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I've just returned from a beautiful holiday in a lovely place with my marvellous family. The only parts which tainted a terrific two weeks were the flying out and flying back bits.

I've been a regular business and vacation flyer for decades and I have to say that the last 6-7 years has shown a massive decline in the quality of the whole flying setup to the piont now where I find it a truly squalid and degrading experience to be subjected to.

Back in the 70s/80s/90s you could justifiably say that the flight was a part of your holiday. Airports had started to provide duty free shops and restaurants, airlines were vying to get your business by promoting good customer service and increased in flight entertainment etc. and it was all quite "jet set" to swan around airports and sit with your headphones on your plane and drink little bottles of wine - even in economy class.

Gradually since 2000 we've seen the advent of the "security" madness at airports, the rise of the dreadful "low cost" (sic) airlines and the conversion of the passenger from "customer" to "potential terrorist" along the lines of the demonising of football fans in the 1980s.

We now get charged up the kazoo by "low cost" airlines for options like taking bags, checking in, choosing seats and being fed. We get rogered by airports who know that with a captive audience forced to arrive 2-3 hours early for flights in order to get a seat we can be force fed junk food for premium prices in crowded lounges, and we can be herded/searched and scanned like animals on the way to the abbatoir by over zealous security bouncers as many times as they like in the name of "security".

Going through Gatwick and the airport in Turkey this last 2 weeks was - as I say - squalid and degrading. We queued and queued and queued, we got charged extra for having a bag 1 kilo over the weight allowance, my white haired 70 year old mother had her perfume confiscated for being 20ml over the 100ml limit (yes, yes we know the rules - but she's not a terrorist. She's never ever going to have been one - it's just stupid. No little old ladies from Surrey have ever been known to bring down airliners by liquid bomb with 6 members of their family on it. Honest.), we were squeezed into plane seats that were simply too small and too close for grown adults and we were basically herded around like refugees throughout.

When did we all agree to be treated like this? Why is it all done in such a vile way like we've all just got off the transport trains at Auschwitz? Thank God the holiday was so great - it *just* managed to allow me to retain nice memories despite the travel.

In future I'm only flying to destinations that are served by non "low cost" airlines. I'm also seriously considering starting a "passengers are human too" lobby group to try to get the ridiculous security at airports to be more common sense based.
 
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+1

Agreed.

Hate flying. Hate being treated like a potential terrorist and herded like an animal. I swear that some of the "security" personnel are acting out the Stanford Prison experiment and love embarrassing someone by doing the closer searches.

It's all part of the new world order's 10 steps to facism.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

Which is why I much prefer getting the boat. Took it to Scotland recently rather than flying and had a nice journey.
Trying to talk the GF into getting the boat to France for a nice driving holiday.
 
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I flew Ryan air one (well twice if you count the return flight), never again, I feel their management style treats you with nothing but contempt.
 

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I can sympathise with everything you have said Fred, flying certainly has changed a hell of alot in recent times!

However I would say airports are becoming more like shopping centres, as it seems thats the only way to make any money! Not wanting to defend airports and the ques etc..but a thought must be given to the fact that so many more people are travelling today than back in the 70's/80's and early 90's for example! Add to that the fact that UK airports have not been able/willing to expand only makes the problem worse!

As with the low cost airlines, well I guess its a case of you get what you pay for! Pay top dollar and, on most occasions, you should get good service, pay bottom dollar and you get the basics! Ryanair being the worst offendors!

The one thing I really dislike about the low cost airlines, is the fact the fare you pay isnt the final fare you end up paying! I can deal with paying for a meal, but paying to check-in online, paying to check-in a bag, paying to pre-select your seat. Just takes the michael!

In the end we all have our own opinions, personally I do not mind flying, I just relax and let things happen! If I have to que I have to que!

All of that said, the past two holidays I have taken with my gf have utilised a ferry, and visiting my brother in Japan I use Manchester airport and avoid London!
 
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This is why whenever I go away on holiday I tend to fly 1st class as you get treated like a passanger rather than a customer.

