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August 21, 2003 06:00 AM

Broken: London airport sign

 Glen Raphael writes from London:

Imagine a London Gatwick airport passenger in a hurry. He sees the sign pictured below and skims enough to recognize it as saying "This is South Terminal. All airlines operate from this terminal blah blah blah" followed by a list of airlines. Looking down the alphabetical list of airlines, he finds British Air, the airline he's looking for. "Great! I'm in the right place!" he thinks. After wandering about South Terminal for a while and not finding British Air, our passenger goes back to the sign and reads it more carefully.

As it turns out, the sign is an exclusion list; it features a long and imposing list of all the airlines that aren't in this general area. The full text at the top of the sign says "This is South Terminal. All airlines operate from this Terminal EXCEPT those listed below which operate from North Terminal" (emphasis added).


Good catch. Bad Design.

The only reason I can think they did this was maybe they didn't have enough room to list all of the South Terminal airlines (if there was greater variety on the South Term than the North Term). That still doesn't excuse the bad design though, because they could have listed them in two columns.

Posted by: Josef at November 6, 2003 03:50 PM

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