Leezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 54 Posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3872 times:
Reason I ask is, as some of you know I work there and I always wonder what people must think on arriving into the UK for the first time and walking off the plane into that place. It is so old and outdated and some areas have not been updated since the 50's/60's since it was first built.(talking more T1/2/3 rather than T4)
I personally don't think it gives a good image for the country if that is what people first see when they arrive into Britain for the first time.
What were your first initiall thoughts when you stepped off the a/c at LHR for the first time and did you think it gave a bad image of the UK in general ??
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
PA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1966 posts, RR: 25 Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3827 times:
I go through LHR quite a few times a year, and really hate T3. The moving between the two long concourses always seem to be under repair. There are never enough security screeners on duty (when entering the transit lounge) and there is no place to avoid the smoke while waiting to proceed to your gate. Transfering between terminals has gotten better, although I still have a gripe about not enough security screeners. The queues back up for miles at peak periods. The underground walk to the tube can be quite long and chilly in the wintertime.
Likewise, I've flown BA into T4 a few times, and it is really sadthat T4 was obsolete before the first passenger entered the building... not enough gates from Day 1. I'm afraid I don't have much respect for the BAA. I just hope that the same mistakes are not made all over again with T5. Otherwise, the only hope is to bulldoze the entire place flat, and start over!
But that's just my opinion!
Good question! Thanks for listing to my 2cents.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7853 posts, RR: 8 Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3800 times:
I really enjoy flying into LHR from Asia as you get a fantastic view of London at dawn - enjoyable no matter how many times a fly there. The terminals are a bit long in the tooth, but the people working there have always been very nice and a pleasure to deal with. (I think the accent helps, especially for someone used to an Oklahoma accent!) While it would be nice to see it updated the shops in T3 have been fixed up rather well, Park Lane helps a lot, the Admirals Club is a nice hideout and everyone is very efficient and makes going through there as painless as possible. Some updating may be possible when the new terminal is finished, but it sure beats TB at LAX.
Airjampanam From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 248 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3757 times:
The first time I came into the UK through LHR, I kept coming back to this bunker feeling.
Low roofs and very little open spaces.
I got the impression that there must have been a lot of terrorist activity in the past to warrant such a hunkered down appearance.
I have gotten used to it now, provided I travel BA, any other airline seems to get second class treatment in terms of distance to walk from aircraft .
That being said, I prefer to fly into LHR than LGW due to the VERY, VERY long wait in customs.
At least LHR seems to be properly staffed.
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Asgeirs From Iceland, joined May 2001, 515 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3645 times:
Well, when I first entered the UK, it was through Stansted so I wasn't affected that time because that airport is pretty nice. Same goes for Gatwick.
Heathrow, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. On my second (brief) visit to the UK I entered the country though LHR. I didn't dwell there for any time then and hastily left the airport via the Heathrow-Gatwich bus (which I managed to find after some searching). When I came back a few days later going in the opposite direction (also a brief transit visit), I got to experience T1 in "all its glory". To say it's pretty hard to find your way around there is almost an understatement. Upon arriving, I put my baggage in the temporary baggage storage, which I managed to find although it's pretty well hidden (the secret train platform in the first Harry Potter movie comes to mind). After spending some hours strolling around Hyde Park I returned back to the airport and retrieved my baggage and proceeded to check in. After checking in, I wandered around for some minutes before I happened to find the security gate which lead into the departure hall. The departure hall, by the way, has way too few seats near the restaurants and way to many seats crowded together in the middle of the floor. And whatever you do, stay away from the "Burner King" restaurants, unless you want to taste a dry, burned excuse for a hamburger...
So ends my little LHR horror story.
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Singapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13722 posts, RR: 20 Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3616 times:
Compared to some of the airports I've been to around the world, London's Heathrow Airport (Terminal 3 - I haven't really had enough experience of the others) is a piece of s**t.
Other than the fact that it's a dark terminal and not aesthetically pleasing and the mantra is to dump as many shops as possible in the place, my worst gripe is the fact that there are no hand luggage trolleys for passengers for those long walks (I don't mind - it comes with being in big airport of course) along the concourses and it's not nice to be carrying 15kg with you from a gate which is so far away from the arrivals hall.
