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Airport Experiences [Questions & Reviews]

Rate your experience using Bristol Airport

  • Poor

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Average

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Good

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Excellent

    Votes: 5 38.5%

  • Total voters
    13

Aviador

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Thread starter Admin #21
I've never used the airport so I haven't voted in this poll.

I can imagine pre walkway days passengers will have complained about having to walk 'outside' or being bused to or from their aircraft. The airport will have looked into ways of improving the situation and they came up with the idea of a walkway long enough to reach most stands. Now the 'walkway' has replaced the outside elements people have simply moved on to complain about something else. 400m isn't all that far and if a person struggles to walk that far they should be using the airports special assistance team to help them to/from the aircraft. I imagine if the airport were to install travelators passengers will start complaining about something else.
 

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kraktoa

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Jun 16, 2013
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#22
Aviador said:
I've never used the airport so I haven't voted in this poll.

I can imagine pre walkway days passengers will have complained about having to walk 'outside' or being bused to or from their aircraft. The airport will have looked into ways of improving the situation and they came up with the idea of a walkway long enough to reach most stands. Now the 'walkway' has replaced the outside elements people have simply moved on to complain about something else. 400m isn't all that far and if a person struggles to walk that far they should be using the airports special assistance team to help them to/from the aircraft. I imagine if the airport were to install travelators passengers will start complaining about something else.
To me the walkway is fine. Few issues though.

The glass windows are too high for a good view of the ramp. I am 5 ft 7 and cant see the ramp even on a tip toe. The walk would have been so much better if the view of the aircraft stands was available for adults and mainly for the children

No places to sit. There are no seats anywhere in the walkway for a rest for those who need it

No Music....even muzak would help

Some travellators would be justified now that they dont need planning permission. But they did not think ahead and there is no space for it i think.
 
May 22, 2013
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#23
As one of the three people who have so far voted Good in the poll at the top of this thread, I'll just add my pennyworth.

My wife and I fly from Bristol twice a year on holiday with Thomson. We have never experienced the walkway as my wife always asks for special assistance. The system of booking this together with our plane seats in the first few rows up front has always worked extremely well with Thomson.

At the airport we have also found the service provided by OCS is excellent, and we have never failed to get the ambulift when available. The same thing goes for our return from the departure airports.

I doubt that we'll ever get to see the walkways, at least until such time as air bridges have been built (as apparently planned) and provided for the stands used by Thomson's 757s or whatever they use in the years to come.

So well done BRS and Thomson for making our holiday trips get off to a good start.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Admin #24
Some travellators would be justified now that they dont need planning permission. But they did not think ahead and there is no space for it i think.
I suspect the expense would be enormous but it might be something to be considered in the future.

I've used the airport twice this year so far but the aircraft was parked on the eastern apron both times so we didn't use the long western walkway. The airport was supposed to be going to make the western walkway more passenger-friendly now that the stringent limitations imposed by the original GPD have been superseded by the planning consents. Having not used it recently I don't know if any work has been done towards this aim.

I shall be flying out again the week after next but I suspect that again it will be the eastern apron, and therefore no western walkway experience, as I'll be using Aer Lingus Regional.
 

kraktoa

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#25
Could never get my head around the compass point system for the airport. If that is the western walkway and the opposite end is the eastern apron then why is the old terminal next to the eastern apron called the Northside house???

I need to invest in a good compass and get my bearings around this place.

Plans are to build another walkway on the opposite end of the western walkway, leading from the terminal bldg to towards the Northside house (which will eventually be torn down)
 

TheLocalYokel

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Could never get my head around the compass point system for the airport. If that is the western walkway and the opposite end is the eastern apron then why is the old terminal next to the eastern apron called the Northside house???

I need to invest in a good compass and get my bearings around this place.

Plans are to build another walkway on the opposite end of the western walkway, leading from the terminal bldg to towards the Northside house (which will eventually be torn down)
I guess that Northside House is so named because it's situated on the northern side of the airfield and the western walkway heads west to serve the western apron.

