I'd much rather get the train to Scotland than fly but it's just not financially practical any more. For some reason the main advantage of flying these days is no longer that it's quicker (although it still is) but that it's far cheaper. Time was when air travel was a luxury you indulged in when time was of the essence whereas students on a budget went backpacking around Europe by train.

No longer.

For some reason low-cost airlines are a thing whereas low-cost train routes aren't. Why is that?

Mind you, if you fly on a low cost-airline you can certainly identify where they're cutting the costs. The fares themselves are cheap but everything you might want is extra. Hold baggage? Extra. Drinks and food? Extra. I wouldn't be surprised if they start charging for the use of the toilet soon. Everyone should experience flying by Ryanair at least once if only because it will make them realise that Easyjet aren't actually that bad...

One thing Easyjet are still charging for is Speedy Boarding. Once upon a time I could understand why people might want this. The airline used to operate a choose-your-own-seat policy which meant that there was a definite advantage in getting on first - it meant you could pick the seat you wanted (in my case usually in the aisle near the exit). But then they changed the procedure so that all seats were allocated at check-in (usually online).

And yet not only do they still offer Speedy Boarding, but some people still pay for it, even though all it means these days is that you get to stand around in the jetway for longer waiting for the plane doors to be opened.

There is no advantage to it whatsoever.

If you're a standard ticket holder and are canny enough to sit near the boarding doors in the departure lounge then you will be immediately behind the Speedy Boarders and effectively getting the same service as them as you walk to your pre-allocated seat.

Surely it's time to abandon this add-on, especially given that pick-your-own-seat itself is another add-on offered at purchase? I suppose the only reason they maintain it is that there are still people who will be taken in and pay for this non-privilege.

No, Speedy Boarding is a complete waste of time.

One thing I definitely would pay for however is Speedy Disembarkation. It would be preferable to the current free for all. The aircraft coasts to a standstill and even before the seat belt signs have been switched off, a wave of clicks sweep down the cabin as the impatient get ready to stand up and scramble for the overhead lockers. Most of the time I seem to end up bent double wedged between the aisle seat and the lockers waiting for the doors to open and for people to start shuffling out.

Of course there are those smug individuals remaining in their seats looking down their noses at everyone else as if to say "What's the hurry? You're not going to get off any faster by standing up, you know..."

I appreciate that this may well be fine for someone of a more relaxed persuasion, but I have anxiety issues and the sooner I get out of this claustrophobic cramped metal tube with my single piece of luggage the sooner I can confront the stress filled situations of passport control and customs. I know I'm not sneaking into the country or smuggling hard drugs but nevertheless the fact that these checks are in place at all feels like a silent accusation which upsets me. It's only once I'm out on the arrivals concourse that I can relax - unless of course it's late in the evening and I have to rush to the station to get the last train...

I can't see Speedy Disembarkation working though. No matter how many times the aircraft crew tell people not to unfasten their seatbelts until the light has been switched off it still happens with monotonous regularity. If people are unwilling to obey even this simple instruction can you imagine the furore that would occur if they were told to remain seated until the Speedy Disembarkers had got off? You can hear the self-righteous complaints even now.

Then again after people got used to it I suspect it would be such an attractive proposition that almost everyone would pony up the cash for this extra add on. And so, even though the resulting situation would be the same as the current one, Easyjet would have an extra £15 or so per passenger in their pockets...

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