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Dubai is a fantastic place and its airport is no exception. The terminal the Emirates used (I think it was Terminal 3) is as far as I know the largest airport terminal in the world, and I wouldn't disagree if anyone confirmed it was. The airport isn't as busy as alot of others across the world are with less than 50 million passengers a year, to give you an idea, Heathrow has 70 million. Despite this the airport feels empty due to its physical size yet check-in still takes your usual 15 or 20 minutes with security not alot shorter as there is no more desks than most airports of a similar passenger volume, the building is just very sparse with lots of empty floor space. It also takes ages to get from one place to the next with lots of lifts and esculators invloved also. It takes about 2 or 3 minutes to reach the check-in desk when going inside the airport. The airport is virtually silent as you can sit literally 50m away from anyone else as there is so much space. Althiough what many perople dream for in an airport is a bit of ther own space, to me Dubai has gone a little too far as the terminal is just too big for its own good, although a clean, modernand impressive terminal building to be in before a 7 and a half hour flight with loads of top quality food outlets, shops and many other facilities.
The Stansted Express is brilliant. I've used it a few times now and will continue to do so because of its fantastic service and brand new spectacularly clean trains. Stansted Express has recently started using brand new Class 379 trains which are extremely comfortable and very modern.
It's not the fastest service in the world, taking about 3/4 of an hour and that's my only criticism however it does depart every 15 minutes from the terminal building to London Liverpool Street, so extremely quick and easy to get from plane to train. The service also sticks to a nice, simple timetable, with trains leaving Stansted Airport at quarter past, half past, quarter to and on the hour throughout the day. The opposite direction is also served every 15 minutes and takes the same amount of time, again sticking to a nice, simple timetable.
Liverpool Street station, where the service terminates is the perfect location in London to get to almost anywhere quickly via the London Underground lines. Most places that are popular attractions in London are no more than 15 or 20 minutes away. St. Paul's cathedral and Tower bridge in particular are both very close as well as Tower 42, 30 St. Mary's Axe (or the Gherkin) and all the other high rise buildings in that area, all within walking distance.
The Stansted Express seems to always be bang on time, which is vital for trains to and from an airport, especially a busy one, making the Stansted Express extremely reliable. You could be waiting in the queue for the London Eye in less than 2 hours after your plane lands at Stansted Airport, thanks to the amazing service provided by the Stansted Express!
Shannon is a very poor airport. I flew with Ryanair from London Stansted and both the airline and that airport were excellent. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said about Shannon airport. Ryanair have cut about 75% of their flights from Shannon in recent years, and if you ask me, I don't blame them.
The terminal building has a reasonable layout but is very short of flight information screens, so it can get very confusing. Not only does the exterior and interior of the building look very unattractive, it's a little dirty, particually the toilets, as well as being crowded at times and barely any natural light.
Queues at security and passport control are very slow, even at quiet times. Check-in/Bag-drop queues are generally quicker, it took around 15 or 20 minutes but that was only because I flew with Ryanair, other airlines took much longer. Security took around 30 minutes and passport control was even longer, taking 40 minutes.
The customer service at the airport was awful. The staff didn't help being unhelpful and inefficient, on the other hand they were quite friendly.
I was very disatisfyed with the very poor amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets thoughout the entire airport. The prices of the products in shops and of food and drink were way too high and most provided a dissapointing service.
There is a lack of public transport to/from the terminal building. There is no rail service at or around the airport and the odd very poor bus service which was very unreliable.
Shannon is an airport that I will certainly not use again unless there are some massive improvments. I strongly advise against using it to everyone as it causes nothing but stress and delays. Despite this, the west coast of Ireland is fantastic. I'd advise people to use Kerry or Knock airport instead, even the locals.
Bristol airport is the worst airport I've ever been to in my life. The two times I've used it have been horrifically sressfull and I will not give it a third chance. The terminal building looks ok from the outside, but once you get in, it's a completely different story. The queues for check-in, security and passport control were a mile long and lasted for ages, security took the best part of an hour. The amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets is appaling. To be precise there are six shops and six eating/drinking facillities after security, and only three eating/drinikng facillities and two shops before security. Most airports this size have atleast ten of each after and five of each before. Getting to the airport from all directions appears to be chaotic and the car parking is shocking. The public transport links are also very limited with no rail service and a lack of good bus services. This is a big problem as the airport is quite far away from Bristol considering the size of the city and the airport. Bristol is an airport I will difintely never use again in my entire life.
