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How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth  
User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 25037 times:

Lines at London's major airport are longer than they've ever been, embarrassing the country just three months before the Olympics.
http://www.kittyhawker.com/articles/...Heathrow-became-Hell-on-Earth.html

A lot of other members have given their opinion but personally I feel better arrangement should have been made for this
Hosting the Olympics isn't the same as premiership or other local sporting events it requires a lot of planning and the airport plays a significant role in this and the UK government should have done better arrangement for this.


a lot of other members have given their opinion but personally I feel better arrangement should have been made for this
Hosting the Olympics isn't the same as premiership or other local sporting events it requires a lot of planning and the airport plays a significant role in this and the UK government should have done better arrangement for this.
Its the world we are talking about here.

[Edited 2012-07-22 17:27:47 by srbmod]

90 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 25030 times:
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Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 1):
a lot of other members have given their opinion but personally I feel better arrangement should have been made for this
Hosting the Olympics isn't the same as premiership or other local sporting events it requires a lot of planning and the airport plays a significant role in this and the UK government should have done better arrangement for this.
Its the world we are talking about here.

Agreed however we are not the best at joined up thinking !


User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 25014 times:

UK is a developed country and the expectation is very high for the country and i feel the government have learnt from this now.

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8337 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24905 times:
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Something new after terminal 5 should have been ready by the Olympics at LHR. Terminal 2 should have been open by now.

User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24873 times:

Even the terminal 5 if well planned can still handle the number of passengers and aircraft but i guess some things weren't put into consideration.

User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24754 times:

Hi!

What I don't get is would the lines be much longer than normal. Heathrow pretty much runs at capacity even without the Olympics so I can't imagine many more planes landing during the day. Or are the planes just much fuller? Anyway Uk border controls have always puzzled me. For example if you want no customs just take the channel tunnel. There is absolutely no customs facility for people getting off the channel tunnel in Folkstone (as opposed to the ferry). I have never seen any Uk customs at the terminal in Calais either. If anyone wants to bring cash/drugs/money into the UK it seems like a big opportunity.

Many thanks.

Pierre


User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 820 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24695 times:

....and now for something completely different.....

Upon arrival at LHR from SFO on VS20 last Wednesday I was stunned. No line at immigration. Process took 2 minutes max.

Maybe my timing was good or the VS terminal is better than others but I had heard the horror stories and was expecting the worst. Happy day.


User currently offlineSpeedbirdie From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 916 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24558 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 8):

He wasn't comparing SFO to LHR. Read the post again..

Personally when I land at T5 every day the queues have been non existent. It's all for show though as I'm pretty sure after the beloved Olympics it will all go back to being hell on earth. Makes me laugh.



Never give up..
User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24467 times:
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Quoting Ps76 (Reply 6):
There is absolutely no customs facility for people getting off the channel tunnel in Folkstone (as opposed to the ferry). I have never seen any Uk customs at the terminal in Calais either. If anyone wants to bring cash/drugs/money into the UK it seems like a big opportunity.

Customs (as opposed to immigration and policing) is not so important on the tunnel within the the EU.

That said commercials DO have a hard time.

There are plenty of seizures and you do know they continue to monitor and intercept after the port frequently using the intelligence approach will let goods through and trace to final destination where arrests can be made.

Mules rarely used through the ports more rather its bulk in containers and modified vehicles.

As for St Pancras - Eurostar its a relatively small operation with an arrival every half hour of 700.


User currently offlinekl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5131 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24448 times:

Heathrow together with Paris CDG have always been a nightmare for connecting pax. T5 only made life better for pax connecting on BA and co. So nothing new here.  

User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24363 times:

You right it might be nothing new but when a city is hosting the world any issues it encounters easily become a global issue and it will draw attention from every part of the globe.

User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24345 times:

Hi!

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 11):
Customs (as opposed to immigration and policing) is not so important on the tunnel within the the EU.

That said commercials DO have a hard time.

There are plenty of seizures and you do know they continue to monitor and intercept after the port frequently using the intelligence approach will let goods through and trace to final destination where arrests can be made.

Mules rarely used through the ports more rather its bulk in containers and modified vehicles.

Thanks for the info. It's good to know they are doing something even if it's in the background. The British are definitely more strict with passports though on the Dover-Calais route and lines can take 15 minutes sometimes. The French vrey rarely check anything either entering or leaving.

Anyway sorry am going very off topic.

Many thanks.

Pierre

[Edited 2012-07-22 08:55:58]

User currently offlinekl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5131 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 24240 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 13):
You right it might be nothing new but when a city is hosting the world any issues it encounters easily become a global issue and it will draw attention from every part of the globe.

Yes, you are proof of that, being on the other side of the world  


User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 24210 times:
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Quoting Ps76 (Reply 14):
The French vrey rarely check anything either entering or leaving.

France has no need to check they are a Schengan signatory and comply fully with the EU freedom of movement obligations. UK citizens are treated just as any other

For some reason the flow of illegal NON EU migrants as not UK-Mainland


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 23832 times:

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 14):
The British are definitely more strict with passports though on the Dover-Calais route and lines can take 15 minutes sometimes.

I took the tunnel last week, with my family in the car. The vehicle queue for French exit controls was about 15 mins - except the French agent didn't even open our passports, and waved us on. It is the UK agents who caused the queue, as each passport needs checking against the computer, and photos checking against each person. I was even asked to remove my glasses.

On the other hand, I arrived at LHR T5 after the Berlin meeting, all 6 desks at the border control were manned, and noone at all waiting... Very quick service.

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 23777 times:
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Quoting signol (Reply 18):
It is the UK agents who caused the queue, as each passport needs checking against the computer, and photos checking against each person. I was even asked to remove my glasses.

That is exactly the problem in nut shell.

The Uk are contravening EU free movement treaty obligations by counting in and counting out at the frontier of all including EU citizens.

That is simple unnecessary.

Differing controls are required beyond the EU.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 23674 times:

I suggest people flying to London connect at AMS or one of the other other hubs in Europe with service to very convenient London City Airport (LCY). What a contrast with LHR!

I spent last weekend in London and flew LX GVA-LCY-GVA. Nothing could be more convenient. On arrival Friday evening (probably one of the busiest times of the week at LCY), I was at the DLR train station within 5 minutes after leaving the aircraft with zero wait at immigration. And even if you have to wait for checked bags, they're delivered very quickly, often before you reach the belts.

And on departure Monday evening, also at a peak time (1840), although the airport seemed very busy there was no wait at the security check and the security staff were even friendly and polite.

LCY reminds me of air travel in the old days when it was actually a pleasant, hassle-free experience. Without loading bridges, they also use both front and rear aircraft doors to board and deplane which significantly speeds up those processes. And the steep approach to LCY's short runway is also entertaining, and rarely with any of the tedious holding patterns very common for flights to LHR.


