Monday, 9 August 2010

The journey to Manchester and an open letter to Manchester Airport Designers

The day arrived to move to Frankfurt. I got up at 0830, but I'm not really sure why. I didn't have to be at the train station until 1330. I think the logic behind it was in case I suddenly realised I had to buy something and so would have time to hit the shops. My main concern, however, was that someone, or something (for example a very discerning pigeon) would steal my passport and it would be gone as I looked for it on Saturday morning. Rather predictably, that did not occur.

After Mum had gone to check she was allowed to park in the station car park and Dad arrrived bearing M&S sandwiches, the time came to board the 1336 to Manchester airport. I found myself a table, used my laptop to charge my phone and read some Sherlock Holmes. I overheard a woman who was going to meet someone for a date in Doncaster and another telling strangers about she and her partner's break up. A man sat opposite me after Sheffield and drank two cans of M&S cider while listening to metal music before Manchester Piccadilly. 

I tried a caramel mocchiato from the Starbucks at the airport on a friend's advice and rather enjoyed it. I also noted a number of poor design features of Manchester Airport, Terminal 1. They are detailed in the open letter below. 

Dear Manchester Airport Designers,

What were you thinking?

I had the 'pleasure' of flying from your Terminal 1 on Saturday, and I have to admit the design is not ideal. In fact the poor design features (detailed below) actually created more stress before an already stressful journey. I am sure I am not the only traveller to have endured the following:
  • it is split over a number of levels and there are only two lifts from the station, which are a bit dodgy to say the least. The doors of one opened and closed three times before it actually went anywhere. 
  • from the station you have to use the escalators or lift if you have heavy baggage/other issues. Ever heard of ramps?
  • the Lufthansa desks are way round the corner so you have to go back on yourself to go to Security
  • the toilets are poorly designed. The handdryers are right next to the door so people standing there (to dry their hands) are in the way of anyone with any luggage. And people at airports usually have luaggage.
  • Although there are a fair number of seats, they are so placed that one cannot always see the departure boards, which is rather inconvenient. 
  • The arrivals hall smells of soup (noted from previous visits).
These were a few of the matters which most alarmed me during my visit to the airport. Please address as many of them as soon as you can. 

Yours faithfully, 

V x

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