WATCHING an item on television about Cardiff Wales Airport, and not having flown from there for approximately 12 years, I would like to recount a recent experience of doing so.
Whereas being dropped off or picked up used to be free, the airport management, while boasting passenger numbers are increasing and that the 'dreaded' drop off charge will ultimately be terminated, have, over the years, accrued literally millions of one pound coins by installing an exit barrier. To ensure nobody escapes the charge they have re- routed the actual exit from the airport, causing unnecessary mileage and pollution from what used to be a few seconds driving, to several miles.
That's just the beginning. Failure to carefully weigh your luggage and allow it to exceed 20 kilos incurs a charge of £13 per additional extra kilo. Then comes a thought provoking contradiction. Although, for security reasons, it is illegal to take fluids onto your aircraft in your hand baggage, after passing through the security zone, you can then purchase, regardless of additional weight, as many 'fluids' as you like from the Duty free shop.
Finally boarding your Thomson aircraft, a seat by an emergency exit, affording more leg room than the cramped aisle seating, used to be the luck of the draw, but is now for sale at £20 per passenger, (one way of course). Long gone are the days when in flight meals and beverages, (even though they usually gave off the same aroma as aviation fuel) were a courteous part of air travel. These days, two cups of tea, and a tiny cake you can easily consume in two bites, costs £8.50p. £5 for the teas - £3.50 for the cake.
(In Tenerife you get change out of 3 Euros for exactly the same thing, and the cake doesn't look as if it once belonged to Noah).
Summing up, the most blatant rip off of all is undoubtedly the dropping off charge. I calculate it took only one full minute to remove our baggage trolleys from our neighbours car, inclusive of thanking her and walking over to the check in area. It is to the eternal shame, and a sign of the times, that politicians and council leaders whom, with scant reference to the taxpaying Welsh public, purchased Cardiff Wales Airport for £52 million pounds. When, given the taxpayer now actually owns the airport, lock, stock and exit barrier gate, is this totally outrageous, ongoing public rip off going to be finally terminated?