User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1541 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 23645 times:

Went through MRS last Sunday. Took 70 mins...one person at duty in the booths meticulously checking passports (my 7 year old sons was scanned twice). The electronic auto machines were busted

Back at LGW (North T) on Thursday. Off plane, bags collected and through immigration....on kerb after 20 minutes

Focus is on London at the moment and quite rightly as there should be adequate resources, but one never reads about the mind numbing queues at places like Miami, Saigon, Kuala Lumpur, all of which i've experienced in the last 18 months. Immigration at KL took 40 mins even with a "Fast Track" pass from EK.



L1011 - P F M
User currently offlinesumma767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2559 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 23534 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 19):
The Uk are contravening EU free movement treaty obligations by counting in and counting out at the frontier of all including EU citizens.

Actually, the UK does not yet count out passengers leaving the country, although I believe there was a plan do do that. In any case, I don't think that they are contravening anything. They UK -and Ireland- simply opted out of the Schengen agreement. EU nationals are treated just as UK citizens, where one is required to have an ID check on entering the country.

It must be pointed out the story in the opening post is 3 months old, and things have improved a great deal. There were indeed some long lines at times due to a combination of tougher checks (same as in the ferry ports already described), cuts in number in Border Agency staff -in part due to the implementation of E-gates- and the tearing up of the contract between the the E-gates contractor and the government. A lot of extra staff were being added in the run up to the Olympics, and no important delays have been reported as athlete delegations have been arriving.

The E-gates issues is, however, frustrating as they worked brilliantly for a couple of years, and not having them operational is a downer.
I really hope that the government sorts something out with the original contractor or another one so that one can have the option of using the E-gates all the time.


User currently offlinecol From Malaysia, joined Nov 2003, 2107 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 22985 times:

Quoting shankly (Reply 21):
Focus is on London at the moment and quite rightly as there should be adequate resources, but one never reads about the mind numbing queues at places like Miami, Saigon, Kuala Lumpur, all of which i've experienced in the last 18 months. Immigration at KL took 40 mins even with a "Fast Track" pass from EK.

HKG, by far the worse, and KUL is bad a the peak times.


User currently offlineLX138 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 396 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22843 times:

Sorry to the OP but you are just scaremongering. That article uses the words 'if' and 'maybe' and 'could'. There has not been any cases reported of Olympic traffic being held up at immigration thats worthy of note.

There were queuing issues a month ago, and there are not acceptable, but it appears things are in hand, so it would be right to say the goverment have it perfectly under control as it currently stands.

Make no mistake, the press are waiting, with bated breath for any wiff of a story about queues at the moment. If anything LHR has been far calmer than anyone imagined and the newspapers are frustrated that they haven't anything to write.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 19):
The Uk are contravening EU free movement treaty obligations by counting in and counting out at the frontier of all including EU citizens.

I don't know what you are going on about!? Yet another Daily Mail reader?



StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22962 times:
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Quoting LX138 (Reply 24):
I don't know what you are going on about!? Yet another Daily Mail reader?

I am a far from a Tory Mail reader as is possible to conceive.
I am very Pro Europe, libertarian and supporter of joining the Schengan agreement.

Our current and indeed previous governments are xenophobic not me


User currently offlinemutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22894 times:

Thrugh T5 from door open to car park via immigration and bag collection in 20 minutes

Last Tuesday through from door pen to car via immigration (no bag) 8 minutes

These times have been pretty consistent for me since T5 opened except of course whent here is disruption somewhere.

This post is terribly misleading - insulting even!

By all means post if you get stuck in unreasonably long queues -but dont quote newspapers hypothetical scenario analyses!!


User currently offlineLX138 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 396 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22899 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 25):
I am a far from a Tory Mail reader as is possible to conceive.
I am very Pro Europe, libertarian and supporter of joining the Schengan agreement.

Our current and indeed previous governments are xenophobic not me

But what makes you think they are contravening EU rules?



StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
User currently offlinephen From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22959 times:

I've been at LHR T1 on 4 separate occasions in the last 10 days or so including today and I can safely say things are running quite smoothly. There have been no major queues for immigration in T1 that I've seen and the special Olympic immigration lane is helping this a lot.

User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 23303 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 25):
I am very Pro Europe, libertarian and supporter of joining the Schengan agreement.

Our current and indeed previous governments are xenophobic not me

We are not in the Schengen accord, so we still have border controls, primarily as London being a world city has massive existing immigrant populations that any incomer can disappear into. This is not so much a problem in much of Schengen where many of these people have no support mechanism and stick out like a sore thumb. A lot of people do come here illegally, breaking the law as they have no intention to return home. I think as a Londoner, in the reak world, pragmatically we're reaching breaking point with schools and local services. The hugh population bump in last weeks census publication was not a surprise to people on the ground.
I think it is very much a minority view that the UK would given those circumtances be appropriate to join the Schengen Accord which I agree works well, and also in saying so, I do not accept those who wish for strong and fair borders are xenophobes. The British are tolerant but good intentions of certain New Labour ministers, who now admit they were wrong have gotten us into a heap of bother the current lot are hopeless at getting us out of. How you can think the Blair / Brown government who opened the borders wide open are xenophobes is beyond me. They understood the economic benefit without acknowleding the social cost.

Anyway I came in from the non Schengen B gates at Brussels this afternoon with only two minutes in the queue at the Border in T1.


User currently onlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 7
Reply 26, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 22958 times:
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Quoting skipness1E (Reply 29):
I think as a Londoner, in the reak world, pragmatically we're reaching breaking point with schools and local services. The hugh population bump in last weeks census publication was not a surprise to people on the ground.

And the vast majority of that is Legal followed by visa over stayers

I would much rather immigration seek down those over stayers (they already do as you well know) and the levels of immigration has peaked anyway.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 29):
I think it is very much a minority view that the UK would given those circumtances be appropriate to join the Schengen Accord which I agree works well, and also in saying so, I do not accept those who wish for strong and fair borders are xenophobes. The British are tolerant but good intentions of certain New Labour ministers, who now admit they were wrong have gotten us into a heap of bother the current lot are hopeless at getting us out of.

Understood view and the very last paragraph agreed - the Eaton boys have no ideas.

How you can think the Blair / Brown government who opened the borders wide open are xenophobes is beyond me. They understood the economic benefit without acknowleding the social cost - Agreed.


User currently offlinegingersnap From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2010, 893 posts, RR: 5
Reply 27, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 20466 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):

....and now for something completely different.....

Upon arrival at LHR from SFO on VS20 last Wednesday I was stunned. No line at immigration. Process took 2 minutes max.

Maybe my timing was good or the VS terminal is better than others but I had heard the horror stories and was expecting the worst. Happy day.

FWIW I've never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes when arriving at T3 after a Transatlantic crossing.



Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1618 posts, RR: 7
Reply 28, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 20089 times:

IMHO the problem with LHR is simply too much airport on too little a piece of geography.

