Flying in the face of shopping at airports

Letters to the Editor should be sent to Design Week, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX. Fax: 0171-734 1770.

In The Independent of 17 August Terence Conran wrote an article entitled What is an airport for? “It’s for a quick and simple check-in and take-off, not an appalling orgy of consumerism,” he argued.

Well done Terence. You have succeeded in denouncing a dreadful practice of BAA. We from the travel community (particularly business travellers) are sick to death of the “shopping galore syndrome” imposed on us at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.

Finding a seat at Heathrow is becoming a very difficult task (and impossible in Club Class waiting rooms) due to lack of space allocated. But the big question is – BAA has just completed a rostrum selecting 100 design consultancies – to design what? A shopping mall?

The design community should start a campaign to ban or minimise shopping in airports and use them for the purpose they were designed for, or, to quote Conran: “Airports should be civilised gateways from one country (or city) to another.” They should be for the service of travellers and not for out-of-town shopping.

Marcello Minale


Minale Tattersfield International Designers


Surrey TW9 1AJ

Latest articles