15 AUGUST 1947, Page 5

One of the few drawbacks to flying is that on

a journey of five or six hundred miles as much time is wasted in preliminaries and sequels as is spent in the air. To get to Geneva takes about two hours and a half flying-time ; to Zurich a little longer ; to Paris considerably less. But passengers must pass some half an hour at the London terminal getting tickets checked and luggage weighed and waiting for the bus ; the bus itself takes a full hour to get to Northolt, and there more formalities, over passports and so on, take more time still. On arrival the same formalities and the same bus ride. How can these delays be diminished? I put the question this week to an authority whose business it has been till recently to try to diminish them. The prospect is not particularly hopeful. London traffic congestion is responsible for the slowness of the journey to Northolt, and Heath Row, even when the Cromwell Road is pushed out to it, will take a long time to get to. The idea of a Customs examination in the air has been considered, but that would mean surrendering the space, and consequently the fare, of at least one passenger ; moreover, the luggage in an aeroplane in flight is not easily accessible. So I suppose things must stay roughly as they are. Even so, flying is quicker than going by train or walking.