Hell was other people at Edinburgh Airport, but bravo to the staff - Susan Morrison
Jean-Paul Sartre said Hell is other people. I can only assume he was at Edinburgh Airport earlier this week, possibly slightly ahead of us in the Security hall. We were headed to Gatwick, and onwards to Portsmouth, so that I can continue my tour of famous ships. HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and the Mary Rose were waiting.
And we were waiting. You’ll have heard of the travails at the airport, which has started to resemble Dante’s Inferno. Well, it's not great, I’ll give you that. It's a bit of a shock to see so many people in one place at one time after the Great Unpleasantness. The world is on the move. The masks came off and the walking shoes went on. Naturally, some of the machines in security decided to pack in and, as everyone else is saying, you just can’t get the staff these days.
But part of the problem is definitely those people Satre was bleating about.
Is it too much to ask to have your paperwork ready? You're not escaping from a POW camp. If someone asks to see your papers, they want to help you on your way, not foil your bid for freedom.
The bloke in front had a boarding pass, but at the bottom of his bag, which he then had to unpack. His partner was smarter. She was whippet quick with the pass and through the barrier. The altercation between them was loud, furious and in French. Possibly it was a philosophical discussion, but judging by the way she waved her boarding pass in his face, I’m guessing she was telling him just how hellish he was.
They’ve got a good system at the airport. When the security hall gets crowded, they temporarily shut down the entry barriers. Now, it is possible that your travelling/life companion may have made it through the gates before they closed them for a wee minute. Remember, this is the security hall of Edinburgh Airport, not the boat deck of the Titanic.
So, Kelsey-Marie, you will be reunited with Gary. Standing stock still in the middle of the queue, again slowing things down, will not help anyone. Also, screaming at Gary to ‘just jump the gate’ is also not helpful. For one thing, Gary and yourself had clearly been to Spoonies before this. Gary had some trouble focusing on the barrier, never mind hurdling over it. Secondly, I generally find that suddenly leaping over things at airports brings out the worst in security guards.
Got liquid? Lose it. Yes, that includes the expensive toner. Why did you pack it? No-one knows what toner does anyway, unless you count lightening your bank account.
We only had one queue to navigate, being light travellers. Downstairs, baggage check-in was epic. My advice would be either wear all the clothes you need on holiday or book a break in a nudist resort.
So, yes, it's a little slice of hell, especially for the staff in that security hall. They don’t pop out the other end of this process to go to a seat in the departure hall. No flying off to sunny climes for them, or even to France with a ranting Frenchwoman next to them.
Those staff were heroes. They kept that queue moving and they kept their humour. Bravo.