What annoys you most at airports?

This week, I’m in Norway, and whilst I adore flying, and being in the air, airports stress me out. The whole journey to the airport stresses me out. I’m basically not happy again until I’m sat on the plane and we’re in the air. I have the airport worries. But they don’t make it any easier for me. I’ve actually got to go to three to reach my final destination.  Here are my main bugbears about airports:

The prices. I know we’re a captive market, but please, can we stop charging £5 for a sandwich? I expect a markup. I do. But basic food and drink shouldn’t be so pricey. Give us a break. We’ll buy your food anyway, but we’ll probably enjoy it more if the price didn’t make us cry. And y’know, we may even buy a snack too, perhaps a glass of wine. See how this works?

The little plastic bags. I feel like the rules around these things don’t change, but no one really knows what to do. There’s always uncertainty. Further highlighted when the guy on security ‘didn’t know’ if I needed to put my mascara in a bag. Thanks, Temrinal Five. Really helpful.

The baggage treatment. Only yesterday did a travelling companion of mine watch our bags be thrown down a nine foot drop, kicked about and generally treated pretty shoddily by British Airways. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that all bags are treated as kindly as kittens, but at least take a little care that we can’t see you.

The lack of smoking areas. I’m a smoker. I apologise in advance. But I’d like to be able to smoke once I get through security. Just a tiny little outdoor space I can go, where I’m not annoying anyone. Even airports in countries that don’t allow indoor smoking have this. I don’t understand why we don’t.

The confusing gate times. Each airline seems to have different rules about what time their gate closes. Is it ten minutes before the flight is departing? Half an hour? I’ve never been able to get it right. Not because I’m not an absolute stickler for being at an airport on time (believe me, I stress out about this more than anything), but I don’t feel that there’s a consistency about this.

OK, they’re my five biggest bugbears. What annoys you the most?

Flickr image from inkiboo‘s photostream.