Strictly, I suppose the two aprons used by airlines whould be called the northwest and northeast aprons as the single apron on the southside of the airfield (for general aviation, Airbus shuttle, bizjets etc) is often thought of as the southern apron which is reasonable as there is only one apron on that side of the airfield.

I'm beginning to disappear up the middle of that compass. :whiteflag:
 

kraktoa

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Jun 16, 2013
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#27
Do other airports have such terminologies for their walkways. T3 LHR did have a lima 22 gate (dont know why that stuck in my mind). Is there a convention for naming walkways??? Maybe it was a big thing for BRS when it was first built.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Admin #28
Do other airports have such terminologies for their walkways. T3 LHR did have a lima 22 gate (dont know why that stuck in my mind). Is there a convention for naming walkways??? Maybe it was a big thing for BRS when it was first built.
I'm not aware of any convention.

I suppose the airport management decided they'd call it what it is, a walkway to the western apron.

The management made a big splash in the local media when it opened with the environmental card saying how many bus trips to remote stands it had saved.

Although it has its faults, and we've already discussed them, it's still far better in my opinion than the draughty and cold in the winter covered paths that lead from the terminal to the walking stands on the eastern apron, and which are also called walkways.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Admin #29
[textarea]New database helps Airport staff break down language barriers

Bristol Airport’s customer experience team has responded to the rising number of overseas visitors passing through the terminal by compiling a database detailing members of staff with language skills.

The comprehensive catalogue covers 34 different languages, from Bengali to Tagalog. As well as spoken tongues, sign language skills are also included. Members of the Airport team can now quickly and easily contact colleagues able to help when dealing with customers unable to understand English.

The number of foreign residents using Bristol Airport has almost trebled in the last decade, with over a million journeys made by overseas visitors in 2012. Analysis of data from the Civil Aviation Authority Passenger Survey shows that an estimated 18 per cent of the Airport’s passengers were based outside the UK, with visitors hailing from a total of 82 different countries.

Alison Roberts, Head of Customer Operations at Bristol Airport, said:

“As the number of overseas visitors using Bristol Airport grows, our team are increasingly required to call on their own or colleagues’ language skills when assisting customers. The language database makes it quicker and easier to identify a colleague who can help when a language barrier is encountered.”

Last year Bristol Airport became the first British airport to achieve accreditation from WorldHost, the world-leading customer welcome programme used to train nearly one million people worldwide, including tens of thousands of staff and volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme has been endorsed by Visit England and covers customer service skills and awareness of different cultures with the aim of ensuring visitors to the UK receive a warm and friendly welcome.[/textarea]

This is an airport press release at http://www.bristolairport.co.uk/media-c ... riers.aspx

It's a commendable idea but it makes me think of my school days (at the time Bristol was transferring its airport from Whitchurch to Lulsgate) with the amusing scenario of boys with Somerset accents trying to master oral French, German and even Latin.

I'm sure those in the database are far more proficient than we were.
 

Sierra3

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May 13, 2016
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#30
Used BRS for the first time since 2007 (CO to EWR) before that it was a Cambrian DC3 in about '68.
Born in Clevedon and have always had a soft spot for Lulsgate (Bottom). Have been hoping in vain for a ME3 flight for over a decade as have spent 25+ years living/ working in around the Indian Ocean rim, so I've flown through good & bad terminals in many Asian / African countries; but always came home to North Dorset.

Flew a one way to CDG on EZY on 8th June my first trip to Europe since '94 and admittedly it was my first EZY which didn't overly impress, maybe I'm too used to ME3 / Gulf carriers! But it worked / on time /clean and was only about an hour flight time so can't complain too much.

BRS itself has changed beyond recognition since the 60s and to a degree since 07, but the overall impression wasn't as good as I'd hoped.