I even refused to go away with some mates because they were going to fly on a 'low cost airline' because I knew it would be a horrible experience!!!
 

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I've just returned from a beautiful holiday in a lovely place with my marvellous family. The only parts which tainted a terrific two weeks were the flying out and flying back bits.

I've been a regular business and vacation flyer for decades and I have to say that the last 6-7 years has shown a massive decline in the quality of the whole flying setup to the piont now where I find it a truly squalid and degrading experience to be subjected to.

Back in the 70s/80s/90s you could justifiably say that the flight was a part of your holiday. Airports had started to provide duty free shops and restaurants, airlines were vying to get your business by promoting good customer service and increased in flight entertainment etc. and it was all quite "jet set" to swan around airports and sit with your headphones on your plane and drink little bottles of wine - even in economy class.

Gradually since 2000 we've seen the advent of the "security" madness at airports, the rise of the dreadful "low cost" (sic) airlines and the conversion of the passenger from "customer" to "potential terrorist" along the lines of the demonising of football fans in the 1980s.

We now get charged up the kazoo by "low cost" airlines for options like taking bags, checking in, choosing seats and being fed. We get rogered by airports who know that with a captive audience forced to arrive 2-3 hours early for flights in order to get a seat we can be force fed junk food for premium prices in crowded lounges, and we can be herded/searched and scanned like animals on the way to the abbatoir by over zealous security bouncers as many times as they like in the name of "security".

Going through Gatwick and the airport in Turkey this last 2 weeks was - as I say - squalid and degrading. We queued and queued and queued, we got charged extra for having a bag 1 kilo over the weight allowance, my white haired 70 year old mother had her perfume confiscated for being 20ml over the 100ml limit (yes, yes we know the rules - but she's not a terrorist. She's never ever going to have been one - it's just stupid. No little old ladies from Surrey have ever been known to bring down airliners by liquid bomb with 6 members of their family on it. Honest.), we were squeezed into plane seats that were simply too small and too close for grown adults and we were basically herded around like refugees throughout.

When did we all agree to be treated like this? Why is it all done in such a vile way like we've all just got off the transport trains at Auschwitz? Thank God the holiday was so great - it *just* managed to allow me to retain nice memories despite the travel.

In future I'm only flying to destinations that are served by non "low cost" airlines. I'm also seriously considering starting a "passengers are human too" lobby group to try to get the ridiculous security at airports to be more common sense based.

Well said that man.It used to be flying to your destination was all part of the holiday.Its just a trial now.:rolleyes::mad:

I HATE IT:mad::mad:

I'll join your lobby group:thumbs:
 
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Beautiful rantage!

:thumbs:

Got 3 economy long haul Delta flights in the next 2 weeks.
So not looking forward to them. :(
 
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never have a problem, fly from newcastle where i can park 5 minutes walk from terminal, get fast tracked through security , straight into BA lounge and free food drink, transit in heathrow t5 same thing there but better food and showers, looked after on plane and usually already chose my seat or get upgraded followed by a transit in Hong Kong where i use the cathay lounge where i get showered and cleaned up and on to mu next flight with minutes to spare, only downer is returning to LHR where immigration is slow as is security but if you look like you know what you are doing you can fast track them :) Can't complain at all but i always use oneworld and do fly a lot :D
 

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Crikey, well the Manchester-New York flight I went on must have been a one off!
 
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I've never enjoyed flying as such, but I've used RyanAir and Easy Jet for short trips into Europe (Hahn, Weeze, Charleroi) and found them okay. They're only an hour and they're so cheap I don't care about customer service. If I'm flying to Brussels or Hamburg, I'll gladly save £150-200 and slum it for 60 mins.

However:

1.) I will never use Heathrow again. It's a frightening and appalling place, just absolutely vile. Gatwick is slightly better, but not much. Stanstead is getting very bad now. East Midlands is pretty good as is Birmingham. Something like East Midlands to Charleroi is pretty good - small airport to an even smaller airport, walk out of the door 20 yards to an Avis hire car and off you go.
I have a transatlantic flight from Gatwick next month and I am absolutely dreading it.

