Norwich Airport

I bloody well hate Norwich Airport… love Norwich, hate the airport.

I may be a bit jaundiced today but let me explain why I dislike this particular airport so much.

The Airport Development Fee.  Or the ADF as Norwich Airport Management try to dress it up as.

At the moment the Airport Development Fee (or ADF if you prefer) is £5 per adult and £1 per child under the age of 15.  This is how it works.  You fetch up at the airport, having paid for your airline ticket (some of which presumably gets paid to the airport in the form of landing fees), having paid for your transport to the airport and having checked in online.

So, you proceed straight to security, don’t you?

Well, no, actually.

You proceed to the Airport Development Fee (or ADF) payment machine which relieves you of £5 more, prints out a ticket with a bar code which you wave in front of a machine.  Perspex gates magically open to let you into a world of special comfort, ease and languor.  Actually, they don’t… they open alright, but into a crappy security area.

Now, in the security area there was:

  • A lady to check my Airport Development Fee (also known as an ADF) voucher – which she did more carefully than she looked at my boarding card
  • A bloke to help me put my stuff in 2 trays
  • Another bloke and a lady ready to search me
  • A bloke to look at the x-ray machine
  • A lady to search my bag
  • Their supervisor behind his desk

How many other passengers do you reckon there were?

Nope, you’re quite wrong.  There was only me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for airport security, but I think this crew had to justify their existence.  I went through the scanner; there was a delay of a good few seconds and then it went off.  I reckon someone pressed a button so they could search me.  At this point I was asked to take my shoes off, which went back through the x-ray machine.  I was searched, then my bag was searched.

One of the zips was broken on my bag so the lady in question couldn’t open it.  ‘Never mind, darling,’ says she.  ‘We could see it on the x-ray anyway!’

Ho hum.

I don’t really mind paying the £5 Airport Development Fee (cunningly disguised the ADF) but they’re putting it up to £10 from January.  Any more and it will be cheaper to get the train from Norwich to Stansted and fly from there.

2 comments for “Norwich Airport

  1. 8 December, 2011 at 14:35

    Have never been to Norwich Airport so cannot comment on the specifics of your post, but think it’s perfectly reasonable for the airport to charge for use of its services.

    It’s quite unusual that they charge the passenger directly rather than the via the airline but not unique.

    Airlines do pay airports for the use of infrastructure such as runways, as you mention, but airports typically charge a passenger-specific fee to cover the separate costs of passenger-oriented infrastructure and services provided.

  2. Emily Aspden
    8 December, 2011 at 09:29

    I agree, as I had exactly the same experience, word for word, the last time I checked in. The only difference I’d like to add, is that the zip on my bag wasn’t broken, until the lady searching it pulled it off completely! I’m all for the development of my local airport, but surely the best thing to do would be to make the experience cheaper to encourage more of us to use it instead of the London airports. It’s a bit of an insult to be asked for that fee at your own local airport when you’ve already forked out a considerable sum for everything else

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