EZE’s queues cue ‘Q rating’

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After arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on an Oceania Cruises ship, departing from the nearby Ministro Pistarini International Airport (or EZE, in Ezeiza) for the U.S. in February ’07 was an eye-opener.

The queues, darling, the queues!

Let me count for you the ways you queue (line up) at EZE:

1) Pre check-in security check — tickets and documents, basically, and a luggage chain-of-evidence interrogation. Chugalug your water and toss the bottle.

2) Check-in — the usual boarding passes and baggage tags routine.

3) Departing-passenger taxes. You get bar-coded receipts.

4) Emigration officer passport check.

5) X-ray and body scanner line. By observing other passengers afterward, we found we could have kept our shoes on, our cameras in our pockets and our water bottles in our bags. You gotta wonder, ‘Were the machines actually on?’ We bought some more water to replace that confiscated earlier.

6) Passenger-tax check. The bar-coded receipts are laser-scanned. ‘Who are they checking on?,’ we wondered.

7) Hand search of carry-on baggage at the gate. This is where they take away the replacement water you just bought after the x-ray farce. Chugalug again and toss again.

8) Getting on the plane.

That’s eight queues. Fortunately, we had arrived in good time and well hydrated, so this one-time experience was amusing rather than irritating.

So I was thinking about this and thought maybe ITN readers should have an airport-rating scheme to count the queues the officials put us through. This would allow travelers to better estimate the airport transit time and perhaps encourage the officials to tighten things up.

We could call it the Q rating. There could be two of them: D for Departures, or “DQ,” and A for Arrivals, or “AQ.” It would range from zero (no lines — the ideal number) to a score that would count one negative number for each queue. For example, three lines at an airport would give it a score of ‘minus 3.’

Using the actual number of queues quantifies the rating, thus the Buenos Aires EZE airport has a DQ of -8. Are there any worse out there?

Can anyone rate EZE’s AQ?

P.S. The bags arrived on time with us in Miami on American Airlines.

TERRY MALARKEY

Onancock, VA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

After arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on an Oceania Cruises ship, departing from the nearby Ministro Pistarini International Airport (or EZE, in Ezeiza) for the U.S. in February ’07 was an eye-opener.

The queues, darling, the queues!

Let me count for you the ways you queue (line up) at EZE:

1) Pre check-in security check — tickets and documents, basically, and a luggage chain-of-evidence interrogation. Chugalug your water and toss the bottle.

2) Check-in — the usual boarding passes and baggage tags routine.

3) Departing-passenger taxes. You get bar-coded receipts.

4) Emigration officer passport check.

5) X-ray and body scanner line. By observing other passengers afterward, we found we could have kept our shoes on, our cameras in our pockets and our water bottles in our bags. You gotta wonder, ‘Were the machines actually on?’ We bought some more water to replace that confiscated earlier.

6) Passenger-tax check. The bar-coded receipts are laser-scanned. ‘Who are they checking on?,’ we wondered.

7) Hand search of carry-on baggage at the gate. This is where they take away the replacement water you just bought after the x-ray farce. Chugalug again and toss again.

8) Getting on the plane.

That’s eight queues. Fortunately, we had arrived in good time and well hydrated, so this one-time experience was amusing rather than irritating.

So I was thinking about this and thought maybe ITN readers should have an airport-rating scheme to count the queues the officials put us through. This would allow travelers to better estimate the airport transit time and perhaps encourage the officials to tighten things up.

We could call it the Q rating. There could be two of them: D for Departures, or “DQ,” and A for Arrivals, or “AQ.” It would range from zero (no lines — the ideal number) to a score that would count one negative number for each queue. For example, three lines at an airport would give it a score of ‘minus 3.’

Using the actual number of queues quantifies the rating, thus the Buenos Aires EZE airport has a DQ of -8. Are there any worse out there?

Can anyone rate EZE’s AQ?

P.S. The bags arrived on time with us in Miami on American Airlines.

TERRY MALARKEY

Onancock, VA