I FLEW into Kai Tak on April 5 after the Easter break, along with what felt like half of the population of Hong Kong.
I nipped up to the departures level to grab a taxi discharging passengers there and avoid the usual 40-minute festive holiday arrivals taxi queue.
There was no traffic, only empty taxis zipping past to either join their own queue at arrivals or return to Kowloon. Some were occasionally stopping to discharge departing passengers and I tried to board one. I was stopped by a policeman and told to go back downstairs and join the queue.
The taxi was stopped, its doors were open. If I had been allowed to board it would have helped (in a minuscule way) to relieve the huge press at the inadequate taxi facilities at arrivals, as well as saving me (and the taxi driver) a long wait in the queues downstairs.
The rule against boarding on the departures level may make some sense to reduce congestion when there is a large press of cars discharging passengers, and there is a question of fairness to the people already in the queue downstairs.
However, that no one should be allowed to board cabs (already stopped) on the departures level is a lapse of common sense and I would like an explanation for why it is imposed.
IAN DUBIN Wan Chai