|Luton Airport Departure Lounge early in the morning in July 2012|
Unfortunately for a visitor arriving in the country the welcome is not great. The approach from the planes is not too friendly.
Once you have crossed the tarmac there is not much in the way of covered walways and if it is a summer like 2012, people get very wet.
You have to walk up and down stairs often before reaching passport control, why when it is meant to be a modern building. All the internal walkways could be geatly improved with bright posters or pictures. After all visitors have not arrived in some eastern bloc country prior to 1989, but in 2012 Britain the place where the Olympics are being held.
Unlike most other international airports where you put a coin into the luggage trolley and get it back again, at Luton they keep it.
The person meeting you has waited half an hour in the car park and has to pay £7.20 for the priviledge (possibly higher than London Heathrow) and if he or she pays by credit card there is a surcharge on top.
When you are dropped off the person dropping you off has to pay a £1 or risk a fine for "Ilegal drop offs", to go through the Government security checks, they encourage you to pay for a "speedy clearance".
Once inside the terminal, if you go there early in the morning as I did on a Thursday in July around 7.30a.m there are so many people there you have to queue for the toilets.
In May this year easyJet said that "the infrastructure at Luton Airport must improve and old perceptions swept away". -"Passenger friendly terminal facilities – Reduce waiting times at security and immigration. Increase the number of stands to remove the need for bussing to planes, an improved terminal experience – more seating and retail on the way, not in the way."
The worry is that they will do a bit of tidying up and improving and possibly add further toilet facilities and do you know what, probably want to charge for using their "Speedy super loos".
Luton Airport needs to improve, but not by making its customers have to keep on putting their hands in their pockets every five minutes so the company running the airport can make larger profits.