Global Rant: Not Speedy-at all Boarding
Mimi ON Jul 03, 2012 AT 11:23 am
by Chrissy Iley
Speedy Boarding has to be the most ironic use of the word speedy in the history of dictionaries. It is true, I am not a lover of the orange one, but on a recent trip to Sicily, Speedy Boarding had worked well – no queueing to drop off luggage and at Gatwick, as in all airports, there is a separate line for Speedy people and it worked well enough for me to be one of the first to arrive on the plane, thus choosing my seat of choice.
Speedy Boarding however is random, and as easyJet high season hones in there are a few things to heed. For my trip to Ibiza from Stansted I checked in online, arrived at the airport 90 minutes before and found the line for Speedy Boarding was already extensive and I was at the back.
You are kept waiting there without time to buy coffee or a paper because you can’t afford to lose your place. You’ve paid for it.
Speedy people go through first and are kept in a further holding position on a staircase. Then when the door at the bottom of the stairs is opened you are unleashed on to the tarmac. Non Speedy people jostle and clamber, get ahead of you. As soon as the door is open there is running, shoving, half of a couple slipping in ahead and then bringing in its partner and their babies.
On the way back from Ibiza I arrived two and a half hours early so I could be first in the Speedy line. I’m not sure why I wanted to stand pointlessly other than to get away from my awful hotel.
An easyJet Nazi who must be on a commission for making money from putting bags in the hold checked every single person’s hand luggage. That was the entertainment – watching how men stoically placed their bag in the container and don’t mind if it’s taken away into the hold and have to pay extra. Women put up a fight and simply refuse to part with money or their belongings. They simply take out a few cardigans and wear them and then the bags fits in. Most people know the score and the easyJet Nazi didn’t make too much profit.
So, after the hour or so of waiting it’s the standing on a staircase. Then you are unleashed on to a bus. Being first in line did me no good because I was first in the bus, therefore last off even though they have a yellow tape separating the Speedies from the non-Speedies. The Speedies get off first but only by a few seconds and the others run ahead of you or to be first up the back stairs of the plane. It is absolutely not Speedy and it’s not fair. It’s a question of who can push harder and run faster.
easyJet food choices however are surprisingly much better than British Airways. I had a snack box with oat cookies and spelt cookies and vegetable spread, which costs £4. Their coffee is Starbucks instant, which is preferable to British Airways hard-boiled even though you have to pay for it. Their water is doll-sized but most people bought it because they drank the ones they brought at the airport café while they were waiting for the plane.
Although easyJet is a million times more comfortable than its budget rival Ryanair, they both operate under the assumption they have to let the passengers feel cheap because they’re getting it cheap. If they make you line-up and be cordoned off in pens and feel ever so slightly like an animal going to slaughter, it’s a psychological trick that works in two ways – I am nothing therefore I deserve nothing and all this waiting in line and having my bag taken away and sized up must be because I have to work hard for my bargain flight. They make me suffer to make me realise I am getting a cheap flight. Except not really – most flights on scheduled airlines are competitively priced. You can book your seat and not feel cheap.