Now, anyone who has had the pleasure of being driven to Luton airport by me will probably know that it is not my favourite place. I apologise, retrospectively, to any of my clients who may have had their ear bent on the subject, and in advance to those who have yet to suffer!
A huge amount of money is being spent on improving the "passenger experience" at Luton, but it seems they are continuing to get the detail wrong. Little things, like putting a canopy over the ticket barriers in the car park so you do not get a generous helping of freezing rain water when trying to negotiate your way out of the car park on a wet and windy Winter's, (or even Summer's) day.
More significant, though, is their total inability to address the traffic access during peak times. Early in the morning, no less than four lanes of traffic converge from three roads on to a roundabout where they must merge into one lane. Needless to say, the good old British sense of fair play is totally abandoned in favour of ruthless self-interest. In short, it can take up to half an hour to cover the last mile to drop off our clients.
We can do little to mitigate this, (although I have one little trick up my sleeve that often helps), so we must endure. However, it does mean that, if you are departing from Luton on an early flight, you may find we suggest an unusually early pick-up time. We have no interest in getting you out of bed any earlier than necessary, but we would hate to see you miss your flight by falling foul of your airline's inflexible check in policies. Just to add to the misery, the queues during the evening peak times are not far behind, so adjustments have to be made for evening journeys, too.
By the by, it can be nearly as bad at Stansted. However, it seems to happen relatively infrequently, at present.
Always feel free to question our suggested pick-up time if you think we have got it wrong. We do tend to play it safe, but I know there are some of you out there who do not mind living a bit more on the edge. Each to their own!