mikey72
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The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:52 am

For reasons we are all familiar with it is little wonder Lufthansa described the BD saga as “significantly negative”.

Add to that the fact that SQ has now had over a decade to rue its equity ''investment'' in VS.

The increasingly endangered British carrier VS is already 49% owned by Singapore Airlines, an arrangement almost as unwelcome today to that airline as BD was to Lufthansa.

SQ has made clear that it will happily sell its interest in an airline that has delivered little joy since a misjudged £600M outlay bought it what it thought would be de facto control almost exactly 12 years ago. The “unique global partnership” which was to be created never materialised, at least not in the way SQ intended.

AF's attempt to operate a TATL service at LHR fell flat almost immediately.

Will the present uncertain economic environment and the above spell the end for Star and Skyteam's interest in the airport beyond their current presence?

Or..is there one more hand left to be played at the airport regards VS and alliance membership ?
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:44 pm

This "Heathrow envy" has as you say been going on for years, all and sundry shout from the rooftops that they are being denied the opportunity to enjoy the benefits that BA do at "Fortress Heatrow" Meanwhile BA have only acheived their desired operating profit once in the last decade, so its not exactly a gold mine for them either.
It would be interesting to know if the US airlines who transferred from LGW to LHR, buying very expensive slots in order to do so, have seen a decent return on their money.
It is also noticeable that a few slots become available at each scheduling change, so there must be airlines who decide that LHR isn't working for them.
 
aaexecplat
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:45 pm

Well, despite the assertion that LHR is the highest yielding airport in Europe, many of the operators at LHR seem not to be doing so well. Competition and costs must surely be the driving forces behind this.

I, for my part, have never understood the fixation on LHR. When I traveled regularly to London for work (from the US) in 2005 and 2006, I always chose LGW over LHR because the transit into London is so much more convenient that the Heathrow Express.

Lastly, the end of the credit bubble will put pressure on yields for years to come, and that can't be a good thing for airlines at LHR where competition is so fierce.
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:26 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
at "Fortress Heatrow"

That phrase has always mystified me given the much greater competition at LHR than say FRA and CDG and the much less dominant position of the two British carriers there compared to their French and German counterparts.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
Meanwhile BA have only acheived their desired operating profit once in the last decade,

Well yes - because it isn't a ''fortress''.

Anyway that wasnt't my point.

From a Star Alliance point of view the cost of their botched attempts at gaining market share at LHR must be running into the billlions of dollars now surely ? (SQ/VS and LH/BD)

I mean take VS. I can't think of anything more pathetic in the business world today than VS (which has spent the last 25 years vilifying BA for being too big and dominant) practically falling over itself to do business with LH. An airline far bigger and more dominant than BA. It's really rather nauseating.

[Edited 2012-01-10 06:17:00]
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:59 pm

I think the days of needing LHR just to get to London could come to an end soon. Remember, CDG has a TGV station, and they could eventually route Eurostar trains from CDG to London St. Pancras International station, which would turn CDG into a "de facto" third London airport.
 
mogandoCI
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:32 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
I think the days of needing LHR just to get to London could come to an end soon. Remember, CDG has a TGV station, and they could eventually route Eurostar trains from CDG to London St. Pancras International station, which would turn CDG into a "de facto" third London airport.

Eurostar isn't cheap at all. That's a very expensive third airport to deal with - I might as well take a taxi from the City to Heathrow for the same costs.

The only way this would work is if AF subsidize the Eurostar costs for London-originating pax (a variation of TGV-CDG-AF connection), but that would just destroy yields for AF without doing much help.

By Gatwick Express, the airport is only 15 mins further away from central London than Heathrow. Don't know why there's so much anti-LGW sentiment among carriers.
 
BD338
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:19 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 5):
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
I think the days of needing LHR just to get to London could come to an end soon. Remember, CDG has a TGV station, and they could eventually route Eurostar trains from CDG to London St. Pancras International station, which would turn CDG into a "de facto" third London airport.

Eurostar isn't cheap at all. That's a very expensive third airport to deal with - I might as well take a taxi from the City to Heathrow for the same costs.

