IT irks me when the Gold Coast gets a bad wrap, because overall we’re a hardworking bunch who try our best and give everything a red-hot go.
But over the weekend, I hate to admit that the complaints I heard about the Gold Coast Airport were pretty much spot on.
As an Aussie travelling to New Zealand on a Sunday, I was in the minority on my flight; most of the passengers were Kiwis journeying home. Together, we lined up at the checkin counter… and together, we inched forward at a snail’s pace.
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There were only two international flights being processed with out carrier, but only three staff members processing them, so the line moved slowly. Forty minutes later, I was finally checked in.
I hurried from there to the personal check-in area…Only to be greeted by another epic line. And I mean, epic. It was three lines deep and 200 passengers thick, full of people travelling both domestically and internationally.
It took another 20 minutes to negotiate that line, before I was shuttled across to a much smaller queue to allow staff to check my laptop and x-ray my person.
Nailed that queue in three or four minutes and I have to say that by this stage – following 70 minutes of queueing and waiting and processing – I was starting to panic. My flight was due to take off in 50 minutes and I hadn’t even cleared customs.
So I raced toward my international gate to be met with… you guessed it… another queue. This time, to x-ray my carry-on bags. Again. In case the first x-ray missed anything?
I whizzed through that line and quickly joined the customs queue (which took another 10 minutes to clear) before sprinting to my gate, arriving just in time to join the line to board.
By this stage, everyone was frustrated. “This is the worst airport ever!” one young backpacker complained. A harried young mum looked ready to cry as she muttered “this is ridiculous” to her husband, while they and their two small kids joined the line – their sixth for the morning – to board the flight.
“The Gold Coast Airport is like a rabbit maze,” she complained further. “Too many queues, too many people and not enough staff to cope when it’s busy.”
I felt myself bristle when I overheard that comment, instinctively over-protective. I reacted the same way I always do when someone says anything negative about the Gold Coast.
Then I realised she was right.
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