Traveller who missed flight from Bristol Airport blames “silent airport” policy

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Patrick Bury, who missed his flight from Bristol Airport

By K_Pavid,

A traveller was left outraged after he missed a flight out of Bristol because of the airport’s new policy of silence in the terminals.

Patrick Bury was left behind by his Ryanair flight to Dublin after what he claims was a confusing experience at Bristol Airport.

He turned up for his early-morning flight on December 19, and was through security at the airport an hour and a half before take-off.

But for the last year, the airport has operated a policy of silence at the boarding gates, which operators say is to “created a more relaxed and stress free environment”.

It means few announcements about boarding are made in the terminal area, and passengers are asked to check the flight screens for the latest flight information.

But Patrick said EasyJet were making boarding announcements on the day he was there, letting passengers know when gates opened, when priority boarding was called, and when the final call was.

He assumed Ryanair would do the same, and went to find a seat.

Patrick said: “When I went into the lounge area, some announcements were being made by some airlines.

“I went to my gate, but there were a lot of passengers there, and no room for seating. There were 16 seats at the gate, for a flight that sometimes carried 180 people.“So ‘I went to the next available seat, which was just upstairs. I also went down a couple of times to check the situation. A priority boarding announcement was made, and I then expected to hear a main boarding call and final call. About five minutes later I went to check again and the gate door was locked. Two employees admitted there were inconsistencies with the system of boarding announcements and said I should complain.”

When Patrick complained, managers admitted that different airlines make different announcements, but an airport spokeswoman rejected the claim that Patrick had not been informed boarding was taking place.

Spokeswoman Jacqui Mills said: “We are sorry Mr Bury missed his flight but reject his claim that he was not informed that boarding was taking place.

“A ‘silent airport’ policy was introduced at Bristol Airport nearly a year ago, and is in line with the approach taken at many other major airports in the UK and across the world. The policy reduces noise levels within the departure lounge by limiting the number of announcements made over the public address system to mandatory security messages and final calls for boarding.

“On introducing the policy we increased the number of Flight Information Display (FIDs) screens in the departure lounge and terminal concourse. In total over 100 screens are positioned at customer navigation points and seating areas.”

Patrick, who lives in Exeter but flies regularly to Ireland from Bristol, said the “partial implementation” of a silent airport policy was confusing for passengers. He lost £110 booking new flights.

He said: “This isn’t my fault, I got there in good time. The airport are making priority and final boarding calls at the same time, and often before boarding has begun, it is confusing.

“I maintain that the combination of a lack of adequate seating, inconsistent boarding announcements and no main boarding call and final call caused me to miss my flight.”

Sourced by Bristol Post

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