Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Still room for improvement with the airport logistics

Malaga has got a brand new, shiny terminal with hopefully latest innovations and solutions. Or...?

There are bins (or trash baskets..) that enable recycling. Separate bin for paper, plastic/cans and mixed trash. Sounds good. The sad thing is someone forgot to take care of the next link in the trash supply chain;

The cleaning lady who emptied the bins one by one put all trash in a same black bag that destroyes all efforts made towards recycling. So sad but so true...!

The same place had however a security guard that gets respect by pure presence - I guess - or how would you react to a 150 cm and max 45 kilos of smiling lady? Handcuffs and all do not make that much of difference if you must tackle someone with more than double the body-weight...

Some of you might remember my earlier story about the security check logic in Madrid Airport. It is interesting to see that while designing a new terminal in Malaga ("new" might be overstated as it seems to be standard style in Spain, very much like Madrid terminal - and good thing is they both have one particular after-shave I had been hunting for), obviously no-one has asked the passangers if the existing systems are working well or not. Neither have they been watching what happens with the security check logistics.

Again you unload your stuff on a table into boxes - and of course this requires multiple boxes as e.g. laptop needs to be in a separate box. Then you should pick up the boxes + bags and walk few meters to the x-ray machine's belt that can fit only one box. Perhaps you do this bare feet, trousers hanging loose since you have taken off your belt and shoes to avoid being touched by strangers - in the name of security. I know I am not the prettiest guy around but I'm not sure if I can be profiled as a threat based on my appearance.

After you have walked through the beeping machine and survived the body-search, you should again pick up the boxes and walk few meters to another table where you put on the belt, shoes and start repacking.

That is one of the few things at Brussels Airport has done better.

While we are on it, let's put some shame over Finnair too;
Why do you arrange flights where you disable online check-in?

Why don't you arrange check-in in Malaga somehow other than 3 very slowly acting people handling close to 200 passangers in only 3 counters - starting about 1:45 hours before the flight? This results to unhappy travellers in a queue like this.

All these people waiting to check in to one flight - while there are 10s of empty counters to enable also other solutions!

I have some positive about Finnair too;
If you fly out from Helsinki before 9 am, you can check-in and drop your luggage the night before. But no on-line activities...

Well, not all problems are the airline's fault;
Our take off from Helsinki was first delayed due to flat tyre. That is all good, since my principle is that they should take all the time needed for fixing a technical problem. Bet it how ever small, it can become a big one while in the air.

Like that would not have been enough; while we were sitting in the plane and waiting for the guys to fix the tyre, the captain announces that a family refused to get onboard the plane. No reason was told to us, but again due to the security reasons the luggage of these passangers were to take out from the belly.

Yep, the whole plane was already loaded and ready to take off but there comes the luggage guys and start searching for these particular bags... No worries, we got to the destination safe and sound but a bit late. However not too late to put the swim trunks on and walk down to the beach for the first swim!

Just a reminder to finish off: Flying is still the safest traveling mode! Most of us know people who have died in a traffic accident on the road, be it with a car, motorcycle, bicycle, or as pedestrian. But do you know anyone who would have died in a plane crash...?

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