Here in the US we have what is called "eminent domain." This means that the state or federal government can take private land at the going price against the wishes of the owners if it is deemed to be in the public interest. This is what should have been done at LHR and not allowed the lovely commmunities of Heston, Hounslow, Slough, Drayton and let's not forget Windsor to have successfully squashed a national asset and necessity like Heathrow.

LGW was and is a great airport with fast train connections to the city right from below the main terminal. Stansted, despite mighty efforts, has never really fulfilled its role.

At this point I really do not see any improvement coming any time soon. The new runway was quashed and despite glitzy new terminals capacity is still restricted and has no hope of improving unless HM Government steps in and takes the land to increase the footprint. To have a world-class international airport you need a lot of land.



Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinekdhurst380 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 19488 times:

After my LGW flight was cancelled on Friday, and transferred to LHR, I was reminded why I choose to fly from LGW.

Whilst it wasn't busy, the staff attitude was horrendous. Completely unfriendly and surly. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that any visitor should have to face the BAA jobsworths.


User currently offlineBeyondBristol From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 60 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18480 times:

I haven't posted here for a while, but wow, all of this LHR hatred is just starting to get a bit annoying.

I do not understand where all these claims come from? As a regular through LHR, my wait has never been any different to any other major international airport, and on several occasions, surprisingly quick. I don't know which Heathrow everyone else on A.net and all these newspapers are flying to. Maybe it's the non UK/EU passport holder queue?

Fine there's no trees or string quartets, but in terms of it's job as an airport, I think it is doing a pretty decent job. And this includes during the Olympics, having just arrived through T3 and T5 in the last 10 days.

Hell on Earth??? I might go out and commit a few more sins if LHR is as bad as hell gets.



I'll admit it...I'm a BA & VS cheerleader.
User currently offlineflyingdoc From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18301 times:
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I flew ATL-LHR about two weeks ago, arriving in Terminal 4 at about 7 am. I have flown into LHR several times and I've never seen such long lines. Fortunately, i was in business class, so I got a FastPass pass, but even with it, I stood in line for 1.5 hours. I can't image how long it took in the other line. 2-3 hours probably. Maybe it was time of day, but as I said, I've never seen such long immigration lines in the UK.

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 3
Reply 32, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18200 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
Here in the US we have what is called "eminent domain." This means that the state or federal government can take private land at the going price against the wishes of the owners if it is deemed to be in the public interest. This is what should have been done at LHR and not allowed the lovely commmunities of Heston, Hounslow, Slough, Drayton and let's not forget Windsor to have successfully squashed a national asset and necessity like Heathrow.

We have a similar system here in the UK called compulsory purchase orders, the problem is that politicians often see them as vote losers, people don't like to see their home being seized with little right to resist.

All this LHR knocking has become rather tedious, we all have memories of huge queues when entering various countries. I can recall standing in the snow at Gothenburg because all the arriving passengers on FR couldn't even fit in the terminal. When we reached the front, we found 2 immigration officers for a full 738, there could only be 2 officers as there were onlyltwo desks !!. MCO when the arrival hall is already full to the brim as two 744's arrived just before our flight, and a few others.


User currently offlinemattya9 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 17376 times:

After reading the article and everyone's 2 cents on this subject (in this post and in past posts about LHR) here's my question, if the 2 current runways are operating at 99% capacity, and there are these long lines everywhere around the airport, what good will adding a 3rd runway do? Forgive me if I'm being ignorant (I've never flown in or out of LHR), but it sounds to me the capacity issue lies within the terminals and the lack of space there. May someone with more knowledge and experience flying in and out of there please enlighten me how a third runway will help with the capacity problem when adding another runway will just bring more airplanes and people into an already maxed out airport. Please also keep in mind I am not for or against expansion of LHR; I'm simply just interested in subject after reading about it for a while.

OPS 5



"You can do anything once."
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3818 posts, RR: 51
Reply 34, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 16952 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 25):
A lot of people do come here illegally, breaking the law as they have no intention to return home.

Is it any wonder? Great Britain has been colonizing the globe for centuries, expanding the reach of the Empire into every thinkable corner of the earth, sending Englishmen out to build settlements and colonies in all these places, and now you are surprised that the original people of those places do the same because your country has such a high standard of living only because their country made you as successful as you are today?

And before anybody slams me for being off topic, this post is precisely ON topic, probably as on topic as it gets, because this seems to be the heart of the problems at LHR.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineRichcandy From UK - England, joined Aug 2001, 719 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 15995 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 14):
I took the tunnel last week, with my family in the car. The vehicle queue for French exit controls was about 15 mins - except the French agent didn't even open our passports, and waved us on. It is the UK agents who caused the queue, as each passport needs checking against the computer, and photos checking against each person. I was even asked to remove my glasses.

I use the tunnel once a month, and thats pretty standard.

Northbound from time to time French passport control will stop cars and ask to see the passports. I have also been asked where I have been and whats the purpose of my trip, however this is rare. More frequently but again not that often they will randomly pull cars aside and do a full search. UK passport control check every passport. 15 mins is not too bad, for summer. I have had waits of around 45 mins a few times and once Eurotunnel closed check in and had passengers waiting on the bridge before the check in machines because UK passport control was taking so long. Again after passport control they randomly do pull cars aside and do a full search. Thats happened to me once.

Quoting Ps76 (Reply 5):
Or are the planes just much fuller? Anyway Uk border controls have always puzzled me. For example if you want no customs just take the channel tunnel. There is absolutely no customs facility for people getting off the channel tunnel in Folkstone (as opposed to the ferry). I have never seen any Uk customs at the terminal in Calais either. If anyone wants to bring cash/drugs/money into the UK it seems like a big opportunity.

As I said above there are customs checks just after UK passport control. However they randomly pull cars aside to have them checked. My guess is that most customs checks are carried out on the back of information received, so its less to do with random stoping and more a case of they know who they are looking for.

What I find very strange is that sometimes when I fly domestically in the UK on arrive I get asked to show my passport. Don't really understand what the point is in that.

Alex


User currently offlinen729pa From UK - England, joined Jan 2011, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14887 times:

A lot of it is luck I think....I arrived at T3 from MEL recently, fairly early in the morning but behind both a SQ and another QF A380 and when we got to the Border Control, it took I'm guessing 15 mins to get through in the EU queue. Flew in from FCO at T4 since, and sailed through and was out in about 15 mins aircraft door to terminal door, and similiar experience at T3 from STO 3 weeks ago.

Then again going through passport control in FCO you are split into queues based on your passport (I can't remember the exact split now), but at a UK passport holder we went into this one queue that was half the size of the one next door and as if to make it worse for them, there was faces peering in from the other side wondering how or why we were getting through so quickly....quickly...still took 30 mins+ and that was leaving the country.

