Leezyjet
Topic Author
Posts: 3541
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 7:26 am

Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:35 am

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 It is so old and outdated and some areas have not been updated since the 50's/60's since it was first built.(talking more T1/2/3 rather than T4)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 ??

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
David_itl
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:37 am


Perhaps we could persuade them to go to T2 or T3 at MAN instead  Big grin ?

David
 
WindowSeat
Posts: 1198
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:01 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:37 am



Flown in to T3 always and it lent itself an image like an International Airport. Nothing phenomenal, but definitely not one to give a bad image.

cheers


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
A340600
Posts: 3893
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:24 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:41 am

Come to LGW and ge a good impression especially North Terminal  Laugh out loud,

Tehe

Sam Laugh out loud
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
User avatar
PA110
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:30 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:41 am

Hi Leezyjet,
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.
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:44 am

Yes,T3 in particular a shit hole.However,it hasn't and won't deter people from flying in due to the immense demand for flights from London and the network effect this causes.
 
Ken777
Posts: 9046
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:44 am

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
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:06 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:57 am

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.
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
apollo13
Posts: 559
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:05 am

When i went to London for our Band trip, We arrived at T1 and as old as it was, I liked the look of it. It had the same look as some of the buildings in the city as well as in the towns and farms.
 
trident2e
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:38 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:10 am

Heathrow is a dump, but I still have a soft spot for it!
 
ba757
Posts: 2707
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:31 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:12 am

David_int: T3 at MAN is awful - I really don't like that terminal! T1 and T2 are bloody good though  Smile

Adam
 
asgeirs
Posts: 508
Joined: Sat May 05, 2001 7:34 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:20 am

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.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Reykjavik Aviation Photography - Just bring the aircraft to us and we'll photograph them! :-)
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:31 am

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.

For shame I say.

Terminal 4 is more airy though and looks nicer.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
WesternDC1010
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:29 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:07 am

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!

No receipt needed on this .02 deposit.

- Ron
Western DC-10-10
Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
 
777ualsfo
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:49 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:24 am

Not unfavorable to me, flown through UA and BA terminals, the express train to Paddington is awesome.
 
gkirk
Posts: 23346
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:55 am

BA757: MAN T1 is/was a dump
T2, last time I was in there was ok though  Wink/being sarcastic
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
UK_Dispatcher
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:59 am

Well, if you're flying into Britain, there is an alternative to London.

As far as long haul flights go, you can arrive into Manchester with any of the following carriers:

ORD/IAD/YYZ - bmi (codeshare with UA/AC) - arr T1;
PHL - US Airways - arr T2;
EWR - Continental - arr T2;
ATL - Delta - arr T2;
JFK - British Airways - arr T3;
LHE/ISB - PIA - arr T2;
DOH - Qatar Airways - arr T2;
DXB - Emirates - arr T1;
KUL - Malaysian - arr T2;
SIN - Singapore Airlines - arr T2;
Canadian destinations - Zoom...

& loooaadzzz of onwars connections within the UK/Europe....

...to name a few. Try us.....!
 
UK_Dispatcher
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:00 am

Well, if you're flying into Britain, there is an alternative to London.

As far as long haul flights go, you can arrive into Manchester with any of the following carriers:

ORD/IAD/YYZ - bmi (codeshare with UA/AC) - arr T1;
PHL - US Airways - arr T2;
EWR - Continental - arr T2;
ATL - Delta - arr T2;
ORD/BOS - American - arr T3;
JFK - British Airways - arr T3;
LHE/ISB - PIA - arr T2;
DOH - Qatar Airways - arr T2;
DXB - Emirates - arr T1;
KUL - Malaysian - arr T2;
SIN - Singapore Airlines - arr T2;
Canadian destinations - Zoom...

& loooaadzzz of onwars connections within the UK/Europe....

...to name a few. Try us.....!
 
JAL777
Posts: 2453
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2003 10:13 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:04 am

When I arrive at Heathrow I wonder where all the Brits are. Big grin
 
UK_Dispatcher
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:20 am

They're all outside London......!
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:46 am

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.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:55 am

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!

