"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" said The White Rabbit to Alice right before she followed him down his rabbit hole.
This Victorian fictional character seems to represent many of us in today’s modern world who are constantly rushing around from one place to another, reaching their destinations by a whisker or on some occasions never getting there at all.
48.7% of Londoners have missed a flight at some point in their life, according to a recent poll by leading UK Airport parking company, Airport Carparks and Hotels (APH). Even with their close proximity to London Heathrow and Gatwick Airport, it seems that 33% blamed transport as the main culprit.
These figures may seem staggering but it is no surprise to those who have encountered the infamous M25, also known as the worst road in Britain. This 119 mile motorway is notorious for tailbacks, traffic and tardiness.
There have been many attempts to relieve the traffic on this road. A UK Government leaflet back in 2001 urged commuters to avoid using the M25 during its busy periods from 7-9.30am and 4-7pm "if at all possible". The latest attempt, launched mid June 2015 came in the form of a new traffic safety system. The new development, also known as ‘The Dart Charge,’ identifies and stops oversized vehicles from entering the Dartford Tunnel on their northbound approach. A fee is also payable when entering the tunnel between 6am and 10pm and must be done prior to your journey.
If the locals are struggling this much then what hope do international visitors have? We have put together some top tips on how you can combat rush hour and avoid White Rabbit Syndrome...
1. Leave at least 3 hours breathing space between your arrival at the airport and the time of departure.
This may seem slightly excessive but we have learnt the hard way. Last year one of our guardianship students nearly missed her flight, after hitting gridlock traffic on the M25. Her parents had insisted that 3 hours was too long for her to sit at the airport. This has since prompted us to make the 3 hour rule which, is now strictly adhered to by all our drivers.
2. Add an extra half an hour onto your journey to allow for traffic.
Even if your route to the airport does not look as if it will be affected by traffic, add an extra half an hour onto your journey just incase.
3. Come prepared
Google maps offer live travel updates and provides drivers with alternative routes to help avoid delays. Bright World Driver, Mo Gholami of International Student Transfer Ltd does not leave the house without checking for the latest travel news.
4. Check in online
Most airlines allow you to check in 24 hours before take- off and many have an app which makes checking in an easy and stress-free experience. It also saves queuing time at the airport and allows you to head straight to the Bag Drop.
5. Know who to turn to if the worst happens
If the worst happens and you do indeed miss your flight, or it is cancelled or delayed, make sure you have somewhere to go. If you cannot depart until the following day or you have to wait hours you may need to leave the airport. For international students who are not yet 18, this can be a difficult situation to face. UK law does not allow for anyone under the age of 18 to stay in a hotel alone and many boarding schools or colleges do not allow students to return during the holiday period. Bright World now work in partnership with Airport Angels, a leader in airport services, providing a safe, secure and welcoming environment for young people, from arrival into the UK to their departure home.
Airport Angels have representatives who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 11 of the UK’s international airports. The representatives can sit with our guardianship students until our guardianship team have found an emergency host family for the night. Our Airport Angels also have the ability to go airside, their services can be booked in advance for parents who want their child to be met at the plane door, escorted through security to meet with their driver.
These magical cures haven’t let us down just yet and we are sure that they too will keep you from falling down the rabbit hole.
Posted on December 21st, 2015 @ 09:25 AM