When I went to Australia recently, I arrived at PER at 4:45am, and we queued for about 15-20 mins, then moved onto the baggage reclaim and onto the X-Ray.....fortunately I must have a trustworthly looking face or something as my card must have been marked as I was pointed towards the exit and bypassed the x-raying process. But I was only the fourth person I saw directed that way. A similiar thing happened in BNE last year too, when the officer looked at my card and saw my job, he asked who I worked for..."carry on sir" and I was directed to the exit.

I don't find LHR any more frustrating than anywhere else, I was disappointed with AMS last year, long queues there and only a few desks serving. I confess I've never transitted through LHR, which might be a different affair, but it can't be any worse than airports that have a domestic terminal one side of the runway and the international one the opposite side and a bus that doesn't appear to run to any schedule. Some airports are confusing, and I can see how can get lost, but it's worth checking these kind of things before hand to see if you need to change terminals etc rather then just arriving at a busy airport like LHR and wondering what to do next.

It's easy to knock LHR, I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch, but there are a lot worse out there. What annoys us I think is looking at a row of unmanned desks at a busy period and there are only 3-4 open (it's the same shopping!) and a massive queue. Man every desk at the busy periods (otherwise what are they there for??), at least that helps and it's not so bad then if you know you're being serviced asap, but its annoying if you know they could open some more desks but don't (or won't!)

Border Control can be a nuisance it can be dream too, like I said it's a bit of luck too.


User currently offlineeurowings From UK - England, joined Sep 2011, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14529 times:

Quoting n729pa (Reply 37):
I confess I've never transitted through LHR, which might be a different affair, but it can't be any worse than airports that have a domestic terminal one side of the runway and the international one the opposite side and a bus that doesn't appear to run to any schedule. Some airports are confusing, and I can see how can get lost, but it's worth checking these kind of things before hand to see if you need to change terminals etc rather then just arriving at a busy airport like LHR and wondering what to do next.

It can take a while in my experience, my most common connection being T3 International Arrival - T5 Domestic Departure. Firstly, it can be a good 15 minutes walk to reach the buses at T3 from the gate, and when the bus leaves that's followed by a 10-15 minutes ride. Then for domestic connectipns you have to negotiate the passport control queues and have your photograph taken to be permitted into T5. It's not the worst experience out there, but after my long flight it's not really my favourite airport for making connections at.

[Edited 2012-07-23 01:08:13]

User currently offlineScottishDavie From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2011, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 13560 times:

As someone who doesn't give a hoot about the Olympics and won't be near London until early September I think the most important question is what will happen after the circus has finished and everybody has gone home. Will the "improvements" remain in place or will things revert to the situation described in the original post? Given that much of the blame lies with the UK government whose anti-public sector ethos has led to the cutting of too many staff too quickly at the same time as they are driven by the xenophobic right-wing tabloid press to regard every foreigner as a potential illegal immigrant, I think I can probably answer my own question.

http://www.channel4.com/news/uk-border-agency-cut-too-many-staff


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 39, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13191 times:

It's no good I can't keep my gob shut any longer.

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 38):
Given that much of the blame lies with the UK government whose anti-public sector ethos has led to the cutting of too many staff too quickly

The departing Labour government in a petty and bitter parting shot left a note at the Treasury if you remember....

Dear Chief Secretary, I'm afraid there is no money. Kind regards - and good luck! Liam

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8688470.stm

The blame lies squarely with the over-spending 'former' government.

All the coalition is doing is reigning it back in whilst trying to reduce the defecit. (that's why interest rates are low and the country still has a modicum of respect shown it by the ratings agencies and business community)

As for LHR the airport is currently handling upto 240,000 passengers A DAY and all is running smoothly.

Many airports around the world won't come near that level of volume for a long time yet.

I arrived at JFK a couple of weeks ago and had to queue for 2 hours and thank god we landed 5 mins before Cathay.

Did I moan ? No,

I'm afarid it's like the saying goes...

'you pay your money and you take your chance'

Having been long-haul crew for a major airline for a long time I can say that in my experience of airports LHR is not 'hell on earth' it is just a very very busy airport dealing with the terror threat and a cash strapped government.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineRichie72 From Sweden, joined Sep 2007, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13079 times:

I must be a lucky guy beacause all the times I have travelled to LHR this year I have breezed through .

Latest flight was on Friday arriving T5 at 20h10 ...max 5 minutes queue . Went through departure security yesterday at 6.30pm and lines were non existent through security .


User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 12500 times:

In all my experience at LHR (both transfer and arriving/departing with LHR as the origin/destination) I've never had long queues. The longest time I've waited transferring was a couple of years ago and that was for security (about half an hour). Granted there was some bad press a month or two ago and there were lines at most UK airports because of a lack of border staff. This isn't LHR's fault or BAA's, this is the UK Border Agency. As for hell on earth, even being stuck there for 3 days when the snow came down on my own with no assistance from BD, I wouldn't even call that hell on earth. If you think standing in line for half an hour at immigration is bad, I've stood for 2 hours at RUH - that's nothing compared to what most people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines etc queue up for when entering Saudi Arabia. The point is out of all the airports I've been to, LHR really isn't that bad! Yes there are one or two delays on the ground or you have to hold for a while, you still actually arrive on time as there's schedule padding for this. As many have said above, they've been through LHR recently (I haven't) and they've not had a problem.

I think the daily mail seems to enjoy picking on LHR and as they exaggerate everything to begin with, it just makes it worse. I don't think they've ever once praised something aviation related so don't take what they say to be true (as with many newspapers/news articles).


User currently offlinejumpjets From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2012, 806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12351 times:

"May someone with more knowledge and experience flying in and out of there please enlighten me how a third runway will help with the capacity problem"

The proposed new runway [now abandoned] would have been a fair distance from the existing terminals - and I know that doesn't seem to bother people at the likes of AMS - but I think the answer to your question would be that with a new runway would come a new terminal and a whole new load of airport infrastructure. Otherwise as you suggest adding a new runway would just be adding to the problems of overcrowding.


User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12491 posts, RR: 46
Reply 43, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12121 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Wait, you mean at a busy international airport, there may be queus from time to time?   

I've travelled extensively from Heathrow over the last few years. In all honesty, it's no better or worse than any other major international hub that I've been through. Generally, I've found T5 to be very efficient.

Hell on Earth? I think your hellometer need recalibrating.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineScottishDavie From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2011, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11935 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 39):
The blame lies squarely with the over-spending 'former' government.

All the coalition is doing is reigning it back in whilst trying to reduce the defecit. (that's why interest rates are low and the country still has a modicum of respect shown it by the ratings agencies and business community)

Really? From where I stand it looks like they're doing what Tory governments always do - shafting the less well off while ensuring that their wealthy bankster pals who bear so much responsibility for getting us into the mess in the first place can continue to enjoy bonuses of jaw-dropping obscenity courtesy of the UK taxpayer. Even the IMF is starting to twitch about the extent of the cuts:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18917898


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11897 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 43):
Hell on Earth? I think your hellometer need recalibrating.

