A letter to Stansted airport

Dear Sir/Madam,

Kindly don’t patronise your customers by assuming that the shortcomings of Stansted Airport can be disguised with notices claiming that delays may result from “improved security measures”. The fifty-minute wait in a claustrophobic corridor I experienced after midnight on Sunday was not, as any seasoned traveller could clearly see, the result of any new, lengthier process of passport inspection, but simply a result of your airport being too small.

Building a bigger airport might be one option, though I could equally suggest you might try letting in fewer flights – I imagine Stansted leaves a pretty sizeable carbon footprint, after all.

Reassuring though the Blitz spirit on display throughout the whole desperate experience was (and the whole thing did look and feel like a scene from a London-based war film), it’s probably worth remembering that Stansted is the first glimpse some people get of England. As things stand I imagine that even those flying in from developing countries are shocked (I was informed by a fellow traveller that Angola has a better system).

Also your ceilings are very dirty. Perhaps you could hand out long-handled mops to passengers on their way in – at least then they would have something to do while they waited.

Yours in airport-incubated tonsillitis,

James Lark

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