07/23/2013

Geneva airport: pay to jump the queues

At Geneva airport, if you are in a long queue to pass security, you can now pay to jump the queue! Another money-making scheme?


The freebie newspaper 20 Minutes today reveals that the airport has introduced a priority queue to go through the security checks, against a payment of 8 CHF. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, it is merely another indication that the airport is taking on the habits of an organisation devoted to making more and more money! In this, it joins up with the low-cost airlines, who offer all sorts of optional extras against payment, thus driving up the overall average cost to passengers, while still being able to entice clients with a low initial offer.

The directrice of the consumer magazine "Bon à savoir",Zeynep Ersan Berdoz, made some simple criticisms of this example of a tendency to charge money for what used to be free. Her first suggestion was that the normal queue should have indications of the type "From here your average wait time will be x minutes". She also asked why the airport could not introduce a third security lane open to everyone, rather than following the tendency to charge for optional services. In her words,

«C'est par ces petites choses que l'on augmente les tarifs. Car ceux qui peuvent payer le font.»

«It is these little extra charges which drive up prices. Those who can pay, will pay.»

In my humble opinion, a priority security fast lane should be for passengers who, perhaps by no fault of their own, are late for their plane. When checking in, they could be given a priority pass to use this fast lane. Instead of this, we have a situation where, in the extreme case, Geneva airport could boost its income by reducing the throughput of the normal security queues!

It is interesting to note that this idea has not been adopted by Zurich airport, which remains egalitarian. In Geneva, however, the impression that I have is of an airport dedicated to making more and more money, at the expense (pun intended!) of the passengers and the airport neighbours (more and more flights, in particular night flights). Since part of the airport's profits go to the state of Geneva, it is unlikely that their political masters will do anything to change this disturbing tendency.

Once, in the USA, I saw a large store which stated that if ever there were more than three customers queueing for a checkout till, they would open additional tills. Likewise, the main Geneva supermarkets tend to open more tills in busy times, as well as having special tills for customers having only a smal number of items.

How would you like it if Migros and Coop had some extra rapid transit tills available only to customers willing to pay a surcharge of, say, 5 CHF?

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Comments

La sécurité de l'aéroport de Genève, ha ha ha !!

Les agents non-formés vont un des jours laisser passer une bombe, tellement ils sont préoccupés par les flacons d'huile de bronzage et autres bouteilles d'eau minérales !

Posted by: Corto | 07/23/2013

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