July 17: Endurance test for holiday-makers at Leeds Bradford Airport

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From: John Richards, Pudsey.

I WRITE with regards the recent plans to expand Leeds Bradford Airport. For some time, this has become an airport to endure rather than enjoy the start of a holiday.

From the extortionate £3 drop-off charge to the long queues to get through security whenever more than a couple of flights are due to take off in close proximity (early morning is, by my experience, a nightmare), Leeds Bradford has little going for it to those of us who live in West Yorkshire other than its location. And even then there are many who choose to fly from Manchester rather than an airport more or less on their doorstep.

I had my own insight into the problems that travellers face on Monday evening. I was due to pick up a couple of friends on a flight from Malaga that was due to arrive at 23 00. It finally arrived more than 100 minutes late and the reason provided by the Jet2 crew for the delay was that a mistake had been made at Leeds Bradford earlier in the day when the wrong number of bags had been put on board the flight heading to Malaga.

All the bags had to be taken off on the Tarmac until the discrepancy was sorted out – hence the plane was late setting off and late into Malaga. And, by the time it arrived, a thick mist had descended on the area that led to a further delay before the plane could land (the crew told my friends that two more minutes in the air would have meant a diversion to Sevilla due to fuel levels being so low – which would have made a long delay even worse). As it was, what should have been a 20.35 departure by Jet2 from Malaga was actually 23.00 – and all because Leeds-Bradford couldn’t cope with a basic task such as getting the right number of bags on board.

With this in mind, I should perhaps be seeing the proposed expansion as a good thing. The problem, however, is that those behind the plans are probably those who oversaw the recent “upgrading” work in the departure areas that have led to longer queues for food/drink and an absence of places to sit at busy times such as early morning.

Put bluntly, Yorkshire badly needs an airport to, if not rival, then at least compare with, Manchester. Leeds Bradford, though, is not it.

From: H Marjorie Gill, Clarence Drive, Menston.

RE your Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, July 9), Yeadon was a stupid place to build an airport. It was just a field until the Second World War and there have always been problems with fog.