I suppose options to run Eurostar to CDG and AMS may exist in the future and I've found tickets can be fairly cheap to Paris. With UK APD an ever increasing cost it might still be cheaper to fly into CDG and buy a ticket on Eurostar and avoid APD.

As for LHR, I'm not sure why any US airline at least might be surprised if LHR hasn't worked out as they thought. They all clamoured for access to the 'fortress' and then all flooded the market at the same time which if I recall Economics 101 may have tipped the supply and demand in favor of the demand side.
 
hotelmode
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:22 pm

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 5):
By Gatwick Express, the airport is only 15 mins further away from central London than Heathrow. Don't know why there's so much anti-LGW sentiment among carriers.

Heathrow's wider catchment area (within 2 hrs normal drive) covers all of the South East to the east of Kent, the High Tech corridor down the M3/4 as far as Bristol, the M40 as far as Birmingham and the M1 to Leicester. Gatwick is 45 mins further to all of these places and adds nowhere extra that LHR doesn't already cover. Unless you live in Kent, Sussex, S/SE London or the E bit of Surrey LHR is always closest.

Heathrow express does start from the wrong part of London but in 5 years time LHR will have direct trains from the City, Docklands and N Kent and Essex too.

[Edited 2012-01-10 07:31:53]
 
skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:44 pm

Guys Heathrow's yields have little to do with getting into Central London, as has been pointed out above, the Gatwick Express is barely longer and is quicker than the Piccadilly Line from LHR. Yields are high because LHR is a hub airport and supports a critical mass of flights to key destinations from legacy long haul. Feeding this is what makes money, not keeping Malev at LHR or CSA who are not really bringing much to the party beyond loss making point to point.
 
anstar
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:24 pm

What will kill LHR is the ever increasing APD taxes that the UK government are imposing.
 
mbmbos
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:57 pm

It occurs to me that LHR may have once been a "high yield" venue because of limited slots and lack of fluidity. Once rules were changed enabling airlines previously not allowed to serve LHR and allowing airlines serving LHR to sell slots, the general "supply" side of the equation changed. And the supply side doesn't need to change much to make a significant difference in the overall value of serving LHR.
 
LondonCity
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:59 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
Remember, CDG has a TGV station, and they could eventually route Eurostar trains from CDG to London St. Pancras

The Eurostar trains can already connect London St Pancras with CDG should the authorities wish it to happen because the track is already there. Note that there is already a special Disneyland Eurostar special service from London which runs through the CDG station without stopping en route for Disneyland.

Quoting BD338 (Reply 6):
With UK APD an ever increasing cost it might still be cheaper to fly into CDG and buy a ticket on Eurostar and avoid APD.

Growing numbers of overseas visitors to Europe are already avoiding APD by making the UK their first point of arrival. They then travel to mainland Europe by surface transport (to avoid APD) and fly home from there.

http://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry/med.../news/increase-in-indian-tourists/
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Quoting BD338 (Reply 6):
I suppose options to run Eurostar to CDG and AMS may exist in the future and I've found tickets can be fairly cheap to Paris. With UK APD an ever increasing cost it might still be cheaper to fly into CDG and buy a ticket on Eurostar and avoid APD.

I have done that several times now, especially with U2/FR selling fares from a tenner.

Quoting hotelmode (Reply 7):
Heathrow express does start from the wrong part of London but in 5 years time LHR will have direct trains from the City, Docklands and N Kent and Essex too.

The cynic in me says CrossRail isn't so much to link Heathrow with East London as to link a new Thames Airport with West London and Heathrow.


Dan  
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skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:46 pm

Why exactly would you link the Thames fantasy project to Heathrow???
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 13):
Why exactly would you link the Thames fantasy project to Heathrow???

Because a not insignificant objection to a new airport in the Thames is that companies have located around the Heathrow/Reading areas for a reason, therefore with CrossRail inevitably linking with any new East of London airport they would still be connected. I've spent too much time talking to politicians and their transport strategists recently - hence my cynical view of how their minds work.


Dan  
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SR4ever
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:32 pm

LG was eyeing flying back to LHR last year, 3 yrs after concentrating on LUX-LCY.

