Airport operator BAA continues to dominate the headlines this week, in a storm of controversy whipped up for the silly season.
Stories are appearing on a daily basis, usually written by journalists who have experienced for themselves the ‘horror’ of airport security and all the time-consuming, irritating procedures that come with it.
Having spoken to several travel agents this week, it seems that this view is not necessarily one shared by consumers. The general feedback is that there is no feedback: clients are not complaining about long waits due to airport security.
On the contrary, they recognise additional security measures are necessary in the current climate and would prefer to be safe than have an extra half an hour in duty-free.
However, that is not to say that spending long periods in queues does not have any impact on the travelling public. Elderly bookers in particular have to take in to consideration the length of time they can stand – both on their way to their destination and on arrival.
For this reason, some agents report that bookings to the US are down.
But is it the real story? Investment in airports is crucial, but let’s not forget who is throwing most of the stones at BAA: the airlines, which stand to benefit from breaking up the operator’s control of UK airports.
Meanwhile, the market continues to flourish. August is proving to be another good month following strong bookings in July.
The trend towards long-haul travel is growing, with favourable prices compared with holidays in Europe. The summer has certainly bounced back.
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