Pay to drop off, couple of quid for a trolley (non refundable), long walks and silly money (LHR type) for a cup of coffee. A foreign exchange bureau quoting approx. 15c off the euro rate at Lloyds Bank in Dorset (hardly the epicentre of banking) etc etc.

Appreciate that improvements / upgrades have to be funded & that its an airport trying to be as many things as possible to as many as possible (ie bucket & spade through to business) to increase volume to justify the investment, but sadly it left me disappointed.

Living approx. 1.5 hours drive from BRS and 2 hours from LHR but retiring this year (so will travel to Europe again) I'm left to mull whether to use LHR or BRS. The LHR flight will cost you more you might say, but by the time you've paid to drop off & 'bought a trolley', stood in a security line / long walks / expensive coffee / lousy forex rates etc all of which equate to LHR, where's the benefit of using BRS, if the last 50 quid isn't the be all and end all?

Probably will use BRS sometimes but I'm .......disappointed
 

TheLocalYokel

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Admin #31
Very interesting comments and particularly valid coming as they do from someone who was using BRS again for the first time recently after a number of years. The charging for drop-off parking, for luggage trolleys and the retail prices are of course the result of how the smaller regional airports make their money these days.

In the past airlines at airports such as Bristol would pay the gloing rate for airport services with the result that there were few flights at high fares. The likes of easyJet and Ryanair will put high footfall and many destinations at reasonable fares (in the main) but don't expect to pay much in airport charges.

So in a sense it's a case of passengers paying a relatively small sum for these ancillary services, which is undoubtedly irksome for many, but having a large network of flights at decent fares in the main against free drop-off etc but with many fewer flights and at higher fares.

I remember when Brymon began and there were a few flights to Scotland. The fares to such places as Glasgow were usually around £150 at early 1990 prices. Nowadays, you can get there and back with easyJet for around £50 at 2016 prices.

I've used easyJet a lot and in general find them acceptable for what they say they do and, like you, can't complain much about that.

I wondered what you thought of the airport in terms of layout and the passenger experience generally, apart from the annoying charges that you have highlighted. The owners have spent around £150 million in the past decade on infrastructure and terminal extensions and I sometimes wonder if they've got it completely right.
 

Sierra3

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#32
Very interesting comments and particularly valid coming as they do from someone who was using BRS again for the first time recently after a number of years. The charging for drop-off parking, for luggage trolleys and the retail prices are of course the result of how the smaller regional airports make their money these days.

I wondered what you thought of the airport in terms of layout and the passenger experience generally, apart from the annoying charges that you have highlighted. The owners have spent around £150 million in the past decade on infrastructure and terminal extensions and I sometimes wonder if they've got it completely right.
Though totally unqualified in Terminal design, I tend to agree it doesn't 'feel' completely right. Its light years ahead of the original Lulsgate and to be fair its being used as a LCC airport so you could say the terminal should reflect that, which IMHO it does, (quite apart from all the ancillary charges). Quite whether a 'full service' carrier would want to operate out of it ....I wonder.

There is a lack of escalators / moving walkways and the rather strange arrangement of certain gates being primarily accessed from one level, whilst others are accessed from the floor above.

On an operational note the posting of gate numbers on departure boards as little as 30 mins before departure to be faced by a 10 minute walk to arrive at the gate before the flight closes 15 mins before departure seriously grates.

All in all not bad & its progressed amazingly over the last 50 years, maybe I was hoping for too much
 

TheLocalYokel

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Thanks for your further thoughts Sierra3. I believe that your final sentence probably encapsulates a lot of BRS users' thoughts.

There are certainly worse airports in the UK and many worse ones worldwide. When BRS saw few flights in the old terminal the passenger experience was doubtless a lot better: no crowds to speak of and a gentle journey through the airport. Perhaps an airport such as Exeter is still a bit like that.

