The new owners of Gatwick are not doing themselves any favours with foolish announcements about how they plan to transform the airport. They are promising a much-improved passenger environment and “no queues”. They claim that passengers at their other airport, London City, never have to queue for more than three minutes.
Firstly, they do not mean “no queues” at all – they are simply referring to Security queues. Unless airlines and their agents employ scores more staff, there will still be plenty of queues to check in.
Secondly, how do they hope to achieve this miracle? London City is Britain’s most expensive airport for both passengers and airlines. The company has already paid a heavy price for Gatwick and further investment will have to be earned through increased revenues. At the moment, the majority of the South Terminal’s flights are budget and charter flights – these airlines want to pay less, not more. Most of them do not really care too much about whether passengers have to queue for Security for three minutes or ten minutes.
It is noticeable that already some of Gatwick’s airlines are sounding nervous about the new owners.
They will have to be a great deal more professional in the way they communicate their intentions in the future or they could be heading for a major PR disaster – and a serious loss of airline traffic.