But none talks any longer about it now, probably because BA switched its LUX flights from LGW to LHR.

For non OW-members, LHR makes sense only if they can sustain enough high yields and can offer good connections with partner airlines.

Otherwise, LGW remains very relevant. LCY, too, yet in a different way.

LH flying back to LGW is also a development to be closely monitored. Some other major airlines may also take this path.
 
avek00
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:20 pm

LHR Envy has not shrunk, if anything it's grown in recent years as the airport commands solid O&D flows and yields on many longhaul routes that no other airport in Europe comes close to matching -- and this is all the more important in a troubled economic environment.
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LGWflyer
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:24 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 8):
the Gatwick Express is barely longer and is quicker than the Piccadilly Line from LHR.

No I don't agree! It takes 30mins to Victoria on the Gatwick Express, on the tube it is about an hour to get to Central London with all the stops along the way on a busy cramped carriage.
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skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 17):
No I don't agree! It takes 30mins to Victoria on the Gatwick Express, on the tube it is about an hour to get to Central London with all the stops along the way on a busy cramped carriage.

Go back and read the post again....You DO agree with me, the Gatwick Express is quicker.
 
LGWflyer
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 18):

Go back and read the post again....You DO agree with me, the Gatwick Express is quicker.

Oops im really sorry, misread of post.
     
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ZaphodB
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:28 am

From LGW to the city or Canary Wharf is also much quicker than from LHR ... at least until Crossrail.
The US carriers who spent all those years bleating about LHR access ended up with little more than some very expensive magic beans that they have to pretend to love by sending 757s there. LHR has better access to the M40 ... so what? The London O&D market is ... London ... not Birmingham or Oxford or the Cotswolds. I guess it does makes life a bit easier for Clarkson.
 
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SKAirbus
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:07 am

The thing I don't get is why HS2 is not being routed via Heathrow, but instead a spur is going to be built. That is the biggest stupid mistake the government could have made... Having direct connections to Birmingham and then on to Manchester and Scotland will eventually help move passengers off planes and onto trains, especially if any HST can be operated in partnership with BA.
Next Flights: LHR-OSL (738), OSL-CPH (320), CPH-LHR (321), LHR-HEL (359), HEL-LHR (359)
 
planesmith
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 am

Quoting BD338 (Reply 6):
By Gatwick Express, the airport is only 15 mins further away from central London than Heathrow. Don't know why there's so much anti-LGW sentiment among carriers.

One runway - I lost count of the times I was on-time at LGW but sadly several thousand feet above it! That and the chaotic layout of the terminal buildings that demands that passengers really should take a fitness test before attempting a departure!

London is served by two appalling airports - LHR and LGW - one airport that isn't at all sure it's an airport but thinks it's a railway marshalling yard and a few small ones that use London in their names to make them feel better.

I don't suppose I'll see a useful workable airport near London in my lifetime....
 
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SKAirbus
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:24 am

Quoting planesmith (Reply 22):
London is served by two appalling airports - LHR and LGW - one airport that isn't at all sure it's an airport but thinks it's a railway marshalling yard and a few small ones that use London in their names to make them feel better.

LHR is getting there.... Terminal 5 is a great building and very easy to navigate. The major issue here is the queuing at passport control.

The new Terminal 2 will be just as good when it is completed, leaving only Terminal 3 and 4. I think after T2 is finished BAA will announce plans to completely knock down and rebuild T3.
Next Flights: LHR-OSL (738), OSL-CPH (320), CPH-LHR (321), LHR-HEL (359), HEL-LHR (359)
 
skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:36 am

Terminal 4 has just been semi-renovated bringing the departures landside concourse up to T5 levels. Now they just need to do Arrivals and sort out airside.
 
planesmith
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:37 am

Quoting planesmith (Reply 22):
The London O&D market is ... London ... not Birmingham or Oxford or the Cotswolds. I guess it does makes life a bit easier for Clarkson.

Quite correct - London is the only place that counts - the many and several million other people living within 2-hours or so of the pit that is LHR would never consider using it!

Having used LHR for the past 40-years when it was a decent airport, I can clearly state that like many others I very rarely needed or wanted to go into the city itself. It is not a city that lends itself well to crowds and god please help anyone foolish enough to visit it in 2012.