WesternDC1010 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 326 posts, RR: 3 Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3566 times:
I just spent 10 days in London and when I arrived, our flight arrived at Terminal 3. I've been to London 3 times in the past few years and I've never thought that the terminal was horrible. It could use a slight updated re-model, but nothing compared to the horror that some international travelers experience when they arrive at LAX's Terminal 6 used by some United International flights. Now THAT'S A SH*T HOLE! What this terminal (and that word 'terminal' fits the decor so appropriately) could really use is a WRECKING BALL!!!
Not to mention the 'oh-so-pleasant' customs and immigration personnel and the 'ever-so-bright-and-flowery' security here in LA. (BTW, I'm being sarcastic on that last comment.)
I'm kind of embarrassed that this is the first impression of the US!
Jcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 41 Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3359 times:
Gatwick isn't all that impressive either. I'm not really impressed with most major European airports with the shortage of jetbridges at most of them, and the fact that they have been piece-mealed together as need arises--it makes connections really inconvenient.
Jfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2958 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3339 times:
It's funny this post is here. I went to London last Wed for the first time and I arrived on VS into T3. After hearing so much about LHR for so many years, I couldn't believe how old and dingy it was. It was also a construction nightmare! After living in NYC for 20 years, it reminds me of LGA.
Still loved it though! Never saw so many 747s. Besides, all big city airports are well used. They can't all be MCO!
FlightLover From Moldova, joined Mar 2004, 338 posts, RR: 10 Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3312 times:
Last time I flew through Heathrow was in January and because my connection time to get from Terminal 4 to 1 was short I was in a hurry to jump on a bus and go to my departure Terminal. I had to wait for a whole 15 minutes before the bus came. I was so annoyed that I told to myself I would never fly again through Heathrow. I will though, love it too much
AnsettB727 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 214 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3277 times:
I must say, this is always one of my gripes when arriving at LHR. T4 and T3 are grotty, in a constant state of (dis)repair (and have been since 1992, my first trip to LHR), and the immigration staff especially always leaves a lot to be desired. I love the UK, and always accept that arriving at LHR is part of the routine, and that if I have to endure an ugly airport, then that's what I have to do. But I do wonder for first-time, potential non-returning visitiors, it's a horrible place to land.
Schweizair From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 139 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3219 times:
I think it speaks for itself when a Monty Python song goes like this:
I'm so worried about what's happening today,
In the Middle East, you know.
And I'm so worried about the baggage retrieval
System they've got at Heathrow.
I got bumped off a flight to Zurich. After running to the nearest counter, I asked for the five best diversions. Among them was LHR. I have nothing against the British. I've been a huge fan of Nigel Mansell for years (and his countrymen hate him!) and my favorite Formula One team is the Williams Team, which is based in Grove. My favorite soccer team: Manchester United! On the other hand, it's no secret that LHR is a bit too big for its britches. I've heard tons of stories from Britons about LHR and their bad experiences. When the counter agent suggested LHR, the Monty Python song rang in my head repeatedly. I begged to be diverted to STN or even ARN. It would be a nice place for spotters but I don't think I'd use the airport if other options were available. Oh, and I am itching to get a chance to see England next year when I rack up some vacation time, maybe the Channel Islands or the West End would be cool.
25 Spike: First impressions on arriving at LHR.... cool, I'm back in the world's best and freest country.
26 Bd1959: It's really a love-hate relationship with LHR, isn't it? On the one hand, we all hate it's utilitarian central terminals - you can almost smell the 19
27 EK413: I think T5 will give everyone a great impression of the UK!
28 ACEregular: I have flown domestically with BA and BD from T1 and the overall feel of that place is awful, it looks like an architects good idea circa 1960, which
29 Navigator: This is an interesting question indeed. I really like the british, I have worked with british companies etc and found it very good indeed. However Hea
30 JMChladek: Well, I visited the UK and LHR for the first time in November. T4 seemed rather utilitarian. It is what it is, a place for passengers to get on and of
31 KEno: Arrival facilities in Heathrow is fine, and most people aren't bothered too much about it because they want to get to the city a.s.a.p. Departure is a
32 Eham: ...why not try London's second busiest airport: Amsterdam Schiphol Only 1 terminal building, good connections and a superb designed building!
