A SEMI-retired journalist from Yorkshire has slammed ‘depressing’ queues and tricky lane systems at Belfast International Airport, which saw him face an additional charge as he returned his hire car.
Denis Kilcommons, a former reporter on the Huddersfield Daily News who still writes a column for the paper, found himself trapped behind a barrier as he tried to reverse after being filtered into the drop-off area which requires a £1 fee to exit.
Flustered by the situation, he said he was left ‘feeling stupid’ as he tried to find somewhere suitable to reverse to in order to avoid inconveniencing other drivers.
Mr Kilcommons, from Holmfirth near Huddersfield, was returning to the airport from Donegal where he was visiting his daughter and her husband.
He found himself being offered a pound coin to exit the area from a ‘thoughtful’ lady who recognised the difficulty he found himself in.
He said: “Belfast International Airport can be a nightmare when it's busy.
“It seems to have grown too quickly; the queues through security are immense and depressing if you catch them at a peak time - we were there at 9am.
“Parts of the departure area are blocked off for re-development and there are never enough seats.
“Plus there are highway improvement works that can add traffic jams to your journey.”
But Mr Kilcommons, who is also a published thriller writer, added: “One anonymous lady put a smile on my face as I was returning my hire car.
“I took a wrong lane and found myself going through a barrier into the drop-off zone. It costs £1 get out again.
“All my change was in my coat pocket in the boot and the exit barrier refused to accept a cash card.
“Feeling stupid, I reversed from the barrier so as not to cause a tail-back, when the lady in the car behind stopped alongside me, lowered her passenger side window and offered a pound coin.
“I got out to accept it and said: “I've no change.”
“She just smiled and shrugged and drove through.
“I followed and noticed she took the road to Antrim. It was a small and thoughtful gesture that meant so much and reminded me that most people really are nice.
“Many thanks to that anonymous lady of Antrim.”