Few passengers will be surprised at low rating for Aldergrove

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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Belfast International Airport at Aldergrove has come bottom of UK airport in a survey of passengers by Which?

Several thousand people took part in the consumer magazine’s research, of whom only 68 people gave feedback on Aldergrove.

Therefore, the sample was a small one.

But few people who have used Belfast International Airport (BIA) regularly will be surprised that it fared poorly.

The airport initially said next to nothing when there were relentless complaints about huge security queues. It was only because passengers complained on Twitter and were contacted by outlets such as this newspaper that pressure was put on BIA.

There have been other controversies in recent years: it still seems mean that people collecting or setting own passengers at the door by car have to pay a fee. It further seems like penny pinching that anyone without a see through bag for carrying fluids in hand luggage attracts a charge.

Then within the airport itself, the facilities seem threadbare. There is a lack of seating.

In contrast, Belfast City Airport performed well in the survey.

Thank goodness such research exists. It keeps, or ought to keep, the airports on their toes.

BIA has said that the passenger experience should now be much better. Perhaps that is so, and its performance in the survey will improve.

It is all the more pity for BIA that they ever allowed such dissatisfaction to arise.

Aldergrove is perfect the location for a single Northern Ireland airport hub, that might have the sort of critical mass to justify a rail link, dual carriageways almost to the door, and transatlantic flights.

If BIA ever wanted such an ultimate outcome, it has been going the wrong way about achieving it.