BDKLEZ
Topic Author
Posts: 1731
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:57 am

BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:56 am

I must say, what a tragic experience at Belfast International Airport at the weekend. Security check took over an hour, staff were rude. The bar was disgusting with dirty tables and glasses/dishes everywhere. Some would argue that smoking is disgusting anyway, but the smoking area was absolutely filthy, into which you had to pay £1 to gain access. Dirty walls and floors in the terminal, an absolute disgrace, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Next time I shall be relying on BHD to do the business for me. By contrast I slept on a bench at Schiphol when I got home as I missed my last train back to Maastricht, it was like a luxury spa treatment in comparison. Shame on you BFS, no wonder folks are heading to DUB instead. Oh and I forgot to mention the £1 charge just to drop someone off, not even park the damn car. A complete disgrace. BHD/KL shall be my choice from now on. Am I overreacting, or do others have similar experiences? Although I have lived in The Netherlands for 20+ years, I am a Belfast native and an aviation professional for 15+ years and to be honest I was truly embarrassed by the airport.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
andymartin
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:31 am

Have you been to Luton lately?! Or Stansted for that matter? Both are cess pits, god only knows what the APD gets spent on .
 
 
planemanofnz
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:05 am

To the OP's question, I personally don't find BFS to be a hole. IMO, if only BFS and BHD were merged into one, creating better economies of scale, with better investment potential - both have just four year-round non-charter scheduled airlines each (!). IMO, in particular, the case for BHD is weak - you're essentially giving a few time-sensitive business travellers convenience, at the cost of a far more lucrative economy of scale. The airport's growth has been poor - its traffic levels in 2017 were virtually the same as those as in 2008 (a few growth spurts in-between, but none that proved sustainable). Meanwhile, the airport is always going to suffer from operational restrictions.

Cheers,

C.
 
Aerlingus330neo
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:18 am

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:20 am

The issues BFS has had for many a year now, is and was the American owners. They refused to invest unless it was required and profited from the airport. The airport has seen solid growth over the years and is in Urgent need of a new terminal. BHD has done a fantastic job at keeping itself modern and up to date and very rarely hear of any issues over there. Here is hoping that the new owners see the potential that the international has to offer and do the right thing and tear the dam place down and start again with a brand new, modern better laid out terminal building.
 
Cunard
Posts: 2512
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:45 pm

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:42 am

andymartin wrote:
Have you been to Luton lately?! Or Stansted for that matter? Both are cess pits, god only knows what the APD gets spent on .


But Stansted isn't unclean, dirty or old fashioned is it, security can be a hell hole during peak times as can be passport control on arrival but a cess pit it's not.

Luton is a hell hole but with the recent investment coming to an end is it a cess pit, I think not but it's not great.

The OP sums up BFS quite well in my opinion.

Are you aware of what APD actually is?
It definitely doesn't go on airport investment! If your not sure what APD actually is I suggest that you Google it!
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
KLDC10
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:47 am

Without wishing to make a gross generalization, I often find that British Airports are a horrible, dirty experience, and it often seems like the only real objective is to nickel and dime passengers as much as possible - including of course the obligatory walk through Duty Free after security in order to get anywhere near your gate.

Manchester - just godawful
Glasgow - miserable, and you have to pay for more than one hour of Wifi
Newcastle - the less said about this airport the better
Heathrow - the only true international airport of the lot, could still use improvement
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146
737/738/739/744/748/752/763/772/789
A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A346/A359
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bgm
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:51 am

KLDC10 wrote:
Without wishing to make a gross generalization, I often find that British Airports are a horrible, dirty experience, and it often seems like the only real objective is to nickel and dime passengers as much as possible - including of course the obligatory walk through Duty Free after security in order to get anywhere near your gate.

Manchester - just godawful
Glasgow - miserable, and you have to pay for more than one hour of Wifi
Newcastle - the less said about this airport the better
Heathrow - the only true international airport of the lot, could still use improvement


Well, at least they're better than your average 1960s mouldy-carpeted, low-ceilinged, cesspit of a US airport. ;)
OK boomer.
 