PJ
 
Flightlover
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:02 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:07 am

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  Big thumbs up
 
AnsettB727
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:19 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:38 am

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
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:54 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:52 pm

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.
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:03 pm

First impressions on arriving at LHR.... cool, I'm back in the world's best and freest country.  Smile
 
BD1959
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:40 pm

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 1960s concrete as it crumbles away into the traffic that forever seems gridlocked around Central. Behind the scenes is no better: the inter Terminal bus seems to take in every dark nook and cranny which does little to contrast the grey skies that mutter "Welcome to London".

But, the metal. Oh, all those planes from exotic countries we never see here in Australia. Airbuses from darkest Africa, beat-up Boeings from ex-Soviet states whose name will barely last out the week. And they're everywhere, scurrying from this terminal, a dozen in a line snaking to 9R. I marvel that any of them ever leave on time!!

It's a real crossroads, helped by the staff. Turbaned Sikhs inspecting your passport, the West Indian women mopping the tables. Some obviously wishing they too were taking a flight somewhere - anywhere, but to stay in the dimly lit terminals where the fast-food outlets are crammed between the "pub" and the rubbish!!

I'll relay a little story. Five years ago I arrived at T4, bleary eyed after a mammoth flight in from MEL (is there any other sort?), took the bus to T1 and grabbed some cash at the nearest ATM. Sat down at the "pub" for an early afternoon "pint" and a pork-pie - now that is England. Got paged, only to find that I'd inadvertently left my tickets, passport etc on the top of the ATM and they'd been handed in. Heathrow? Got to love it!!

BD1959

 
User avatar
EK413
Posts: 4328
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 3:11 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:03 pm

I think T5 will give everyone a great impression of the UK!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment!
 
ACEregular
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:00 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:05 pm

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 has had little update since then. I really feel angry that this is what foreign visitors may see upon arrival into the UK.

I have also flown to the US on BA out of T4, I used their check in facility in inner London and then travlled out to the airport. I was pleased to have done so, because T4 seemed overcrowded, dark and dingy.

HERE IS A LITTLE STORY OF THE WELCOMING STAFF OF LHR

I remember buying a bottle of water in the departure lounge so I could take a pill. As I struggled with my handluggage the bottle and newspapers out of the shop I spilled my bottle of water all over the white tiled floor, I then became concerned that if I just walked off anyone could have their trip to an abrupt end by fracturing something when slipping on the Hard to see water. So I went off to the ther nearest shop to own up to my mistake and get it cleaned up (I am not a Londoner, can you tell?). I was told to find some cleaning staff! I said I cannot leave this great puddle people might slip by the time I get back. The shop girl just shrugged her shoulders. Tried to find a cleaner whilst frantically making sure the rushing passengers avoided it. Never found a cleaner, so I ran to to the toilet to get a huge wad of paper towels. when I got back a buisnessman ignored my warning (as most Londoners do not speak to each other he more or less thought I was a bumbling idiot) he slipped but did not fall, he turned growled at me and walked off. I ended up laying down all this towels whist being watched, and finally took all this soggy paper to the nearest bin. No one offered any help or assistance. In case you are wondering why they dont do up the older terminals, its because they are still paying out damages to victims of other freak accidents.

THATS LONDON FOR YOU
 
User avatar
Navigator
Posts: 865
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2001 2:31 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:28 pm

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 Heathrow is really in some areas in need for many updates. Terminal 4 is new and of course up to standards but the area with terminal 1, 2 & 3 is pretty much a mess. Somehow you get used to it so it´s not really much of a problem. Also the transportation to London is excellent.

I think the general view is that Heathrow is in need of major updates when it comes to terminal 1, 2 & 3. The terminals are very small considering the volume of traffic. It is crowded and also some areas are a bit shabby.

Also the taxiway system is a bit complex and perhaps a challenge to many pilots not used to the place. The "block system" (I don´t know if they skipped that now) was/ is very confusing indeed for any newcomers among the airplanes. I know a few pilots that have told me about that.

