welcome.

subrosa said...

Dubbie, I think another letter is due to my MP. Hope others do this. It's time our MPs started defending us in these situations.

subrosa said...

English Pensioner. We don't have the amount of traffic you have in the likes of Heathrow. We have what you would consider very small airports.

There is plenty space to pick up or drop passengers at Edinburgh and I've done it for years without causing any inconvenience for any other person.

This is a money-making decision. A tax on those who go to the airport. I won't pay it. I'll wait and see how much I'm fined.

subrosa said...

Rob, Edinburgh is a small airport but a pleasant one. Glasgow is bigger yet it doesn't make these charges. It's a nonsense and a public protest ought to be made.

Perhaps next time I'm there I'll do that. Was there this week yet I didn't have time to make the placard.

subrosa said...

Oh Tris, of course he should have a tie on! It's all to do with power dressing. But your generation don't understand that. :)

tris said...

LOl perhaps....

But in this power dressing thing do women have to wear skirts and frocks and stuff instead of these black trousers they wear for work these days.

subrosa said...

Of course not Tris. I moved in the late 80s from skirt suits to trouser suits yet I still wore my silk stockings and still felt I gained a little courage through my own version of 'power dressing'.:)

Also I respected my client group enough to dress professionally.

banned said...

That happened locally back in April as I mentioned here
Rip Off Britain

In summary, If I have to wait longer than 10 minutes to collect friends or family I get fined £2 because the plane was late or the baggage handlers were lazy or the arrivals webpage is innacurate or some other fault of the airline or airport itself.

I dont choose to wait for more than ten minutes and neither do my passengers.

Indyanhat said...

Och he's nay power dressin he's jis lookin a wee bit shuggley aifter a neet on a pishh!, probly dripped curry on his tie and has it in his pocket.

If ony tramp like yon cam's up te me an demands a quid fer a drop aff, ah'll stuff his Big Isshu up his...

subrosa said...

I remember reading that banned and thought 'Edinburgh wouldn't do that'. How stupid I am yet I understand Glasgow now has a drop-off point where it's free. Can't confirm that because I haven't been since last year.

What I do sometimes is sit in a wee spot just about 2 or 3 minutes drive from the terminal door then ask my passengers to call me once they're nearly outside. Works fine.

subrosa said...

Ah Indy, never thought he could have dipped his tie in his latte! With the cash he's earning, ye'd think he'd have a spare in his lovely solid walnut desk drawer though, wouldn't you?

Or is he trying to look 'cool'?

tris said...

LOL... I guess its like underwear... No one sees it but it's nice to have good stuff on...

I've had a few battles over ties SR so I'll maybe write something about it later.

It's a bit of a hobby horse of mine!!

:-)

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

"a hole in the retail budget due to a drop in passengers" - eh?

The drop in articles sold is nothing to do with the obscenely overpriced goods they try to dishonestly push at passengers at "lower than high street" prices ?

The nasty, dishonest, grasping "tripper trap" mentality that pervades UK airport retailing sector needs to be dealt with. W.H. Smith punting cigarettes at over £1 a pack dearer than erm, anywhere else....

The number of deliberately or misleadingly (over)priced items in the shops beggars belief, duty free ciggies 40% more expensive than on the plane, car parking that says "Long Term Parking £10 a day" which you find is a 3 day minimum charge only when you've got your ticket at the barrier. Liverpool airport's delay 'em off the flight unless they've coughed for a £25 "fast lane" pass... The list goes on , and on...

You pay £15++ to use the airport anyway in your ticket price.

Too much to expect the meejah to lambast thievin bandits like Gordon Dewar it seems ....

World Duty Free (the main UK operator) need a kick up the proverbial for their plainly dishonest price tag policy, after being on the receiving end of several attempted pricing scams I now walk straight past their blindingly lit stalls.

Gordon Dewar - reproduction and travel pal , reproduction and travel.

subrosa said...

Great points Gordon. I too walk past the ridiculously priced airport shops.

subrosa said...

Don't be tied up for too long Tris. :)

Jim said...

Glasgow airport is a complete shambles for dropping off or picking up passengers. They do their damnest to get you into a short stay car park and charge the earth for the privilege. The way in which they attem[pt to force people into the ridiculously overpriced airport taxis should be considered brigandry.

subrosa said...

Ah Jim, that's interesting. Haven't been since the refurbishment but read somewhere they don't charge at the drop-off point. Maybe the mile walk is enough to discourage anyone but the hardiest soul.

Jasmine said...

What i have seen in Southampton and Gatwick same remains the case when you remain stuck with dropping and picking up areas. At my last trip to Southampton, i booked a Cheap Southampton Airport Parking by a local operator and thanks God, it didn't created any mess for me. I am happy!
I think all that matters is the pre-planning. Otherwise you have to bear long walks, hurdles at every step and more bucks being spent.

subrosa said...

I pre-plan Jasmine, to pick them up outside the terminal and get a move on when they see me but thanks for the tip about Southampton. One of my family uses that airport regularly so I'll let them know.

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