33 Eham: ...why not try London's second busiest airport: Amsterdam Schiphol Only 1 terminal building, superb designed, good connections.
34 Qantasclub: i think there is no question that LHR is pretty much a dump, and an extremely disorganised and congested facility. I would't say it give me a bad imp
35 B2707SST: I've flown into or out of LHR six times now and I can't say that it inspires rounds of Land of Hope and Glory. As far as T1 and T3 go, I mostly rememb
36 JGPH1A: Thanks for this thread - warms my heart, really ! As regulars of this site may know, LHR is the bête noire of my existence. I HATE the place - it is
37 Col: LHR is the number one gateway and the poorest. Had to use it twice this year due to scheduling. Long walks, long lines, crowded, bags lost etc etc. As
38 Arsenal@LHR: Passenger numbers have been rising at LHR in the last few years and will continue to rise, so it seems the chaos and poor design of T3 isn't putting o
39 TransIsland: I don't think LHR looks bad at all. It may not be new, but it ain't shabby either. On the other hand, I find the people working at LHR to be amongst t
40 NoelG: If I had a choice, I'd much sooner fly from BHX to AMS/CDG/FRA etc and connect to an international flight there. Not only are they nicer airports with
41 767Lover: The last time I flew into LHR was as a child, so I have no recollection of it (flights from ATL arrive at LGW). However, I agree with the earlier post
42 Willo: "and it's not nice to be carrying 15kg with you from a gate which is so far away from the arrivals hall." don't carry so much luggage onboard!! as to
43 Downingbarry: Heathrow does seem rather grotty - and as the first point of contact for people arriving in our country it seems sensible that we start as we mean to
44 TonyBurr: I fly into/out of LHR frequently on UA. The walk from the plane to Immigration reminds me of Darwin - survival of the fittest! I wonder how elderly pe
45 Loggat: In retrospect of my travels through T1 and T3 at LHR, I have to say, obviously not modern or picturesque, but well made up for it with all the widebod
46 Graham697: I think LHR and LGW would be better if the British Government or London took the airport over. It seems that a lot of the privately operated airports
47 Johnboy: As someone who has flown into LGW (some 20 years ago) and not LHR, I was lucky enough in the past year to finally check out LHR twice -- once while go
48 Airjampanam: LHR is what it is at the end of the day, but there is NO denying the metal on the ground is AMAZING!!! Just look out any of those narrow lil slits for
49 SailorOrion: I've been to LHR a couple of times and, like most, I have pretty mixed feelings about it. It is just a great airport as a spotter, but for a passenger
50 Arsenal@LHR: Admittedly, Heathrow is hardly central London, but would be interesting to see of those making comments about their first impressions of Heathrow, wha
51 BAViscount: Having spent many many many hours at LHR both as a passenger and a 'Sunday Afternoon Spotter' I have to say that the change I've seen in the place ove
52 CPDC10-30: In my last trip through LHR in October 2002, it did indeed give me a bad image of the UK. Being a UK citizen myself, I went through the Nothing to Dec
53 777236ER: The problem is that everyone here would be the first to complain if BAA started charging airlines and shops more to use its airports.
54 KEno: I certainly do not consider myself to live anywhere near London at all. I was in Gatwick today, and as you get onto the main concourse you're greeted
55 LHRman: All I can say to the topic question is ever flown into JFK American Long haul terminal. I was proud to be British as I passed through JFK, nothing but
56 Dantiger: LHR is one of the ugliest places on earth. When arriving it is hard to believe you are in London. One of the most magnificent cities on Earth should b
57 KEno: In 2001 my whole family flew KUL-LHR then a connecting flight to DUB. We arrived at T3 and had to change to another terminal, via a confusing labyrint
58 Kaitak: In fairness to Heathrow, I don't think it gives such a bad image; after all, you approach over London which gives you a fine view of the city centre o