Totally. (unless there is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a Champagne bar in the green room in Hell)

The only reason I had problems at JFK was because 2/3 of the people on the 747 (transits) didn't speak English as their first language (not a criticism before I get flamed) and had filled their forms in incorrectly.

So hardly the fault of any inefficiency at JFK.

Just depends on the day and what time you arrive etc etc



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 46, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11859 times:

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 44):
From where I stand it looks like they're doing what Tory governments always do - shafting the less well off while ensuring that their wealthy bankster pals who bear so much responsibility for getting us into the mess in the first place can continue to enjoy bonuses of jaw-dropping obscenity courtesy of the UK taxpayer

Billions of £££ in tax receipts dear fellow.

Catch 22.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineeire123 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2011, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11795 times:

The boarder staff have been on a work to rule leading up to the Olympics.. Another union tactic to increase their pay and hold the rest of the taxpayers to random. I'd say privatize the UK border agency!!

User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 48, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11820 times:

I haven't seen any queues longer at LHR than I have at JFK or CDG or any airport in the Middle East.

Is this all sensationalism to drum up attention for the Games? Without the sport itself to write about this can be the Olympic themed story to pad us out till the games start.

However, I would say that UK administration in all government departments is breaking down. Cheap unskilled, uneducated labour who couldn't give a monkies if the client is dissatisfied.

There is something wrong with these games, bad karma and all that.


User currently offlineeire123 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2011, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11784 times:

The border staff have been on a work to rule leading up to the Olympics.. Another union tactic to increase their pay and hold the rest of the taxpayers to random. I'd say privatize the UK border agency!!

User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 50, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11565 times:

Quoting babybus (Reply 48):
However, I would say that UK administration in all government departments is breaking down. Cheap unskilled, uneducated labour who couldn't give a monkies if the client is dissatisfied.

A friend of mine has recently fully recovered from extremely aggressive breast cancer and full reconstructive surgery on the British National Health Service.

I don't think she and most certianly I would share your view however much we respect your opinion.

Quoting babybus (Reply 48):
There is something wrong with these games, bad karma and all that.

?

57% of a 20% turnout voted to strike in the ballot concerning these workers.

Mathematics is not my strong point but even I can see that all is required is a simple change in the law if 10% of the total workforce in any one area can hold the country to ransom.

Have you seen the Olympic Park by the way ?

The venues are amazing.

[Edited 2012-07-23 05:06:58]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 51, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11537 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 43):
Hell on Earth?

I experienced this a few months ago, for sure!

Arriving at BHX at 00:10 on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning, from FUE on a full ZB A321, shortly after two TCX 757's arrived from similar destinations. Travelling with tired wife and grumpy 18 month old (no buggy either, it was in the hold so not available till baggage reclaim), we had to queue for 90 minutes, as there were only two staff at the passport control gates, and over 600 people in single file.

Tremendous fun 'twas not.

Back on thread, I've been through T5 once in the past few months and it was probably the best airport experience I've ever had. Smooth, no hassle, no queues and courteous and efficient service from all concerned. Going through T3 a few years ago wasn't so much fun, but we had just landed after QF and 9V so that probably made things worse.



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 140 posts, RR: 1
Reply 52, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10827 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 34):
And before anybody slams me for being off topic, this post is precisely ON topic, probably as on topic as it gets, because this seems to be the heart of the problems at LHR.

Totally on topic; this is one of the reasons Heathrow has the intercontinental traffic it does and one of the reasons I use the place is to do business and visit friends and relatives in far flung corners of the former British Empire.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
IMHO the problem with LHR is simply too much airport on too little a piece of geography.

Well yes, but there is still a fair amount of space to build improvements and despite what the NIMBYs are saying, the area that is planned for the third runway is just another scrubby tract of land with a few villages that are claimed to date back to the 11th century but are, in fact, housing estates of 1960s origin. Maybe the odd church and barn will have to be deleted or moved, but this is about the greater good and whilst I would not advocate building an airport in a national park, historic city centre of area of outstanding natural beauty, we are not talking about any of these with the third runway.

If they do build the third runaway, the smart thing to do would be to move the maintenance hangers to the north and use that space to build a terminal analogous to T5 in size and capacity. Then, just like in Atlanta continue the T5 transit system the whole length of the airfield and have ten plus satellites and then the extra capacity will have been found for the airport. Won't happen, the new T2 being built in the central island has ruined a plan this this for Heathrow...maybe the lesson is that airport planners in the UK lack the foresight to adequately plan ahead?


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 53, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10550 times:

Quoting eire123 (Reply 47):
I'd say privatize the UK border agency!!

Ridiculous, why not privatiSe the Police, Army and Judiciary while you're at it. Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to set up the East India Company..... Some things are appropriate to the office of the state. When people can have you strip searched and held against your will, then that should be under public control. It's not as if you can make a case that G4S would be any better now is it?

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 52):
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
IMHO the problem with LHR is simply too much airport on too little a piece of geography.

Yeah.... not so much really, the issue is rich and influential people under one of the approaches, the geography of physically expanding the site is not too much of an issue. Two small villages, Sipson and Stanwell stand in the way but that is not insurmountable.


User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 140 posts, RR: 1
Reply 54, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10399 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 53):
Two small villages, Sipson and Stanwell stand in the way but that is not insurmountable.

Well, said. May I point out that neither is traditional village in the cricket green, ivy clad buildings, ancient church Miss Marple tradition and are in-fact, extended housing estates and nothing more.* Personally, if I lived there I would welcome some government cash to move somewhere else.

*My wife was the financial manager of the charity linked to the Concorde spare parts auction a few years back when I was still in the RAF but on my way out due to injury. As a result of this, I was forced on many occasions to go to fund raising events in and around Heathrow wearing my CS95s and limping around the place helping my wife and it was at the time of all the NIMBY nonsense about the third runway. I remembered thinking at the time, 'Why would anyone want to prevent this from being bulldozed?'

Preventing LHR from growing makes a lot more sense at a Hampstead dinner party than it does to the average business person in the UK economy.


User currently offlineokees From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 424 posts, RR: 5
Reply 55, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10423 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 6):
Upon arrival at LHR from SFO on VS20 last Wednesday I was stunned. No line at immigration. Process took 2 minutes max.

Flew into LHR last saturday, very quick immigration. Took about 5 minutes. My parents arrived during peak rush hour, took them 12 minutes. There were staff timing average processing times at each immigration booth. They are definitely doing their best to keep things flowing smoothly and quickly.

On the flip side, arriving into YUL last night at 11 PM, very little traffic at the airport at that time, and it took me about an hour to clear immigration, pick up my bag and clear customs. So all in all, all this fuss about LHR being a disaster and hell on earth or whatever you call it is overblown..



mobs jakis
User currently offlineglideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10194 times:

Thank goodness I can watch from my living room on NBC. I'd be scarred to death across the pond.


