I've been travelling world wide biannually for 10 years and love the destinations. I don't mind the economy flights but it's the airports that have become unbearable. The queues and rude ignorant staff and security are too much. I realise the security staff are probably poorly paid and obviously badly trained but I would gladly pay extra if the airports could improve the situation. Heathrow in particular has become abhorrent. The rudeness of the security and passport control staff there beggers belief. I was also in Doha recently and the airport toilet facilities were pathetic, not to mention disgusting. Surely they could employ some people to keep them clean. I could go on but that's enough.
Travel by cruise ship in future.
Yes it's gotten bad in some places (which weren't all that good to start with), but I'd never say that it's "not worth it" anymore. You just avoid the USA (fly to Canada instead) and Heathrow (flying to or from London City is such a breath of relief!) and the experience becomes quite bearable again.
All of the airports I visited in 2008 in South America, Australia/New Zealand and SE Asia, and in Europe at least Amsterdam and Helsinki (plus the aforementioned London City), were nice as always (boring as hell, but bearable).
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 5, 2009, at 2:54 AM by Sander ]
Those are little inconveniences... try being Chinese and you go to the airport all the staff can't speak Chinese coz they are all Filipinos (and this is happening in Chinese airports).
We don't mind paying extra... yes, some people don't mind paying to play GOLF in Angkor Watt or drink STARBUCKS in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Some people have their own jets, while they advocate saving the planet by conserving energy. They want people to conserve water, while some airlines have a JACUZZI in bussiness class.
Try being grateful! Thank those underpaid security guard for searching our bags and hope for longer ques, if it means greater security.
Quoting Swept Away
Thank those underpaid security guard for searching our bags and hope for longer ques, if it means greater security.
That's a very well executed use of the word "if" there. All these measures at airports don't increase security at all, as any security expert can tell you (read some Bruce Schneier someday). It's all "security theater", designed so the responsible parties are seen to be doing something, giving the appearance of having things under control, so that if something happens again, they can't be blamed for inaction.
The cure is worse than the disease.
We waited 2 hours to clear customs in Johanesbourg because some genius only called in 2 staff to clear 2 full overseas planes. Plus a few years ago we got to watch our luggage tossed around in New Orleans by disgruntled staff who looked like they were all about to pass out from complete boredom.
I must say Canadian airports--so far--have been pretty pleasant. But on the whole airports are full of a whole lot of unpleasant people. Nothing like unmotivated, underpaid employees to keep the world safe!
I choose my airports carefully as I do flight schedules (Fridays are hell and Mondays not much better). If you want a really nice airport try PDX (Portland, Oregon) or ICN (Seoul, S. Korea).
And my 1st encounter of the EASTERN toilet, which the Chinese people call Chinese toilet was in the IMPRESSIVE AND ULTRA MODERN airport in Singapore, way back in 1997.
just to add to airpot conveniences.
Airport security does suck, you'll get no argument from me there!! But the above suggestions are good....being mindful of which airports you fly into/out of (my least favourites have both been in the USA), or even using cruise ships. You could always do a cruise nest time for a different pace, less stress etc etc, and after that who knows....you might feel up to battling airports again