Birmingham is a disatisfying airport. I've never used terminal 2 but have used terminal 1 twice, in 2006 and 2010 and both times were a little dissapointing. I often try to avoid this airport if I can as there are many better ones.
The terminal building has quite a complicated layout and has lots of flight information screens but are a bit vague, so it can be quite confusing when navigating around. The exterior of both terminals look ok but the interior of terminal 1 is a little old but is clean and tidy. At bust times the airport can get a little over crowded and the building has virtually no natural light.
Queuing times at check-in/bag-drop desks, security and passport control are quite variable. Check-in/Bag-drop queues often take about 30 minutes, security queues can vary from 20 minutes to about 40 minutes and passport control is very rarely quicker than 20 minutes.
The customer service at the airport is good thanks to the friendly, helpful and efficient staff who are always happy to help you if you need anything.
I am a little dissapointed with the amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets thoughout the entire airport, but particually before security. The prices of the products in shops and of food and drink are a bit expensive but most provide a good service.
There are not many buses from the terminal building to all car parks around the airport. The car parks are horrific and are very badly sign posted, as well as the terminals. There is a regular but very stressful rail service to Birmingham New Street from the railway station by the airport.
Birmingham is an airport that I will try to avoid. I may recommend it to people who live close to it but would generally advise people to use other airports. I would only use this airport again if flight times and prices were better than elsewhere.
This hotel is fantastic. I have never been in a hotel better (apart from the Radisson SAS hotel at Stansted). This hotel is really moden and looks extremely nice from the inside and outside. It's in a very good location, you can see the planes take-off out of the window, but they are not too close so you can't sleep at night. Busses run regualy to the terminal building at Stansted from right outside the front doors of the hotel and only take 10 minutes. I have stayed a night in the Hilton Hotel at Stansted twice and both times were excellent, the room was very clean and tidy on arrival both times and one of the best things about this hotel is that you can never get bored here, partly because of the swimming pool. The breakfasts are very good quality and the breakfast room in this hotel is not cramped at all. This hotel ticks all the boxes. I highly recommend this hotel if you want good quality and price and a brilliant start or end to your holiday!
I really like the Express By Holiday Inn hotels but the one at Stansted is one of the best, partly because of its location. It's very good how you can see the aeroplanes take-off out of the window but there not really close so you can't sleep at night. I've stayed a night in this hotel three times and every time it has been great. Each time the room has been very clean and tidy on arrival and the rooms also have quite alot of space. I don't feel that it is the best hotel at Stansted though it is a very good one. The breakfast in the morning is very nice, though they are at every Express By Holiday Inn hotel but at some, the breakfast rooms are too cramped, which is certainly not the case at the one at Stansted. Busses go to the terminal at Stansted from the hotels front doors regually and only take 5 minutes. I recommend this hotel if your just looking for quite a reasonable priced room and a good quality hotel to stop in if you have an early morning departing flight or a late evening arriving flight at Stansted.
I really disliked staying in the Express By Holiday Inn at Luton airport. I have stayed in alot these hotels and they have been fine, it's just the Luton airport one that's awful. I have stayed a night in the Luton airport Express By Holiday Inn twice and both times the room was messy and hadn't been cleaned by anybody since the last people had left. The breakfast room was very busy and was quite cramped. The hotel is in just about the worst position as it could possibly be, level with were the planes take-off. The last thing you need when you need to get too sleep for an early flight the next morning is a number of large jet planes flying just outside your window at 200mph and on full engine power. I would rather sleep in the comfort of my own home and have to get up at 1:30am then have to sleep uncomfortably in a horrible hotel again.
When I walked through the main doors into the Radisson SAS hotel at London Stansted airport, I felt like I was walking into a posh hotel in Dubai or somewhere like that. The first impression this hotel gave me was excellent with very good staff at the reception. Not only was the enterance 5 out of 5 but the room was too. Even walking into the room was fantastic and It was proper luxury. It still felt like a really posh hotel in Dubai until I looked out of the window. Right infront of me were about 10 planes really close that all said "RYANAIR" on the side, that came as no surprise as I knew Stansted had a crazy amount of Ryanair flights but how close I was too them was a big surprise. So the view out of the window was excellent aswell as the enterance and the room quality. The room had a luxury bathroom, a double bed, a sofa, a television, air-con and many more things. I have never been in a hotel as posh as that one. Also in the evening you can go for dinner in the restaurant and when you order a bottle of wine, a lady travels up the colourful and flashing wine tower turning upsidedown whilst getting the wine you have ordered. It looks better than any circus act. I will definitely 110% stay in this hotel again!
Ryanair is an excellent airline. Yet again we've had a smooth and stress free journey thanks to this amazing company.
