East Midlands Airport

I used to love flying from East Midlands Airport around 10 or so years ago. I’m here this morning, but the experience is rather like being in the waiting room for hell these days. Apart from the fact that it’s noisy and crowded, even at 5.45 am (which I can just about cope with), Manchester Airports Group who own it these days have simply turned it into one big method of extracting money from the passengers.

I’ve paid the best part of £20, pre-booked, for around 14 hours in the long stay car park (a decade ago it was around £5 for the day in the short stay in front of the terminal – I think it’s nearer £30 now) and the decidedly average breakfast I’ve just eaten had an extra 8 pence charged on top of the £6.45 for a “Great British Breakfast” (without a drink), for a meager sachet of ketchup.

Then there’s the way you’re forced to wind your way through ‘duty free’ once you get past the security checks and the way the departure boards exhort you to ‘relax and shop’ – not two words that really go together in my experience.

But at least they’ve dropped all that ‘Nottingham East Midlands Airport’ nonsense they went in for when they bought it. Recognising Derby and Leicester in the airport logo is a much smarter idea, as Derby is the closest city and the airport is in Leicestershire.

I even prefer Heathrow and Stansted these days to this truly awful place. At least there is some semblance of competition for services at those airports and for about the same price as a not so great British breakfast at East Midlands Airport, you can get a really nice one with a drink at Chez Gerard’s, Stansted.

Still, today can only get better. And I am flying to Glasgow, which had a civilised airport the last time I went there.

6.30am – Someone else has just walked past me grumbling about the ‘relax and shop’ messages on the departure boards. See, it’s not just me …

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Reader Comments

  1. Colm

    Hi Tim,

    Interesting article. Personally, I prefer Gatwick. You see, Gatwick is located in the sunny south east. This sunny southerly aspect is the reason why 26% of the population live here – representing the UK’s largest population concentration. Statistically, 26% of the population can’t be wrong. Therefore, take a break from the grime and grunge associated with northern airports and visit us in the sunny south east. Its so sunny, a wild population of ring-necked, parakeet (Psitacula krameri) has moved in.

    Furthermore, a recient report by the Association of Public Health Observatories, ‘Indications of Public Health in the English Regions 9: Older People’ has proved that people in the south east can expect to live longer, healthier, disability-free lives and are in good health compared to the rest of England.

    Its great down here. My nose bleeds have stoped, the shops have a consistant supply of brown ale (it is usually sold out up north), and are generally more friendly.


    PS The views expressed are those of the Department for Health, UK Government, 15.6 million people, Psitacula krameri and many illegal immigrants and not necessarily my own.

Your thoughts?