To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 140 posts, RR: 1
Reply 57, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10145 times:

Quoting glideslope (Reply 56):
Thank goodness I can watch from my living room on NBC. I'd be scarred to death across the pond.

Dude, I am an Anglo-American growing up Pennsylvania and frankly, I feel just as safe back home in North London than I do in the US.

It is not all bad; Heathrow may be somewhat organic in its planning and the Olympic park a below par effort compared to Beijing or Sydney (equal to Athens, maybe) but the chances of my being blown to bits are somewhat lower than central Pennsylvania and guess what?

I needed surgery last year, it was free, done by experts in a wonderful London teaching hospital and I am still here!


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 58, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 9932 times:

Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan.

Anyway interested in aviation should be in heaven at LHR not hell.....all those heavies trundling around the place etc

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 57):
and the Olympic park a below par effort compared to Beijing or Sydney

Below par in what way ?

Did you know by the way that the tower next to the stadium is made from old washing machines and cars etc etc



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineAussieItaliano From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 442 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9879 times:

This is all completely overblown.

While LHR can certainly use some improvements, "hell on earth" is a bit overstated.

There are plenty of airports that I consider to be far worse than LHR in certain respects. For example, I've never had a good experience with customs at LAX, and I hold a US passport. It has always taken me at least an hour to get through passport control. Also, ORD and JFK can be perfect proof that even with more runways, it doesn't always mean no congestion.

I do think LHR needs to be a 4 runway airport, and will remain the main London airport for years to come, but to describe it as "hell on earth" is a huge overstatement.



LHR - The Capital of the World
User currently offlinestarrymarkb From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2011, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9796 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
Here in the US we have what is called "eminent domain." This means that the state or federal government can take private land at the going price against the wishes of the owners if it is deemed to be in the public interest. This is what should have been done at LHR and not allowed the lovely commmunities of Heston, Hounslow, Slough, Drayton and let's not forget Windsor to have successfully squashed a national asset and necessity like Heathrow.

The problem isn't the areas immediately around the airport (Hownslow, Hayes, Drayton) by and large these accept the noise in return for the jobs the airport provides. The worst complainers are those further out in the richer areas of Ealing and Richmond (wouldn't be surprised are if they held key positions in the civil service   ) The third runway would add another flightpath over more posh areas (the residents of which have suddenly become interested in these villages in the way of the new runway)


User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 140 posts, RR: 1
Reply 61, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9087 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 58):
Did you know by the way that the tower next to the stadium is made from old washing machines and cars etc etc

Really? Might be for a separate thread, but I wonder if it is possible to use some recycled materials in aircraft.

As for the LHR debate, well anyone who did O-Level Geography can explain the concept of 'ribbon development' and how London is a series of towns and villages that somehow agglomerated together along the path of twisty roads that had been there since the middle ages. Even with a planning regime in place since 1947, the process is one of knitting together separate parts and there is, in-fact, only a single piece of legislation that counts as a statutory master plan, the one which established the green-belt around large cities.

Ergo, LHR has grown and will always grow in an incremental pattern and the transport links will be cobbled together, somehow. The Crossrail project is a good example, Paris had the cross city lines in the RER since the late 1970s and crikey, even Glasgow has two, but London, well it has taken time but it might happen in 2018(ish) and even this government would have liked to cancel it on coming into power, but the project was already too far gone to cancel without huge losses.

So, that is that, Heathrow will get another runway, eventually, keep pushing in slots and traffic and will continue to be threatened as a hub by Frankfurt and Paris. However, I put my ten pence worth on LHR continuing to grow, just not in the nice planned way found in an airport like Dulles and London's transport links will continue to grow, just not in the nice planned way found in the DC Metro.

Wow, 25 years in Britain and I have become utterly phlegmatic and resigned to my fate....


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1618 posts, RR: 7
Reply 62, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8843 times:

One of my favorite quotes about LHR reportedly came from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (not a man who suffers fools gladly) who responded with an incredulus look when an Amrican tourist asked him why they built Windsor Castle so close to the airport.


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 63, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8665 times:

Move over Concorde...have just heard that a fleet of Mary Poppins' are going to descend into the stadium on Friday night at the opening ceremony.

Lol



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13190 posts, RR: 77
Reply 64, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8302 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 39):
The departing Labour government in a petty and bitter parting shot left a note at the Treasury if you remember

That was actually intended to be a private joke between Byrne and his Tory opposite number, Phillip Hammond.
Both knowing it was a parody of what departing Tory Chancellor Reggie Maulding said to Jim Callaghan after the 1964 election.
But the result in 2010 meant a Coalition was formed, wasn't Hammond but that Lib Dem in the job, who lasted a mere couple of weeks before his expenses fiddling did for him.
So he made great play of that note, while as a millionaire MP, he was screwing us all with his cheating.

But that's to digress, I have never heard such strong and sustained attacks on a transport 'policy' (it is barely worth calling it that), on a government in general, from a BA CEO, as from Willie Walsh, who is clearly exasperated by the Coalition.
Imagine having to deal with that awful Justine Greening and worse, her Aviation Minister, Teresa Villiers.

Not to mention Teresa May's great idea to please nasty George at the Treasury by doing major cuts in immigration staff, before the Olympics .
And sacking any poor civil servant who spoke truth to power.
Nasty AND incompetent.

However, it's also true that out of date reports from a notorious paper with an axe (one of so many) to grind, are not a good guide either.

As another aside, what about those Policemen on duty in Parliament who started chanting 'G4S' whenever government ministers, MP's, went past them!


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 65, posted (2 years 1 month 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8178 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 64):
Not to mention Teresa May's great idea to please nasty George at the Treasury by doing major cuts in immigration staff, before the Olympics .

Conservative Home Secretary alongwith Damien Green, having promised to bring immigration to heel. To then slash the budgets and pensions of a demoralised and demotivated workforce was frankly poor judgement and shows why politicians would not get a proper job in a commercial environment with their "skill set" as it were.
The ones that do tend to get there on who they know.

In other news, we're still giving aid to India to help them (with their Space Program?).


User currently offlinestarrymarkb From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2011, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (2 years 1 month 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7836 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 65):
In other news, we're still giving aid to India to help them (with their Space Program?).

I was amused by the reaction when India decided the Rafale was a better fit for their airforce. Apparently we didn't give them the bribe aid to buy French *rolls eyes*


User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 67, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7234 times:

[quote=starrymarkb,reply=60]The problem isn't the areas immediately around the airport (Hownslow, Hayes, Drayton) by and large these accept the noise in return for the jobs the airport provides. The worst complainers are those further out in the richer areas of Ealing and Richmond (wouldn't be surprised are if they held key positions in the civil service

It is understandable that aircraft causes noise pollution but its the the NIMBY issue that battles LHR and other airports in UK. Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates; they have shown outstanding result but their system of government gives them the ability of not facing such NIMBY issues that LHR faces.
So every airport around the world faces one or more issues like the LHR and other UK major airports.


