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Why are passengers treated so badly?

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Nimrod103
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Why are passengers treated so badly?

#220974

Postby Nimrod103 » May 11th, 2019, 9:02 pm

I have just returned from an enjoyable visit to Madrid and surrounding cities. Sadly my return flight was disrupted by the French air traffic controllers strike, and was delayed by 16 hours. I have low expectations of airline efficiency, ability to keep people informed etc, and Easyjet lived up to those low expectations. Basically when a flight is cancelled or 'delayed' for such a long period, one is left to one's own devices, and it was unfortunate that there was the Madrid Open Tennis tournament plus a trade fair, so that no hotels could be obtained (it was midnight when Easyjet finally stopped the boarding and sent everyone away).

What has really annoyed me, is that having to spend the night in the airport check-in area (laughingly called a 'Lounge'), I found there were no comforts at all. The floor was cold hard marble, and the few seats were in benches, but separated with fixed armrests, so as to prevent people sleeping there. I was woken at 5am by a guard objecting to my sleeping on a bench. Talking later to other passengers, some who slept on the floor were ordered to move as well. My Anglo-Saxon phraseology caused another guard to pull the first away, and I was left alone. Meanwhile the high volume security announcements carried on at full volume all night every twenty minute, even though there were no flights in or out during that time.

From what I have seen many other airports have the same very unfriendly attitude towards their customers, Madrid is not alone. Yet on my previous flights connecting via Saigon, I found a quiet area with couches set aside for people to rest while waiting for flights. The whole experience in Madrid was so dire, I have cancelled a planned flight in June, and it will take a year or so before I will venture through an airport again.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#220991

Postby Lanark » May 11th, 2019, 10:25 pm

They do this to discourage people from living there permanently
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/t ... 92742.html

It's thought that around 110 people live at Heathrow airport and more than 20 people at Gatwick.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#220994

Postby Nimrod103 » May 11th, 2019, 10:53 pm

Lanark wrote:They do this to discourage people from living there permanently
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/t ... 92742.html

It's thought that around 110 people live at Heathrow airport and more than 20 people at Gatwick.


Yes I thought of that, and my wife noticed a few people who had cardboard and thin mattresses to sleep on. I find it shocking though that the management of these airports consider treating their customers so badly just to discourage a few tramps.

When I lived in India, there were guards on the doors of the check-in areas to turn away anyone without a ticket. Have we reached such a PC state in Europe that airport guards don't dare to force out tramps and freeloaders, so that the real passengers can get some rest? Does the fact that we have paid for it not count for something?

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#221097

Postby Slarti » May 12th, 2019, 5:16 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:Have we reached such a PC state in Europe that airport guards don't dare to force out tramps and freeloaders, so that the real passengers can get some rest? Does the fact that we have paid for it not count for something?


1) I have had the misfortune to travel with people who look and smell like tramps
2) I doubt that it is "PC" that is the reason but £€, because it is cheaper to have minimum wage guards enforcing one size fits all rules than to do it properly.

Slarti

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#221634

Postby Longtermyieldman » May 14th, 2019, 5:43 pm

I'm surprised easyJet left passengers to their own devices. A few years ago I was booked on the last flight out of Prague back to Gatwick and it arrived late, causing crew to be out of hours. They booked us into a decent hotel on site, even escorted us to it, and compensated us for the 'lost' day.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#221652

Postby TaurusTheBull » May 14th, 2019, 7:24 pm

Hi,

I've slept in more airports than I care to remember, but the only one I can recall being specifically woken up early at was Auckland. However, it doesn't surprise me that ypu had this problem in Madrid, because I'd expect this to happen in some Western countries. Even in Tel Aviv I was able to sleep un-interrupted, albeit on the floor.

The worst airport I've slept at is undoubtedly Stansted, where there are now signs stating "do not lie down on the seats". The result is many people sleeping on the cold hard floor, not through penny-pinching but because many Ryanair flights depart early. The staff seem singularly un-sympathetic.

