Durham Tees Valley Airport
in the north of England is trying to balance the books by charging six pounds for adults and two pounds for children to enter the departure lounge.
Predictably customers are less than pleased. Dennis Harrison, 63, who was on his way to Amsterdam
, said that he would be looking for a different airport in the future. He said “You feel like you are being robbed. I think the charges will be detrimental to the airport and actively encourage people to fly from other airports instead of using Durham Tees Valley.”
However the airport chief executive Craig Richmond said that although realised charges were a burden on customers, he hoped they would realise it was something that Durham Tees Valley airport needed to do in order to survive. He added: “I have been greatly impressed by the sense of support and pride which local people feel in Durham Tees Valley – now more than ever is the time for people to maintain that support.’
But aside from being made to shell out more money, customers said that the system created extra queues in airports that are already congested. Part of the reason that people choose small airports is for convenience and if that disappears there is no incentive to fly from them.
Yet Durham Tees Valley airport is not the only small UK airport which will charge a departure fee and Blackpool
airports have all also introduced the charge. Arguably no other aspect of the travel service industry creates more anguish than airports.
Ryanair customers recently refused to leave a plane when it did not arrive at its stated destination. 100 passengers stayed on the plane in protest for four hours when it landed in Belgium
instead of France
. Someone at the scene said "The negotiation was so difficult that we were not sure whether they would come out. People are obviously outraged."