Ryanair are very punctual as we always depart on-time and often arrive early. Their aircraft are very new and are in tip top condition. The plane was also very comfortable with leather seats and are quite spacious with plenty of legroom for a short-haul flight. They also have a wide variety of hot and cold food and drinks to choose from which appear expensive but are excellent quality. The cabin crew are extremely friendly, helpful and very efficient who are always smiling and in a good mood. On top of that, customer service is also excellent.
The very best thing about Ryanair is their fantastically low fares. They always turn out cheaper than any other airline, even with all the extra costs. Ryanair is an airline that I use as much as possible and would highly recommend to everyone, not just budget passengers!
I have travelled from London Gatwick a few times now and each time I've found it satisfactory. I've flown from both the North and South terminals at Gatwick. The North terminal is more modern than the South however the South terminal has more shops, restuarants and food outlets than the North though in both terminals products are little too expensive. The staff are friendly but not very efficient. Gatwick is the only airport I have witnessed a fire bell at and the staff didn't seem to sure what exactly to do. Unfortunately, the queuing times at Gatwick are atrocious, I always queue for Gatwick's security for well over half an hour. Gatwick has good transport between the two terminals by bus and train services run regually from Gatwick South terminal to central London. Everytime I use Gatwick, I'm a little dissapointed as I always expect it to be better than it is!
London Heathrow is the busiest airport in Britain and is also one of the busiest in the world. This airport should not just be known for its size but also for it's quality. I would really like to see this airport expand as it would help it stay being one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. The last time I flew from Heathrow was different to the other times I've flown from there. That is because it was from the new terminal 5 and I must say it was one of the best airport terminals I have ever been in and I have been in alot of them in my time. To me it doesn't matter which terminal you fly from at Heathrow because all of them are great. I would like them to be a little more modern though. There are loads of shops, restaurants and food outlets in all the terminals at Heathrow and nothing from these are overpriced. The staff from all over the airport are very friendly and helpful. One problem they used to have at Heathrow was the huge queues. That has improved enormously and you can now get through security in about 20 minutes. I highly recommend Heathrow to people all over the world!
London Luton is a good airport, but certainly nothing special. The staff at the airport are ok and do their job well. The queues for check-in, sercurity and passport control are sometimes a bit too long and slow moving as I was queuing for security for over half an hour an passport control for about the same length of time. As London Luton is the UK's fifth largest airport, there is a good variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets but none of them are brilliant and some a little over priced. The general cleanliness of the airport was quite good however the toilets appeared to be not very hyginic. Getting to and from the airport via the M1 motorway can occasioanlly cause some minor delays, so ensure you allow enough time to get there. I would recommend Luton airport but only to a certain extent, it will never beat Stansted in a million years!
I have only flown from this airport once so it may have just been an unfortunate experience of the airport, though it must of been a really poor experience to think it was this bad. The airport staff didn't seem to be doing there job, they seemed to just being laughing and giggling behind the information desks. There were not as many shops and places to eat/drink as I expected and there was not much to do in the airport, it was quite a busy and boring airport. I didn't have to put up with it for too long becuase most of my time was spent queuing. We were queuing for security for 40 minutes and only had 15 minutes in departures before we were called to our gate. I would not fly from this airport again, not only becuase it's over 120 miles from me but becuase of the poor service, unhelpful staff and long queues.
East Midlands is a great airport. Everytime I've used this airport I've been very happy with almost everything. I've travelled to and from the airport quite a few times since my first in 2003 because it's always a stress free experience.
The terminal building has a good layout and has lots of flight information screens telling you where to go, so it's quite difficult to get lost. The building is very clean and tidy as well as being quite spacious.
Queues at check-in/bag-drop desks, security and passport control are very swift but could be quicker considering the size of the airport. Check-in/Bag-drop and security queues never take any longer than 20 minutes and passport control is very rarely longer than 10 minutes.
The customer service at the airport is very good thanks to the friendly, helpful and efficient staff who are extremely polite and happy to help you if you need anything.
I am always happy with the amount and variety of shops, restaurants and food outlets at the airport but there could be more. The prices of the products in shops and of food and drink are good and all provide a very good service.
There are regular buses from the terminal building to the car parks around the airport and good services to the nearby cities, but unfortunately the nearest railway station is a few miles away and has little transport options to the airport from there.
East Midlands is an airport that I will very happily use again as it's amongst the best airports I've been to, and I've been to alot of airports. I highly recommend it to everyone, particually if you live within ninety minutes from there as it's a very pleasent airport to use.