BDKLEZ
Topic Author
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:53 am

andymartin wrote:
Have you been to Luton lately?! Or Stansted for that matter? Both are cess pits, god only knows what the APD gets spent on .


I'm afraid that APD as a government imposed levy doesn't get spent on airport/infrastructure development. It gets lost in the quagmire of civil service accounting. I realise of course that airport facilities such as retail, catering, security, cleaning etc. are all outsourced but that is precisely my point. All of these service providers seemed to have failed all at the same time and the attitude of all those representing those providers was rather poor to say the least.
Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
 
KLDC10
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:05 am

bgm wrote:
KLDC10 wrote:
Without wishing to make a gross generalization, I often find that British Airports are a horrible, dirty experience, and it often seems like the only real objective is to nickel and dime passengers as much as possible - including of course the obligatory walk through Duty Free after security in order to get anywhere near your gate.

Manchester - just godawful
Glasgow - miserable, and you have to pay for more than one hour of Wifi
Newcastle - the less said about this airport the better
Heathrow - the only true international airport of the lot, could still use improvement


Well, at least they're better than your average 1960s mouldy-carpeted, low-ceilinged, cesspit of a US airport. ;)


Neither country has much to boast about when it comes to airports if we're being honest ;)
I dread to imagine what people think when arriving into JFK...
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146
737/738/739/744/748/752/763/772/789
A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A346/A359
Q400/E170/E175/E190/CS300
 
rouelan
Posts: 82
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:14 am

KLDC10 wrote:
Heathrow - the only true international airport of the lot, could still use improvement


Heathrow is an airport ? ! I thought it was a commercial mall
 
[email protected]
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:19 am

Luton is way better than people think, with a lot of investment going into making pax experience better. But I am sure it could have the best everything, and still everyone would say it's awful.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
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Francoflier
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:22 am

There's an ongoing debate in a few countries already as to whether privatizing airports is a good idea...
They are of strategic importance to cities, regions or entire countries, so should their management really be left in the hands of entities which are only driven by profit, especially as they mostly constitute de facto monopolies?

Discuss...
:duck:
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
KLDC10
Posts: 1409
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:52 am

rouelan wrote:
KLDC10 wrote:
Heathrow - the only true international airport of the lot, could still use improvement


Heathrow is an airport ? ! I thought it was a commercial mall


:rotfl:
Yeah, if you look hard enough, you can sometimes see airplanes between the Duty Free outlets ( ;) ) - in which almost every quality product overpriced piece of tat seems to be dressed in the Union Flag and/or a picture of The Queen....
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146
737/738/739/744/748/752/763/772/789
A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A346/A359
Q400/E170/E175/E190/CS300
 
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downtown273
Posts: 303
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:33 pm

I agree with OP. I am based in Belfast and use BHD and DUB.

For domestic travel, I use BHD - flights to/from BHD are generally a bit more expensive; but this summer, clearing security at BFS has taken longer than the average flight times to mainland UK.

For international travel, I drive to Dublin. I cannot stand the mess at BFS so unless a flight is 'super-convenient', I'll drive to Dublin instead.
 
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mad99
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:07 pm

I haven’t used BFS in 10/15 years so I can’t comment but this summer we used klm’s new city route. Normally its DUB and the aircoach but this year we spent the 2 hrs in the klm lounge.
 
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albertocsc
Posts: 154
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:36 pm

BFS - I was working there, and I wouldn't describe the airport as a filthy hole, but it could be really improved. Sometimes I was feeling in a labyrinth. BHD is nicer, and very convenient, but Belfast does not really need two airports, in my opinion.
STN - Quite a nice airport. Just it's experiencing lately an increase in operating airlines, and that is leading to an overcrowding that should be solved as soon as possible.
LTN - For me, the worst London airport. But it has been in works for a long time, and I hope it will be nicer after that.
 