The fact that there are estimates of how many people use Gatwick and Heathrow regularly shows that the problem is known about, but apparently not addressed., another example of the majority suffering because of inadequate policing of the minority. But, on the other hand, if I was homeless, an airport would be a nice option.

Taurus

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#223490

Postby pds2008 » May 21st, 2019, 6:44 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:
Lanark wrote:They do this to discourage people from living there permanently
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/t ... 92742.html

It's thought that around 110 people live at Heathrow airport and more than 20 people at Gatwick.


Yes I thought of that, and my wife noticed a few people who had cardboard and thin mattresses to sleep on. I find it shocking though that the management of these airports consider treating their customers so badly just to discourage a few tramps.

When I lived in India, there were guards on the doors of the check-in areas to turn away anyone without a ticket. Have we reached such a PC state in Europe that airport guards don't dare to force out tramps and freeloaders, so that the real passengers can get some rest? Does the fact that we have paid for it not count for something?



A bit ironic in a post that moans about how people are treated - the homeless are summarised as tramps and freeloaders. How dare they spoil your overnight accommodation?

Yell

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#223603

Postby Nimrod103 » May 22nd, 2019, 10:26 am

pds2008 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:
Lanark wrote:They do this to discourage people from living there permanently
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/t ... 92742.html

It's thought that around 110 people live at Heathrow airport and more than 20 people at Gatwick.


Yes I thought of that, and my wife noticed a few people who had cardboard and thin mattresses to sleep on. I find it shocking though that the management of these airports consider treating their customers so badly just to discourage a few tramps.

When I lived in India, there were guards on the doors of the check-in areas to turn away anyone without a ticket. Have we reached such a PC state in Europe that airport guards don't dare to force out tramps and freeloaders, so that the real passengers can get some rest? Does the fact that we have paid for it not count for something?



A bit ironic in a post that moans about how people are treated - the homeless are summarised as tramps and freeloaders. How dare they spoil your overnight accommodation?

Yell


I assumed that since I had paid the fare as a passenger, I was entitled to better treatment than a tramp. Obviously in your World, I should just be grateful for a cold hard floor and police persecution.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#223995

Postby pds2008 » May 23rd, 2019, 2:16 pm

No - in my world I know enough about the stories of many homeless people to dismiss them as tramps and freeloaders. Have some compassion.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224094

Postby GoSeigen » May 23rd, 2019, 9:17 pm

pds2008 wrote:No - in my world I know enough about the stories of many homeless people to dismiss them as tramps and freeloaders. Have some compassion.


Hah, do you realise who you're asking to have compassion?!!

GS

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224285

Postby pds2008 » May 24th, 2019, 7:46 pm

GoSeigen wrote:
pds2008 wrote:No - in my world I know enough about the stories of many homeless people to dismiss them as tramps and freeloaders. Have some compassion.


Hah, do you realise who you're asking to have compassion?!!

GS



No - should I?

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224304

Postby Nimrod103 » May 24th, 2019, 9:50 pm

I don't see where compassion comes into it. It was an airport, designed for the transit of passengers from surface transport to planes. When the planes can't fly (a frequent occurrence in Europe), there should be some reasonable basic accommodation for fare paying passengers, tired, hungry, often elderly, sick even. With babies and young children. Where they can be accommodated during their wait. Where they can sleep without being disturrbed by angry guards.
An airport is not a doss house.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224369

Postby pds2008 » May 25th, 2019, 3:48 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:I don't see where compassion comes into it. It was an airport, designed for the transit of passengers from surface transport to planes. When the planes can't fly (a frequent occurrence in Europe), there should be some reasonable basic accommodation for fare paying passengers, tired, hungry, often elderly, sick even. With babies and young children. Where they can be accommodated during their wait. Where they can sleep without being disturrbed by angry guards.
An airport is not a doss house.


Not really the point I was making - I do not like our homeless population to be dismissed as tramps and freeloaders. I think that do not reflect the realities of the pressures, hardships and lack of support mechanisms that have led to the growth of the homeless problem in society.

