Wednesday, 22 July 2009
The hell that isn’t Gatwick
It’s the first week of the school holidays, the gloomy predictions that not very many people would be travelling this summer have been disproven by a combination of aggressively cheap flights and the promise of a barbecue summer, which instantly condemned it to rain for most of July (which it has proceeded to do!)
Consequently, the thought of going through Gatwick has been filling me with dread, and to begin with today I had every reason to believe my worst fears, of a heaving terminal full of stresses parents and restless children, would be fulfilled. The train was heaving, there was luggage stacked in every corner, and when I saw the queue for the lift off of the platform into the terminal building (at least 10 lift loads deep) I thought it was going to be bad.
It looked even worse when I got to the easyJet checkin area where the queue was massive, but then my preconceptions and fears were proved wrong.
Despite a queue which could have been measured in fractions of a kilometre, it moved at a speed which could have been measured in kilometres. In less than 5 minutes I was through the queue, at a desk and checked in onto my flight.
Even more to my surprise was the virtually non-existent queues for security, which was operating with a level of efficiency I would normally expect from Munich airport, not Gatwick.
So, having left myself nearly three hours to get checked in and through security I find myself in the busy, but by no means packed, departures lounge, with ages to wait for my flight to board.
Lucky I didn’t book that place in the Business lounge that I was thinking about but never got round to. I’d be plastered by the time I boarded if I had!