Far too many decisions about airports are made by experts who know what they want rather than than anyone who considers the longterm benefits to the passengers as well as the airlines. Had these people and politicians considered potential growth and invested accordingly many, many years ago then today we'd have an efficient rail network involving the airport rather than the nightmare of roads and motorways around it - look at what the repairs to the Hammersmith Flyover will cost passengers between now and July.

What should have happened sometime around 1949 was some serious integrated planning rather than the mish-mash of hobbled together one-off plans that has provided chaos ever since.
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:52 am

Quoting planesmith (Reply 22):

I don't suppose I'll see a useful workable airport near London in my lifetime....

World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic...2010.

1. London Heathrow Airport............................................. 40,239,190
2. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.................................... 35,526,374
3. Hong Kong International Airport.................................... 33,178,000
4. Frankfurt Airport Flughafen.......................................... 30,636,917
5. Dubai International Airport........................................... 30,275,671
6. Amsterdam Airport......................................................29,837,136
7. Singapore Changi Airport............................................ 26,625,327
8. Incheon International Airport.........................................21,961,033
9. Narita International Airport Narita..................................21,919,378
10. Madrid-Barajas Airport Madrid....................................20,636,095

I understand the point you are trying to make....just not sure of your definition of 'useful' and 'workable' ?

However, I personally thank my lucky stars for Terminal 5 when I use LHR so I know where you're coming from if you have to use the other Terminals (as they currently stand)
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
fcogafa
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:04 am

Quoting avek00 (Reply 16):
LH flying back to LGW is also a development to be closely monitored. Some other major airlines may also take this path.

As DLH are downsizing LGW to a CRJ900 in the morning already, it seems like this is service is just a spoiler for EZY

Heathrow has been regularly breaking pax records over the last couple of years, despite the 'recession' , I don't think its attraction is waning at all, despite all the criticisms.
 
skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:41 am

Indeed and Korean Air would be double daily at LHR if they could get a good deal for appropriate slots instead of splitting operations between LHR and LGW.

[Edited 2012-01-11 04:32:16]
 
UAL777UK
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:28 pm

Can I just add that there are a massive amount of Blue Chip companies along the M4 corridor and the location of LHR to them is vital.
I am sure a hell of a lot of you have arrived on flights in LHR and see all those drivers waiting to whisk arriving passengers off ot hear there and everywhere, primariliy in the city or along the M4 area.
That I am afraid does not happen at LGW on that scale because of the bloody awful M25. That reason along puts me off flying from LGW. and before anybodys says, get the Gatwick Express.....i dont live in London.
Dont get me wrong, since BAA sold LGW it looks as though it has come along leaps and bounds but it is very much secon fiddle to LHR.

Just my   
 
CYatUK
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:52 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 23):
The new Terminal 2 will be just as good when it is completed, leaving only Terminal 3 and 4. I think after T2 is finished BAA will announce plans to completely knock down and rebuild T3.

Well, I hope they do it because otherwise T3 and T4 will seem odd next to T5 and new T2.

The other fact that needs to be taken into account is the purchase on BD by IAG. If everything goes ahead as planned, then BA will be spanning over three terminals once again and will need a solution from BAA as fast as possible.
CY@Uk
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:00 pm

Quoting CYatUK (Reply 30):
Well, I hope they do it because otherwise T3 and T4 will seem odd next to T5 and new T2.

The other fact that needs to be taken into account is the purchase on BD by IAG. If everything goes ahead as planned, then BA will be spanning over three terminals once again and will need a solution from BAA as fast as possible.

T3 is a horrible experience for many, exit security seemingly straight into a department store, pass through department store and find that it has some long corridors attached which appear to be an airport terminal. Its only really a tolerable experience for people with lounge access. Additionally its road link though the Heathrow tunnel aren't the best in the World.
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:36 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 31):
T3 is a horrible experience for many, exit security seemingly straight into a department store, pass through department store and find that it has some long corridors attached which appear to be an airport terminal. Its only really a tolerable experience for people with lounge access. Additionally its road link though the Heathrow tunnel aren't the best in the World.