But the pilots i talked to say that ATC at Heathrow is by all standards excellent. That more than compensates the mess on ground.

So all in all the airport is very charming and like an old monument. But you go there because you are going to London and Heathrow has the best connections.
747-400/747-200/L1011/DC-10/DC-9/DC-8/MD-80/MD90/A340/A330/A300/A310/A321/A320/A319/767/757/737/727/HS-121/CV990/CV440/S
 
JMChladek
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:05 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:43 pm

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 off airplanes. I mean not all airports can have the beauty of Kansai or Denver. To me, as long as the gates are clearly marked, transit time to them is low and I can find my way around easily enough, then thats all I really need. And I was able to do that at LHR. Only bit of pandemonium was the ticket counters at departure. That was a zoo, but it seemed to go as well as I expected and the BA staff did their jobs well.

Driving around the facility wasn't bad either as the only road construction I encountered was near the new T5 site. The rest of the place offered about as much challenge as a drive in England could IMHO after spending the better part of two weeks there banging all over the countryside in my Ford Focus rental. It certainly was easier to drive through Heathrow IMHO, even with road construction then it is to get through parts of London itself!

Could Heathrow be improved, yes. But I don't think its problems could be solved even with starting from scratch. In a sense, Heathrow almost seems to be a miniature version of London at a glance. It can be tough to get around in, has its quirks and sometimes might throw you for a loop. But, people still like coming to it because it seems to have a charm all its own.
 
keno
Posts: 1809
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:50 pm

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 another different matter - I regularly used Terminal 3 and I'm sorry to say that the word most suited to describe it is "chaos".

To briefly answer Leezyjet : Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK? My answer is NO. Did Departing At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK? A BIT.
 
eham
Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:00 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:00 pm

...why not try London's second busiest airport:

Amsterdam Schiphol  Big thumbs up

Only 1 terminal building, good connections and a superb designed building!
 
eham
Posts: 400
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:00 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:01 pm

...why not try London's second busiest airport:

Amsterdam Schiphol  Big thumbs up

Only 1 terminal building, superb designed, good connections.
 
Qantasclub
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:48 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:13 pm


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 impression of the UK. (LAX is awful, but I love going to the US).
I will say this, though: LHR is the best place on the planet by far to watch widebodied long haul aircraft-there is no other airport on earth with the same concentration of such beauties together, all day, everyday. For this reason alone, it is one of my favourite places on earth.

cheers.

Qantasclub.
Long Haul is the only way to go
 
B2707SST
Posts: 1258
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:24 pm

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 remember dark, winding, low-ceiling corridors, very few windows, inadequate waiting areas, and hordes of people rushing in all directions. I hope T5 will provide enough extra capacity that T1-3 can be sequentially gutted and redone.

T4 is nicer and more open, with lots of seating, shopping, and eating options, but as someone mentioned, DEN, KIX, DXB, and some other new airports still have it beat. The organization is a little confusing as well. My first time flying out of LHR, I was dropped off at T1 by a surly shuttle-bus driver and had to descend down to the dungeon to catch the Tube train to T4. It would be nice if there were an easier means of transferring between terminals, but those darned runways seem to be in the way. Maybe Branson will start offering A380 shuttles between T1-3, T4, and T5 to drum up publicity.

Stansted is more attractive on the inside, but it's a long way out of town, facilities are limited, and the main concourse is a little too big - the space felt awkwardly partitioned and I remember it being somewhat noisy. All in all, though, nice airport.

On the other hand, seeing three of BA's Concordes gracing an MX hangar and being bumped to Club World on the upper deck of our 744 made it LHR very worthwhile. And compared to LAX and JFK, Heathrow's a palace. Those pits (at least the parts I've been through) couldn't be torn down fast enough.