2.) I only ever travel with hand luggage. If I'm away for a week - 10 day it's 3 pairs of jeans and 3 shirts including the ones I'm wearing plus odds and sods. I'm not interested in waiting for my luggage to get lost. The last time I had to do this, it got lost.

3.) Never use Air France. If you want to know what truly poor service is, try this shower of sh*t.

British Airways and Lufthansa are still the best in my opinion.
 
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Yeah, but AF have some great looking staff whilst
BA seem to employ +50 year old people of quite large
proportions.... :p ;)

Seriously though:

AF are okay, apart from the strikes.
They keep you fed and beered up through-out
long haul flights even in economy.

US airlines like Delta expect you to pay
for alcohol, headphones etc.

BA used to be pretty good but I've experienced
too many last minute cancellation with zero
customer support to rate them anymore.
(Remember tge ads they used to run about
lack of groundstaff/planes from budget airlines?
That's them now if you're not at Heathrow.)
 

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3.) Never use Air France. If you want to know what truly poor service is, try this shower of sh*t.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/rant-room/154797-air-france.html

:rant:

still makes my blood boil

Saying that when she flies long haul she generally flies first or business class and the stories she tells of that are ludicrous in how polar to cattle class the service is. On one flight she had a chef/stewardess cook her food on griddle next to her seat, she says the lounges are the best bit though as everything is free, but then at £5000 a ticket to New York you'd want everything to be free.
 
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i agree with all the negativity about planes, what used to be an enjoyable experience is not a PITA....

Hence i travel by car when we go on holiday and i am learning to fly.....i'm still not flapping my arms fast enough though (at least thats what the instructor says:lol:)
 

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When my brother came back from Japan for a visit not too long ago, he flew Air France.....never again he said!
 

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I am flying less these days .BA seem fine for long haul .When my gf lived in cologne i was out there a lot was a choice between budget and lufthansa (BA does no fly there). Lufthansa was my choice I found them very efficient good customer service ,very bad food although the flight is not long . My parents have a place near Perugia in Italy Ryanair serve this location so have to fly with them unfortunately , it is just a case of grin and bare it .As previously stated the issue is with the airports
Stanstead Awful pain to get to , not in London.
Heathrow Terminal 1&2 looking a bit tired they need a refit which is in the process of being carried out.

My personal favourite airports are Luton and London city for the simple reason what i require from an airport is a hassle free environment where can catch a plane! I have not used Terminal 5 but the Gf says it is very nice and I found the car park plesaant enough.I am not up for having these huge shopping mall style airports but fear it is the only way they can make money these day , ,plus it gives something to do now they make you arrive hours early for your flights.
 

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Great thread........I work on 'Airline' ITV about Easyjet..........you wouldn't believe some of the stuff we see non of which 'im allowed to divulge!

BUT

Without wanting to sound 'middle class', the thing you get on cheap airlines is..........cheap people and therefore the staff treat you as if you are all 'one of them'!
 

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my white haired 70 year old mother had her perfume confiscated for being 20ml over the 100ml limit (yes, yes we know the rules - but she's not a terrorist. She's never ever going to have been one - it's just stupid. No little old ladies from Surrey have ever been known to bring down airliners by liquid bomb with 6 members of their family on it. Honest.
Good post, Fred.

Totally agree, esp with the bit about the elders. I took my nan on holiday, and while I understand why we have all the airport security checks, it was humilating a degrading for a lady nudging 80 to be forced to remove her shoes, belt, jewellery, take her glasses off etc, and get shunted along like a pig being dragged to market. Talk about being stripped of your dignity. Until then, my nan hadn't been to an airport in 30 years, and 'shocked' barely described her thoughts on the modern airport experience.

Surely there has got to be a better, more civilised way? For me, I'm ok putting up with all this nonsense when traveling alone, but for older people, or people with disabilities, or mobility problems...it's not nice.
 
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