What would you prefer ?

A cap on traffic ?

Nothing is going to make any difference with LHR because like the saying goes.."build it and they will come"

Burgeoning world population...developing markets....explosive airline growth in certain parts of the world...

3rd runway, 4th runway, 5th runway.....terminal 6, terminal 7, terminal 8.........

You may scoff but a 'cap' on unnecessary air travel or at least the crazy duplication we see now may one day be a global reality.

[Edited 2012-01-11 23:38:18]
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
CYatUK
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:37 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 32):
What would you prefer ?

A cap on traffic ?

Nothing is going to make any difference with LHR because like the saying goes.."build it and they will come"

Burgeoning world population...developing markets....explosive airline growth in certain parts of the world...

3rd runway, 4th runway, 5th runway.....terminal 6, terminal 7, terminal 8.........

You may scoff but a 'cap' on unnecessary air travel or at least the crazy duplication we see now may one day be a global reality.

I could be wrong but I think the point he was trying to make is that T3 is not up to standard with T5 and the future T2 and that a building built a few decades ago cannot really cope with today's needs.
CY@Uk
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:12 am

Quoting CYatUK (Reply 33):
I could be wrong but I think the point he was trying to make is that T3 is not up to standard with T5 and the future T2 and that a building built a few decades ago cannot really cope with today's needs.

How did you deduce that ? There was no mention of T5 or T2. I'm sure the man does not need you to express his views ?

The airport needs another terminal and another runway.

That ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

You can 'tart up' the rest all you want it won't make any difference it will just be 'prettier'.

This is all very tedious. It's an airport. It does what it says on the tin and as far as movements and passengers are concerned it does it more than most.

That i'm afraid is as good as it gets.

I'm afraid that even with reports being published like the one below airport expansion plays second fiddlle to alienating voters in this NIMBY climate we live in.

http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/ne...s-are-restricting-economic-growth/



This is interesting...

70% of passengers across Heathrow rated their experience at the airport as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘very Good’, up from 57% in 2008. Last year represented the best punctuality performance in a decade




[Edited 2012-01-12 01:25:39]


[Edited 2012-01-12 01:28:06]
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:29 am

http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/ne...s-are-restricting-economic-growth/

This is interesting...

Results in the international ASQ benchmarking survey showed that 70% of passengers across Heathrow rated their experience at the airport as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘very Good’, up from 57% in 2008. Last year represented the best punctuality performance in a decade
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
skipness1E
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:54 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 34):
You can 'tart up' the rest all you want it won't make any difference it will just be 'prettier'

And people think I am negative? You're half right, we do need the capacity however the overall passenger experience in the years up to the opening of T5 had plummeted from a low level to a new darkness. Believe me, "tarting up" T4 Departures has made a world of difference to the passenger experience, taking a measure of the hustle, bustle, stress and sharp elbows out of flying. T5 has been equally succesful in that regard so long as you make "conformance" at ETD-35 mins or manage to navigate the pain points in Flight Connections.
Once T2 comes on line you will have three dcent departures experiences and two good arrivals areas, T4 not having been done !!!! That leaves some of the world's biggest long haul carriers on piers that were built years ago. Indeed Air Canada B777s use the same pier that was built and used by their own DC8s. Virgin Atlantic now use Pier 7 which is as basic as it's possible to get, so the only decent experience is for those with lounge accesss who don't look right and left when using the boarding areas.
The best chance to re-develop this would be once any new North Side T6 is built to allow T3 to be closed and rebuilt like T2 or a phased closure and rebuild using what's left of T1 as overflow. however be clear that the basic airside structure is older than the T1 pier that was half demolished last year and cannot go on much longer. Pier 6 is OK for the A380 but just makes the rest of the building look bad by comparison.
We can do better than this.
 
mikey72
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RE: The End Of LHR Envy?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:13 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 36):
And people think I am negative?

Not negative..just realistic.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 36):
had plummeted from a low level to a new darkness

Great turn of phrase ! He he

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 36):
We can do better than this.

I know and I'm sure we will as the latest figures suggest. It's just going to take time but there is no point keep moaning about it. (Not you)
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.

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