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 68, posted (2 years 1 month 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7145 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 67):
It is understandable that aircraft causes noise pollution but its the the NIMBY issue that battles LHR and other airports in UK. Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates; they have shown outstanding result but their system of government gives them the ability of not facing such NIMBY issues that LHR faces.
So every airport around the world faces one or more issues like the LHR and other UK major airports.

I think we need to get this into perspective before we commence the mud slinging.

A plane lands or takes off from Heathrow every 45 seconds.

Seat Capacity Available on International Departing Flights for w/c 23/07/12 was 872,836 making it the worlds busiest international airport.

That's some 160,000 thousand more than than the second busiest (HKG) at 707,225.

Nobody is trying to throw a spanner in the works as the above figures OBVIOUSLY tell us.

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 67):
Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates

Why ?

DXB was built to attract traffic.

LHR has been expanded over the years simply to service existing demand.

We don't have to go into all the different aspects of British society/history etc that explain why LHR is so busy again do we ??

There will always be high volumes in and out of the south east of the nation no matter what happens.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

DXB rapid traffic isn't because it was built for traffic but I personally suggest is it because of it's strategical geographical location which makes the city to be in a position that connects passengers from the continents within 8 hours block and stand mid-way between the financial capitals of the world.
Many years ago, African passengers travelled mostly through Europe to connect to Asia and North America but now its quicker for them to pass through DXB.
Regarding LHR; technically economic expansion simply explains that and there will always be expansion in Aviation as mentioned but all these expansion shouldn't be a problem is well managed according to expected traffic turnover.


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 70, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6710 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 69):
DXB rapid traffic isn't because it was built for traffic but I personally suggest is it because of it's strategical geographical location which makes the city to be in a position that connects passengers from the continents within 8 hours block and stand mid-way between the financial capitals of the world.

Look, I don't want to get myself into hot water again but it really isn't a very good comparison.

DXB is fantastic. It's main carrier is fantastic as is its business model.

LHR is an old work horse of an airport with a main carrier that is concentrating more and more on O&D.

DXB and EK are part of the India and China phenomenon. The sky is the limit.

DXB will increasingly connect the world.

LHR will increasingly connect Britain and move away from transfer.

There are too many new O&D opportunites and not enough capacity for anything else at LHR.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineblueshamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2904 posts, RR: 26
Reply 71, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6582 times:

I'm delighted to report back on this thread that I went through LHR this morning, totally unscathed.

Arrived off the BA206, which was 10 minutes late to the gate at 0650, breezed through all formalities (I sensed a barely percpetable feeling that even the train was going slightly faster and slightly quieter), and was in the Concorde Room in time to enjoy a glass of fizz with Eggs Benedict in front of the BBC 0730 news update on TV. How very civilised.

A leisurely stroll on to the BA1386, an on time arrival into MAN, and I was in the car 24 minutes after landing.

That, on one of the busiest days in history, has to be a huge endorsement of operations at LHR.

Well done.   

Rgds



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 72, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6565 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 70):
Look, I don't want to get myself into hot water again but it really isn't a very good comparison.
DXB is fantastic. It's main carrier is fantastic as is its business model.
LHR is an old work horse of an airport with a main carrier that is concentrating more and more on O&D.
DXB and EK are part of the India and China phenomenon. The sky is the limit.
DXB will increasingly connect the world.
LHR will increasingly connect Britain and move away from transfer.
There are too many new O&D opportunites and not enough capacity for anything else at LHR.

Start swimming  
Dubai has a competitive advantage in that it is not competing in the same kind of market.
LHR is not an old workhorse going forward. In the seven years I have been London based, I have watched Terminal 5 go up, Terminal 2 come down and go back up, Terminal 4 being revamped, the cross runway being removed and the entire Eastern taxiway and terminal layout being replaced. The 2005 AIS versus the 2012 version shows an immense change, more so than any comparable period in the modern era. By 2015, only T3 and T4 arrivals will be "tired."

DXB connects a different part of the world than LHR, they are not like for like competitors.
I also do not see BA moving away from transfers in favour of point to point, indeed I see no evidence of this in the BMI integration.


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 73, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6482 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
DXB connects a different part of the world than LHR, they are not like for like competitors.

Isn't that what I said skipness ?

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
I also do not see BA moving away from transfers in favour of point to point, indeed I see no evidence of this in the BMI integration.

The ratio is nowhere near what it used to be ?

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
LHR is not an old workhorse going forward.

Not old as in run down......how about 'mature'.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineRafabozzolla From Brazil, joined Apr 2000, 1227 posts, RR: 0
Reply 74, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6428 times:

I flew in and out of out T1 twice in the past two weeks. That's how it panned out:

Arriving from GRU at 3pm was a breeze. I was flying C and one of the first out of the plane. Took the e-gates for immigration and bags showed up at the carrousel 15 min after landing. I was at the minicab some 20 to 25 min after landing.

Going to Berlin on Wednesday morning bank was a nightmare. I don't ever remember queueing so long for check-in. Over one hour! Nevermind that I had checked I online and just needed to drop my bags. LH's arrangement mixing check- in and bag drop is a total mess...

Arriving from Berlin mid day yesterday flying Y was again OK. The e-gates weren't working but no real lines for EU passports. My bags didn't have the priority tags and were the first ones on the carrousel!

Leaving for GRU was again easy, but I guess that flying again in C with priority check-in and fast track helped. However, lines didn't seem huge for the general flying public.


User currently offlineAirlineCritic From Finland, joined Mar 2009, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 75, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6172 times:

I just flew through Heathrow today, a day before the Olympics. Security was a breeze, walked right through. Re-checkin for an AA flight went in minutes. Everything worked well. Even got my luggage to the destination. Cleared immigration at JFK in 7 minutes. AA flight attendants were friendly.

Don't wake me up just yet, I like this alternate universe.


User currently offlineslinky09 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 827 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (2 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6039 times:

This whole thread is poorly titled, anyone ever been to MIA, that's a form of hell on earth, the old BLR another. Heathrow is far from hell on earth and I often exit a transcon aeroplane and reach my car in 20 mins, or vice versa check in to lounge in 10 mins.

User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 77, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5814 times:

Its understandable that MIA might be in a more not so good state but the focus is more on LHR in this topic. I am sure the MIA authorities will surely react similarly to opinions of people from different parts of the world and many of the people aren't just talking for the sake of it but expressing their sincere concern about the state of things at LHR.

User currently offlinegoosebayguy From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 397 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5764 times:

I once queued for 4 hours at MIA Missing In Action! I dread to think how long it took for the AF 747 which arrived shortly after my BA 747. Have actively avoided MIA ever since.