I also think that to blame them for the austere design of airports, particularly airside, is a bit daft. Airports are designed and built (and supposedly future proofed) by the likes of BAA to get the maximum number of passengers from the entrance to the gate as quickly and efficiently as possible, whilst fleecing their wallets as much as possible at the commercial outlets between the two points. Airports are always more comfortable one you get airside. They will never accept responsibility for passengers stuck in their premises, pointing to the airline you have contracted with. The airlines operate to such tight margins that they will usually resist any liability to look after stuck passengers.

I highly doubt that any airport, or any airline has used homeless people as an excuse for the lack of facilities for passengers. I have never experienced such an excuse myself - maybe you have?

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224539

Postby Nimrod103 » May 26th, 2019, 4:30 pm

pds2008 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:I don't see where compassion comes into it. It was an airport, designed for the transit of passengers from surface transport to planes. When the planes can't fly (a frequent occurrence in Europe), there should be some reasonable basic accommodation for fare paying passengers, tired, hungry, often elderly, sick even. With babies and young children. Where they can be accommodated during their wait. Where they can sleep without being disturrbed by angry guards.
An airport is not a doss house.


Not really the point I was making - I do not like our homeless population to be dismissed as tramps and freeloaders. I think that do not reflect the realities of the pressures, hardships and lack of support mechanisms that have led to the growth of the homeless problem in society.

I also think that to blame them for the austere design of airports, particularly airside, is a bit daft. Airports are designed and built (and supposedly future proofed) by the likes of BAA to get the maximum number of passengers from the entrance to the gate as quickly and efficiently as possible, whilst fleecing their wallets as much as possible at the commercial outlets between the two points. Airports are always more comfortable one you get airside. They will never accept responsibility for passengers stuck in their premises, pointing to the airline you have contracted with. The airlines operate to such tight margins that they will usually resist any liability to look after stuck passengers.

I highly doubt that any airport, or any airline has used homeless people as an excuse for the lack of facilities for passengers. I have never experienced such an excuse myself - maybe you have?


Firstly, the homeless who sleep in airports and who are not delayed fare paying travellers, are tramps, and they are freeloading on the facilities in the airport. Definition A tramp is a long-term homeless person who travels from place to place as a vagrant. It is up to the country as a whole to accommodate those who are homeless, it should not be an extra burden imposed on travellers.

Secondly, the austere design is at least partly to discourage unwanted loiterers. Airports realize it is a problem, but regrettably their tactics is to treat tramps/homeless persons the same as fare paying passengers. In our case, it was not possible to go back airside, after we had returned to quiz Easyjet staff in the small office about what they could do for us (they could do nothing). So we were stuck on the check-in side, where there were the spartan facilities and surroundings I have described.

Thirdly the whole point of my post was to get the strong feelings off my chest, as I doubt any approach to Easyjet/Madrid Airport would achieve anything. Bit like banging your head against a cold marble floor. Passengers were obviously meant to suffer.

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Re: Why are passengers treated so badly?

#224743

Postby pds2008 » May 27th, 2019, 1:55 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:
pds2008 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:


Firstly, the homeless who sleep in airports and who are not delayed fare paying travellers, are tramps, and they are freeloading on the facilities in the airport. Definition A tramp is a long-term homeless person who travels from place to place as a vagrant. It is up to the country as a whole to accommodate those who are homeless, it should not be an extra burden imposed on travellers.

Secondly, the austere design is at least partly to discourage unwanted loiterers. Airports realize it is a problem, but regrettably their tactics is to treat tramps/homeless persons the same as fare paying passengers. In our case, it was not possible to go back airside, after we had returned to quiz Easyjet staff in the small office about what they could do for us (they could do nothing). So we were stuck on the check-in side, where there were the spartan facilities and surroundings I have described.

Thirdly the whole point of my post was to get the strong feelings off my chest, as I doubt any approach to Easyjet/Madrid Airport would achieve anything. Bit like banging your head against a cold marble floor. Passengers were obviously meant to suffer.



Interesting that you chose to define "tramp" rather than "homeless". Anyway, thanks for the clarification of airport design principles and the extra burdens imposed on travellers. Cheered me right up.


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