--B2707SST

[Edited 2004-03-26 09:29:35]
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:38 pm

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 so old and crappy and horrible and awful ! Please please PLEASE someone at BAA, take the hint - stop turning LHR into Bluewater With Planes, finish T5, and then rebuild each of the other terminals in turn, put in LOTS of glass, LOTS AND LOTS of checkin counters, and double airbridges at ALL widebody gates - an NO F*CKING HARRODS ! The Harrods branch at T4 has to be the single most shaming example of naff faux-British Yanks'll-Buy-Anything-With-A-Flag-On shysterism ever conceived - that alone is enough to make the average Briton cringe. The rest of the airport just sort of tones with that really - no imagination, no effort to PLEASE the customer, just a series of ghastly 60's concrete and red brick nightmares designed to scrape the sensitive soul like nails down a blackboard.

(waxes lyrical for the next five minutes)

OK rant over - aaah that's better.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
col
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:23 pm

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 some people have said, there is a great little airport at MAN - missed you this year, but am coming home via MAN on BMI to IAD in a couple of weeks.
 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:00 pm

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 overseas travellers off in any way. I don't see why it should anyway, arriving, you hardly spend an hour at the airport before leaving, departing is another matter, the British themselves have to endure the grandeur of T1, 2 and 3 (sarcasm). But things are looking up, parts of T1, 2 and 3 are being refurbished and upgraded, the low-ceilings will still be there, but things will improve. Terminal 5 should be a stunner, a terminal the country can be proud of and certainly one of the best in the world.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
TransIsland
Posts: 1826
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:22 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:26 pm

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 the friendliest airline/airport personnel I've ever had the pleasure to encounter. Thus, I would have to conclude that LHR gives a very positive first impression of England indeed.  Smile
I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:30 pm

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 pretty much unlimited connection opportunities, but it is more convenient for us to drive down the road to BHX instead of a 2 hour journey to LHR or MAN.
 
767Lover
Posts: 3254
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:32 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:06 pm

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 poster that said all that really matters is clearly marked signage...and I will add friendly, helpful staff, bathrooms, a newstand (for water and such) and a decent place to eat.

I think most experienced travelers understand that an airport is for utilitarian purposes and not a welcome center; there's no reason to judge the city by the airport itself.

I flew into Miami recently for a connecting flight and the signage was terribly confusing (neither me nor my boyfriend could find the gate we were supposed to go to ....so it wasn't just me!) We asked someone for assistance who acted like she was doing us a huge favor helping us. Gotta love that US work ethic!

 
willo
Posts: 1331
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:21 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:01 am

"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 LHR - too many shops, not enough seats.
 
downingbarry
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:31 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:39 am

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 go on, with a good first impression. I don't think terminals one, two or three do that.

What I don't understand, as someone living about 3 minutes drive from gatwick airport, is why we signpost Gatwick as being 'London'. 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 by "Welcome to London!" hanging from the ceiling.

I think it's misleading for tourists to suggest that Gatwick is in London - it takes almost an hour to get to London from Gatwick by train. Equally, Victoria tube station has signs pointing "To Gatwick" as if it's a five minute walk.

Admittedly, Heathrow is hardly central London, but would be interesting to see of those making comments about their first impressions of Heathrow, what people thought about Gatwick, and whether they thought it was misleading to brand it as 'being in London'.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1059
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:34 am

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 people or families with kids do it. However, maybe because I know it so well, I like LHR. What I do not like is leaving through LHR. Checking in at the UA terminal is horrible! I pity people on Virgin - their lines always seem sooooo loooong. I would not fly them because of that. The ceilings are low and it is all so congested. However that said I do like LHR. Transfering from one terminal to another by bus without going through Immigration is a nightmare. Again tons of walking and the bus does not run frequently and takes soooo looong. But again, I like LHR !!!!

I have been doing LGW on US. A real nightmare! Forget immigration and customs, up and down levels, and it takes forever to get outside. I never make connection plans there without several hours.

Security is way understaffed at both places. FAST TRACK at LHR does not deserve the name.

But again, I like LHR!!!! (NOT LGW)
 
loggat
Posts: 426
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2000 11:34 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:18 am

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 widebody views.