User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 79, posted (2 years 1 month 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5722 times:

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 77):
Its understandable that MIA might be in a more not so good state but the focus is more on LHR in this topic. I am sure the MIA authorities will surely react similarly to opinions of people from different parts of the world and many of the people aren't just talking for the sake of it but expressing their sincere concern about the state of things at LHR.

I think what we are hearing here is that it is actually not 'that' bad.

One would have to be slightly unrealistic to expect to be able to 'always' breeze through an airport as busy and as constrained as LHR.

If your business/holiday travel plans are determined by the airports involved they cannot be that important perhaps ?

I travel frequently to New York and Los Angeles....both have airports not known for their speedy process of non American citizens....to be honest it never crosses my mind when I book a flight to these places.

Nor does it cross the minds of non British airlines that make huge amounts of cash flying to LHR.

Spare a thought for BA and VS who are 'based' there.

Pre Terminal 5 was far from ideal for BA.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 80, posted (2 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/27...rways-another-great-thing-about-uk

There you go....it's not that bad accoriding to this chap who also wrote in the article...

Despite a few hiccups since opening in 2008, this is a terminal that works. In 2011, some 26.3-million passengers on 184,616 flights -- most of them British Airways flights -- passed through Terminal 5 en route to destinations around the world. When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13078 posts, RR: 12
Reply 81, posted (2 years 1 month 16 hours ago) and read 5080 times:

One thing that can screw up LHR is the timing of inbound aircraft if they have been affected by weather from their origination point. For example at peak summer seasons, a number of USA airports, in particular JFK and EWR, can have departure times or aircraft continuing from them to LHR get completely out of sync due to summer thunderstorms in the later afternoon and evening that can cause major delays. If a bunch of long-haul flights come in close to together, it can cram up immigration and to a lesser extent, customs and luggage handling.
Throw in some staffing issues at LHR, from insufficient staffing to hold down costs, union/worker slowdowns to extort pay raises as well as the short notice to staff up when weather related issues screw up flights and it is no wonder there flyers could have problems at times getting through a major airport like LHR.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 82, posted (2 years 1 month 7 hours ago) and read 4736 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 80):
Despite a few hiccups since opening in 2008, this is a terminal that works. In 2011, some 26.3-million passengers on 184,616 flights -- most of them British Airways flights -- passed through Terminal 5 en route to destinations around the world. When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections

I've connected at T5 a few times but LHR is still among my least-preferred airports in Europe for connections, a close tie with CDG. While T5 is an improvement over its predecessors, you still have the overall congestion of LHR to contend with. Any airport that operates so close to 100% capacity almost all the time is more prone to disruptions when there are any abnormal circumstances (e.g. weather).

A high percentage of flights to LHR (at least those I've been on) also have to hold and go around in circles for as long as half an hour before landing, which is very rare at any other major European hubs.

Even T5, in my experience, also has congested security checkpoints, and I have never understood why passengers connecting at T5 have to stop had have their tickets/boarding passes checked before they can go to the gate. You never have to do that at other European hubs. You just get off your inbound flight and go directly to the gate.

Other inconvenience with connections within Europe at LHR (all terminals) is due to the UK not being part of the Schengen agreement. It means that if you want to connect between two Schengen airports via LHR, you have to clear security again at LHR. You don't have to do that if you connect at a Shengen airport like AMS/FRA/ZRH/MUC/CDG etc.


User currently offlinelasairlinerenth From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (2 years 1 month 6 hours ago) and read 4651 times:
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I don't have a lot of experience going through Heathrow, but the 6 times I have transited the airport -- in both Terminal 3 where American Airlines is housed and Terminal 5 where British Airways is headquartered -- since 2009 have all been good experiences for me. I've never gotten held up in Security on departure, and the most lengthy time I waited to get through Customs and Border Control was about 45 minutes in the early evening (6:00PM-ish GMT) late last July. But the line was moving and staff were quite friendly.

Not sure I should admit to this or not, but: also last summer, absent-minded professor -- and American -- that I am, I left my passport at one of the money exchanges as I was leaving the airport. Didn't realize what had happened until I got to my hotel. In a panic, I raced back to Heathrow. I must say that the BA and Customs and Border Control staff were all ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT as far as helping me out. I was able to retrieve my passport with their assistance and with a minimum of fuss -- and they didn't make me feel anymore idiotic than I did on my own.

Ironically, I had a much worse experience going through baggage reclaim and Customs at Terminal D in Dallas/Fort Worth on my way back to the US. There were hundreds and hundreds of people arriving on international flights trying to make their domestic connections with no help from the people who run the airport. Lines were going every which way with no direction at all and people -- staff and passengers, myself included -- had lousy surly attitudes. Not sure if it was the time of day or the fact that it was a Saturday afternoon, but it was a terrible experience. I've had better luck going through Heathrow and JFK.


User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 83):
Lines were going every which way with no direction at all and people -- staff and passengers, myself included -- had lousy surly attitudes.

This is not particular to LHR only, i have had the same experience in CDG and DXB few times , its what i call the airport mood swings.


User currently offlinelasairlinerenth From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3882 times:
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Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 84):
This is not particular to LHR only, i have had the same experience in CDG and DXB few times , its what i call the airport mood swings.

Airport mood swings indeed! I'm actually gearing up for a trip to Perth via LAX and Brisbane in late November; I'll have to make sure I'm ready for those mood swings!


User currently offlinelasairlinerenth From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 86, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3887 times:
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Just about anything has to be better than that trip through DFW.

User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 86):

i doubt that DFW has its good side, it might be congested and clumsy sometimes but still good for connecting into other parts of the US especially when flying from Europe.


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 88, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3003 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 80):
When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections

I think this is interesting, I love T5 but I have never needed to connect through it. Flight Connections seems to be an ongoing pain point. The joys of living in London means I may not find out for a while!


User currently offlineeurowings From UK - England, joined Sep 2011, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 89, posted (2 years 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2935 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 88):

I had my first experience of a T5 International to T1 Domestic yesterday, courtesy of the current BA/BD set-up (didn't actually realise when booking since the BD flights carry BA codes now and Avios give no information). Thankfully, it was late evening so fairly quiet.

Phew, it's time consuming though, first the bus from T5 to T1, then a surprisingly long walk to the Domestic Flight Connections area at T1 (about 10 mins) followed by immigration and then biometric capture, followed by another 5 mins walk to security. The domestic gates are at the other end of T1 (a good 10 mins again) where your biometric capture is checked and you are stuck in the domestic area. Took me easily 50 minutes, and that's with no queues whatsoever.

T5 is a lot simpler IME for international to domestic, but for some reason they haven't installed the e-gates for EU passports meaning queues easily form and also the queue to have your photo taken can be troublesome as well.

[Edited 2012-08-07 16:50:03]

User currently offlinetioloko100 From Australia, joined Jul 2012, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (2 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2502 times:

Its good to know that some passengers are seeing the good side of LHR connections despite the fact that e-gates for EU passports are yet to be installed which is still better than many US and EU airports.

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