This is a killer of a place! A place where all sense and sensibility are left behind. Where you are enticed to buy things that you would never buy in a month of Sundays.
Who has the money to spend £60 on a bottle of perfume before they set off on an expensive holiday? Who needs to buy at least three bottles of spirits? Most holidays now are all inclusive!
And don’t get me started on the technology booths. They all claim to be duty free but if you can afford to spend the amount of money that these objects are priced at, then really you have no need to worry about the tax that you are saving. Any normal person would have already bought whatever they needed before coming on the holiday.
Here I must digress again. I really don’t understand duty free and the appeal of it! Most of the items on sale are more expensive here than they are in any local supermarket. But again, who am I to judge what people want to spend their money on. So, let’s move on.
Once you have run the shopping gauntlet that is the Duty Free shopping complex (it reminds me of the Father Ted episode, where he and his fellow priests are trapped in the lingerie section in a department store and they can’t find their way out!) you can make your way to the lounge area.
Is it just me or can you remember that once upon a time, you had a choice whether you went into the duty-free shop in the airport, but not now- Oh no! It is the walkway through to the notice boards for flights and gate numbers.
However, you may, like me, navigate around this and ignore this fancy plastic card trap and move on to the concourse, where you can buy something to eat and drink.
You may think that you are safe from predatory money takers but believe you me your problems are not over
Now, my flight is at 8.30pm and so I can understand that the restaurants are selling evening meals and alcohol. (However, I have been on a 6am flight and the bars are open and still selling alcohol!) Oh well! Fortunately, we have budgeted this year for a meal and aren’t we glad that we did!
Honestly, I feel that we should have taken out a second mortgage in order to eat here. Why are they so expensive?
I always thought, like motorway cafes, it was because they were so far out that it was more difficult to get staff or the goods themselves, but I was much younger then and more naïve than I am now (but not much). It is simply a monopoly; simply supply and demand! If you want it you must pay for it, because you can’t get it anywhere else. They’ve got you by the short and curlies.
After an expensive, yet, mediocre meal and drink, our gate is called. Oops! Sorry, our gate number appears on the board and we make our way there.
Is it just me or have airport concourses gotten bigger and longer. I feel as if I should have trained for a marathon to reach my gate. But gasping for breath, we decide that next year to join those who take small cases on board with them; rather than lugging our backpacks with us. I don’t think that my shoulders could cope with this again; I mean my hunched back is growing by the minute!
We sit down making sure that we guard our bags, as well as our seats, as the gate area is filling up. We wait with hundreds of others for our seats to be called.
What a queue! I always wonder why people rush to queue; I mean you have a seat, and you will get on the plane! But, like lemmings, we join the queue and it is only when we reach our seats do I realise why people rush to get on the plane. It’s because you haven’t been guaranteed your baggage space in the over head lockers and who wants to sit with their large (small) suitcase between their knees for eight hours!
Any way, we are lucky; we have our over-head space and we settle down and wait for takeoff.