BlueTrue
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:09 pm

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:12 pm

I passed through BFS security last Wednesday, no delay at all. My wife and daughters passed through peak time Sunday morning, through in minutes. I think it is disingenuous to pick one occasion passing through security and say it is whatever. Truth is, the majority of UK airports are having issues with security and no doubt, airports abroad as well. Two issues affecting UK airports are a sudden increase in pax the past few years but limited space to process more people plus the UK established obsession with taking rules and adding to them. I pass through airport security on a regular basis in Spain and Turkey and it has never been the hassle you get in a UK airport.
 
johns624
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:45 pm

"Tragic"?
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:53 pm

[email protected] wrote:
Luton is way better than people think, with a lot of investment going into making pax experience better. But I am sure it could have the best everything, and still everyone would say it's awful.


Luton has come on in leaps and bounds and it will be even better soon. The airport management are aware of the issues and it's being addressed.

Last time I was there the Duty Free area and new shops were mostly complete, with high end brands and new flooring and what not. It's just a work in progress - I think it'll be nice once it's complete. It certainly is a far cry from its past.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
groupflightni
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:21 pm

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:03 pm

Leave our dirty filthy hole alone...... Just because other airports in the world are top class, our wee country has no functioning government to remove the "tax" to tempt in other long hall carriers. Would you pump money into something that your not going to get a return on? I have flown out of it many times and never had a issue with security, cleanliness or any of the above with you have mentioned, and that includes at peak times. The airport is basically a low cost carrier hub, and they are not expecting people to hang around long so why would you think it would be on standards with a luxury hotel? Norn Irish folk turn up, go for a few pints and board the flight. its that simple, so again why would they pump hundreds of thousands into something with nothing to be gained??
 
ChrisKen
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:05 am

groupflightni wrote:
Just because other airports in the world are top class, our wee country has no functioning government to remove the "tax" to tempt in other long hall carriers.

You can argue tax as the reason but ALL N.I APD is charged at the lowest band A (£13 Y, £26 all other classes), regardless of distance to destination. Everywhere else in the UK it's charged at higher rates for mid and long haul.

Belfast problem is it's simple to head to Dublin, where the range of flights is wider and cheaper. That and the relatively small population of NI mean its just not worth it for airlines.

Throw in the arguably silly fact you've got two airports 14 miles apart splitting resources and the market and Bob's your Auntie.
I think the sensible move would be to close one of them (probably city as it's not got room to expand) and focus efforts into achieving one decent, truly international airport, that can attract airlines rather than what is effectively, two poor regionals. (UK & Europe being the regions).
 
SCQ83
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:28 am

Cunard wrote:
But Stansted isn't unclean, dirty or old fashioned is it, security can be a hell hole during peak times as can be passport control on arrival but a cess pit it's not.


I use STN from time to time and never encounter those issues. Security control is quick if you take the "right side" control (instead of the main control) next to the fast-track.

I have never encountered a queue on e-passport gates other than maybe 2 or 3 people. Maybe 1 minute wait? And then the great thing about STN is that once you pass the passport control, you are in the train in 2 minutes.

Much better than LGW IMO.
 
Cunard
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:11 am

SCQ83 wrote:
Cunard wrote:
But Stansted isn't unclean, dirty or old fashioned is it, security can be a hell hole during peak times as can be passport control on arrival but a cess pit it's not.


I use STN from time to time and never encounter those issues. Security control is quick if you take the "right side" control (instead of the main control) next to the fast-track.

I have never encountered a queue on e-passport gates other than maybe 2 or 3 people. Maybe 1 minute wait? And then the great thing about STN is that once you pass the passport control, you are in the train in 2 minutes.

Much better than LGW IMO.


And may I ask what time of the day did you last use STN?

If anyone who uses the airport on a regular basis will know that the evening peak from 22.30 onwards when loads of Ryanair flights arrive simultaneously passport control can be quite a lengthy experience as can be security for the early morning rush from 6am.

