I was disappointed by the announcement that the free drop off period at London Southend Airport is being slashed to a third of what is currently allowed. The free drop off period, currently a quarter of an hour, is being reduced to five minutes. Surely this is a retrograde change?
London Southend Airport provides a pretty decent service, especially to those of us for whom it is but a short journey away. Proximity is an inducement, as is the speedy service one usually encounters. A further encouragement, until now anyway, is the sensible drop off (and pick up) time.
Fifteen minutes allows a leisurely drop off, neatly avoiding the unseemly scramble that is often found at other airports. It also allows for the possibility of picking up those who have arrived. I accept that fifteen minutes is generous, but surely Southend’s USP is the ease of use. Quite why an airport that boasts of being better should now want to emulate other airports is frankly baffling.
I would like to encourage those who have taken this decision to think again. Southenders have every reason to be proud of their airport, let’s not allow this to be spoilt because of a push for a few extra pennies. Of course, finances are important, and the airport has to make a profit, but a short-term gain could be the cause of a long-term loss if we are not careful.
If the airport really wants to see increased passenger numbers it must encourage, not discourage, potential customers. It is often the little things that make a difference and offering a sensible amount of free time to drop off and pick up passengers is but one example of this, in my humble opinion.