It really does have a great deal going for it
WITH regard to the recent item from R. Hawdon concerning Bristol Airport I have to say that the Airport is in the wrong place. Filton had the proper transport links, with an on-site railway and close proximity to two major motorways. Sadly our politicians, local Nimbys and the airfield's most recent owner, BAE Systems, have put paid to that ever happening.
But even being located on the wrong side of the city, and with no possibility of bringing its transport links up to world class standard, Bristol Airport does have a lot going for it. For myself, as a frequent user for leisure purposes, it is my airport of choice. I can be there, parked and cleared security in exactly one hour from home. And if using public transport anyone with a bus pass can travel free (subject to normal time restrictions) on the Airport Flyer, which is a bonus.
Nowadays check-in is always done at home and airlines actively discourage passengers from taking hold luggage, so it's straight to the gate most times. Duty free is no longer worthwhile, certainly if you are travelling in the EU, so why spend hours at an airport and use its expensive retail facilities? Time for, maybe, a cup of coffee which can be consumed using the 20 minutes contingency time you allowed but didn't need before your gate closes.
Travelling light you will have your luggage accessible at all times, and obviously you will be carrying a lightweight waterproof which can be donned if absolutely necessary. Most people flying out of Bristol are likely to be using a budget airline, and these operators use both aircraft doors to speed up boarding. So the chances are that even if Bristol installed air bridges only 50 per cent of passengers using gates and stands so equipped would be able to use them anyway. Weather cover does exist for some gates and stands where you can walk directly to the aircraft, but it is luck of the draw whether your flight is allocated one of these, or maybe given the dreaded bus transfer. Even the derided new extension means you are undercover until close to the aircraft. I would, however, agree that a moving walkway to and from these new facilities would be very welcome.
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Arriving back with no luggage to collect means it's just immigration to clear. Normally this works well unless arriving flights have bunched up. I don't know whether the new scanners will speed this process in the future; at present few people seem to use these even if their passport is enabled. And having prepaid your parking it's straight to the nearby car park and back home in under an hour. Now would you prefer to go from Gatwick… or Stansted?