The trick is to adjust things to meet the at times frenzied demand. Much easier to say than do I'm sure, especially given the peaks and troughs of flights and passenger numbers throughout a 24-hour period.

Although the old terminal days might have provided a more enjoyable passage I'm prepared to put up with the current state of affairs in exchange for numerous more flights and destinations, many cheaper than they would have been a generation ago. That's not to say though that the airport management should be sitting back and not trying to improve the lot of its passengers.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I never regard these sorts of surveys with much seriousness. They are never more than straw polls. BRS has had well documented problems with massive security queues outbound at certain times and similar long queues at Border Control inbound on occasions.

BRS usually gets a kicking on Skytrax or did when I used to read it - I don't any more as I find that most correspondents only want to moan about the airport or airline in question. BRS is not perfect by any means and when it was handling just a few hundred thousand passengers a year the passenger experience was much more relaxing but there weren't many flights. I've never used Exeter but I imagine it's a bit like the BRS of the 1980s with a laid-back, unhurried passage through the airport. I'll have to try it some time. Nearly did a couple of years ago but our plans changed.

I've never had any cause for real complaint about BRS - no more than at a number of other airports I've used. My all-time horror airport is DXB (Dubai) and remains so - I shall be using it again later this year. The crowds are horrendous and the signage baffling in places, even though English is used prominently as well as Arabic.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Which airport will you be using to fly to Dubai?
We use Gatwick. We fly to Melbourne for family reasons and have done so each year since 2010. The worst part of the journey is switching aircraft at DXB because, in our opinion, that airport is so user unfriendly.

We used BHX once and it was an excellent choice but our specialist long haul travel agent always seems to get the best deals out of Gatwick for the type of journey we do. We'd love to use BHX again and even had a look at Qatar from there for this year but the timings weren't right. Emirates also provides a car service from home to airport. I don't think that Qatar does.
 

Sierra3

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#38
My all-time horror airport is DXB (Dubai) and remains so - I shall be using it again later this year. The crowds are horrendous and the signage baffling in places, even though English is used prominently as well as Arabic.
Strange how one man's horror is another one's pleasure. Lived in the UAE for 10 years to 2014 and used it maybe 3 times a month, so admittedly got to know it well & did have the advantage of choosing (mostly) my travel times.

Do agree about the crowds at certain times of day (connection banks), also you can have very long walks there are however escalators & moving walkways.

All in all its bright & airy with odd tranquil spots. Assuming you're not in a lounge (which are good) try the coffee shop at the top of the escalators coming up from Duty Free near gate 20 in Terminal 1, or if in Terminal 3 try the coffee shop opposite the Emirates Business Class lounge (towards the control tower) - you have to go up in a glass lift.
Both are relatively quiet in comparison to the heaving populous outside.
 

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Thanks for that Sierra3. We use the EK lounges so that's not a problem, but it's getting from the arrival part of the airport to the lounge (we never seem to arrive in the same part of the terminal twice running) that is particularly hard going with the crowds and the less than helpful signage, even though by now we can more or less orientate ourselves to find a part of the terminal we recognise and go from there. The 380 concourse is a new dimension but even though LGW is now a 380 airport (or at least the flights we use are) our aircraft landed at the older part of the terminal last year and we had to find the train to the 380 concourse. Fortunately, the MEL flight left from the 380 concourse.

Coming back last time was the reverse - 380 concourse to older part of terminal, so we made our way to the lounge in the older part rather than use the one in the 380 concourse so we'd be relatively close to the LGW-bound aircraft when ready to board.

Anyway, this is something that BRS will never have to deal with. It's difficult to lose your way there.
 

ljm104

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Mar 7, 2013
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#40
Hi everyone,
Apologies if this question has already been asked. Does anyone know what the options are for connecting flights at Bristol? I know that no airline offers protected transfers, but I would consider connecting to another easyjet flight at my own risk (hand luggage only).
Can transfer passengers remain airside or would you have to go through security all over again?
Thanks
 

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