BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 10 JAN 2012


Not so speedy boarding...

I should open by saying I am a fan of Easyjet. You can change flights with minimum fuss. Timekeeping is as good as the rest. I even have the orange card that allows me certain privileges, namely priority queuing, Speedy Boarding and usually a good seat at the front of the plane.

My preferred mode to London is a 7pm BA City flight, which gets me into my St Paul’s hotel for the second half of Champions League matches; just over two hours, door to door from my house on the Loch Lomond side of Glasgow. But since I was speaking out in the sticks, this first trip of the New Year involved Luton Airport.

Luton Airport is similar to the open prison my local football team used to train in during winter months, the principle difference being the prison staff used to smile when they let us in. The warders, Jim and Tony, also carried out the necessary security searches with a degree of empathy, good humour and warm hands. And we were allowed to carry in a big a bottle of Irn Bru. The intimacy of those dark, cold January evenings at the prison gates was a great source of comfort to a lonely young man with only Golden Wonder crisps and brightly coloured sugared water to look forward to in an empty mid 80’s existence…

Anyway, after Luton, I suggest Speedy Boarding is poorly named. Half an hour with complete strangers standing in a badly lit shed with no seating or heating does not speedy boarding make.

Seedy Boarding is a better moniker.

Here are a few others:

  • A little bit quicker getting on the plane… Boarding
  • Having the certainty you will be sitting with your wife/husband/partner/colleague/child/parent/friend … Boarding
  • Boarding just before the old, infirm and people with annoying, snottery children. … Boarding*
  • Looking slightly smug at the longer queue to your left… Boarding
  • Never having to sit in a middle seat… Boarding
  • Giving you a better than even chance of not having anyone next to you if you look sufficiently intimidating… Boarding
  • Getting first shot, if you are quick enough, to sit in the extra legroom fire escape seats in the middle of the plane… Boarding

Or maybe just Slightly Speedier Boarding.

I’d pay a fiver for that, you know… I might even renew the orange card.

*There is something mildly unsettling that a few quid can get you up the steep steps before people who need assistance but the sight - and the sound - of Big Frank Bruno up at the front of the Luton SB queue, and subsequently in the front row of the plane, made me feel a bit better.


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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