But in saying that I always enjoy my experience when traveling through STN as I'm personally very fond of the airport and always have been since my first ever visit in 1979.

I've seen the tremendous growth at the airport ever since my first visit way back in 1979 and it's still an outstanding airport design despite it's sometimes lengthy queues and image problems regarding it's clientele which is totally undeserved by the way.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
Cunard
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:29 am

albertocsc wrote:
BFS - I was working there, and I wouldn't describe the airport as a filthy hole, but it could be really improved. Sometimes I was feeling in a labyrinth. BHD is nicer, and very convenient, but Belfast does not really need two airports, in my opinion.
STN - Quite a nice airport. Just it's experiencing lately an increase in operating airlines, and that is leading to an overcrowding that should be solved as soon as possible.
LTN - For me, the worst London airport. But it has been in works for a long time, and I hope it will be nicer after that.


Regarding STN, I take it that your not aware of the fact that a brand new Arrivals Terminal is to be built at STN and is to be completed by 2021. The existing Terminal will be for Departures only and designated as the Departures Terminal thus creating 45% more floor space in the departure lounge.

CGI and a Video of the ''new'' Arrivals Terminal at STN can be seen on the official Stansted Airport website in the news section.

LTN may be a lot nicer now that the majority of the Terminal expansion is complete but I'm afraid that it will still continue to win the award for the UK's worst airport, after all it's so good at winning the award especially after having won it for five years in a row and I can't see the recent ''upgrade'' of the airport changing that :-)

I personally feel that it's a total embarrassment to have LONDON attached to the name of Luton Airport and it should revert to it's former name of Luton International Airport.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
SkiyaninVannin
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:35 am

Some airports are commercial enterprises and some are not driven by any particular commercial imperative. It's problematic to compare airports without considering this, although I'm curious if there is a list somewhere?
 
Flanker7
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:06 am

We fly out of Manchester monthly and never looking forward to it. Its dirty and cramped and security are the worst ive ever came across. Truly hate that airport.
Flying blue only if possible
 
oldannyboy
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:57 am

Lots of issues with UK airports. It's not just BFS (which is indeed a cess pit).
But generally it's security that I find such an incredible hassle in the UK, and for no reason. The UK is the only country in the world where security officers insist on a specific size for the transparent plastic bag used for liquids. I mean- really. Plus the often abrasive/arrogant staff you have to deal with.
And the fact that most airports (all?) have been turned into commercial malls with no seating and no windows - nothing short of a disgrace for me. I still remember how amazing STN was when it first opened back in 1991 or so, after being remodeled.
HM Passport Control staff could generally do with a retrain in manners too coming to think of it! Oh well.....
Yes, flying in/out of the country is a sad, stressful affair these days. To think it was the highlight of our holidays when I was a child.....
 
SkiyaninVannin
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:35 am

Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:34 pm

Being honest my perception of airports depends how tired or stressed I am. Checking in for an early morning flight where the airline doesnt have proper bag drop (looking at you, VA domestic at MEL). Going through unfriendly immigration and security (looking at you UK generally and MAN in particular).
 
SCQ83
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:03 pm

oldannyboy wrote:
And the fact that most airports (all?) have been turned into commercial malls with no seating and no windows - nothing short of a disgrace for me. I still remember how amazing STN was when it first opened back in 1991 or so, after being remodeled.


I actually like that more and more. I am not a big fan of malls, but when I am in London and I have some time left before heading to the airport back home, instead of staying in a coffee shop in the center, I just head to LHR/LGW/STN, pass the security control, go to some coffee shop / restaurant / beer place and I can work with my laptop for 2 or 3 hours relaxed without worrying about getting late to the airport.

At the end of the day it is not much different than central London or any other high-street in the UK, where you have exactly the same shops and cafés than in any airport.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: BFS - A dirty filthy hole?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:22 am

I used to think Indian airports are disgusting. But one visit to regional airports in the UK was enough to change that view.

Its worse than third world in some places. And people aren't even bothered!
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