Manchester Airport has started offering a 'Friendly Guide' service which helps passengers through the airport, for a payment of up to £50. Travellers who aren't regular flyers, those with children, and those who don't speak English as a first language are being targeted with the new service.
The 'VIP' service will fast track travellers through all aspects of the airport. But what do you get for this hefty fee?
The airport says its friendly guides are a good way for passengers to make their journey less stressful.
The guide will meet you when you arrive and guide you through check-in, luggage drops, security checks and passport control.
There is also help on the way back to the airport (for another fee), and a fast-track service through immigration. Trolleys, which are normally £1, will be free to those with the special ticket, but the guide won't be able to help with lifting luggage.
Text messages can also be sent to relatives to let them know when you've boarded the plane and a contact number will be given to the customer if they need any more help.
"The purpose of this service is to take the stress out of travelling," said Tricia Williams, Customer Service Director for Manchester Airport. "We recognised from feedback that some passengers who drop off relatives are not familiar with the airport and that this small gesture would be greatly appreciated," she added.
Airport assistanceFree help already exists at all UK airports for disabled passengers.
Airports also have information desks where travellers can go for help and assistance if they need it, and again this service is free.
Therefore the only extra perks of the friendly guide service, which would set you back £90 on a round-trip, are that a person will guide you through the airport and the convenience of avoiding the queues on your return.
So it really appears to be another way for a travel company to profit from offering a service that most people don't really need.
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