Then I think about T1 at CDG, what a dump. Anyone else found that terminal to be the most confusing, ugly terminal ever?
There are 3 types of people in this world, those that can count, and those that can't.
 
graham697
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:59 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:45 pm

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 are subject to be exploited more for profits than service. Now I am not saying that all government airports are a dream especially here in the US, although we have someone we can vote out of office!! Wink/being sarcastic  Wink/being sarcastic

On subject, I think LHR is just like any big city airport that just has been neglected for a long time and not properly planned like my home airport of TPALove TPA is just a special airport with REALLY GOOD management (HCAA). Apparently we also started the revolution of have 20 yr plans for the airport.


I wish BA would move the TPA flights to LHR for better connections!!
Looking forward to the new AA
 
johnboy
Posts: 2557
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 6:27 pm

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 going thru Customs, and again as a connecting passenger.

I flew BA both times, and never had to change terminals (from PHX and SFO), so T4 is my only destination.

Connection-wise, I couldn't figure out why I had to go thru another security check right off the plane before I entered the secure area of T4. Once there though, I was adequately entertained with the different shops (although fairly expensive for the average traveler, me included).

This past November my destination was London itself, so I went thru Customs from the SFO flight. Immigration was a breeze, since the flight arrived at about 1pm, and the only other flights were from PHX and CDG. Customs was essentially nonexistant. However, I was shocked by the miniscule, dreary arrivals hall once outside the sterile customs area. The only saving grace was the quick caffeine fix from Starbucks.

The only modern part of the terminal was the entrance to the Heathrow Express, although I did make the mistake of buying only one ticket when I needed another for my aunt. Of course the machine wouldn't let me buy another (security purposes).
 
airjampanam
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:06 am

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:49 pm

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 windows as you walk to a gate and you will gag at what u see!
Just give me a drink and let me sit and I'm happy.
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
SailorOrion
Posts: 1959
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2001 5:56 pm

RE: Did Arriving At LHR Give A Bad Image Of UK?

Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:28 pm

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, I can come pretty close to a nightmare.

Flying into or out of LHR is alright when you use T4, same goes for connections, but everything else is something I try to avoid. T1-3 seem like an utter mess connecting between them isn't very nice either, and connecting from T1-3 to T4 or vv gives you a bit of a headache. 60 minutes connection time is hardly doable under normal conditions.

But on the other hand I must say, many European and U.S. airports I have been to can easily join the club. LAX and JFK have been mentioned a couple of times, LGW can get pretty nasty too, not to mention the old DTW. I really didn't like to fly IB via MAD, because I really felt unsafe in the airport (I don't want to talk about the flights really), long overcrowded tunnels, no fire surpression system, no emergency exists, imho the airport is a deathtrap. Let's hope it doesn't end up like DUS did. Another airport which joins this list is LIN, connections were hardly doable, especially the connection tunnel, gateway or whatever it was was closed every time I was there, so I had to go through the arrivals hall and back to departures. Very comfy. MXP isn't much better.

All this is only surpassed by CDG. No matter what I do fly, or where I do fly, I shall only use CDG if I must (read: someone holds me at gunpoint to do so). The architecture is actually pretty interesting, but that's it. The gates seem to be just randomly placed around, connections from T1 to T2 don't deserve that name, the constant lack of english language doesn't help much either. It's a no-go for me.

On the other hand, there are positive things. I liked ZRH during Swissair times. It was a decent airport with good connection possibilities, I was VERY positivly surprised by both ATL and ORD, they are good facilities where I never encountered problem despite their sheer size, also MSP was definately thumbs up.

A decent airport to be, for me, is FRA. Not really pretty, but serves its purpose really well, I am somewhat looking forward to T3 in 2015. I also like MUC because of it's simplicity, although I have never connected through it (might be because it's my home airport), but from most people, I heard mostly good things. And another two thumbs up from me gets AMS.

LHR just needs to tear down T1-3 and build one new, modern terminal.

SailorOrion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aab498, ERJ170, gdhay, HarryLi, iyerhari, jco613, jenzie, krod031, oslmgm, salttee, sticknrudder, tinpusher007 and 249 guests