tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:43 pm

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]
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:46 pm

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 !
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:49 pm

UK is a developed country and the expectation is very high for the country and i feel the government have learnt from this now.
 
jfk777
Posts: 5828
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:59 pm

Something new after terminal 5 should have been ready by the Olympics at LHR. Terminal 2 should have been open by now.
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:02 pm

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.
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:16 pm

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
 
26point2
Posts: 809
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:01 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:24 pm

....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.
 
Speedbirdie
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 5:11 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:37 pm

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..
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:43 pm

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.
 
kl911
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:10 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:44 pm

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.  
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:52 pm

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.
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:54 pm

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]
 
kl911
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 1:10 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:06 pm

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  
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:11 pm

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
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:25 pm

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: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:32 pm

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.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18846
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:46 pm

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.
 
shankly
Posts: 1194
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:50 pm

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
 
Summa767
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:30 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:03 pm

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.
 
col
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:48 pm

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.
 
LX138
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:45 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:07 pm

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
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:13 pm

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
 
mutu
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:04 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:18 pm

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!!
 
LX138
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:45 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:20 pm

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
 
Phen
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:05 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:23 pm

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.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 3368
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:29 pm

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.
 
rutankrd
Posts: 2568
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:41 pm

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.
 
Gingersnap
Posts: 823
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:09 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:17 pm

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
 
DTWPurserBoy
Posts: 2322
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:50 pm

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
 
kdhurst380
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:52 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:38 am

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.
 
BeyondBristol
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:13 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:06 am

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.
 
flyingdoc
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:53 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:28 am

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.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:31 am

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.
 
mattya9
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:36 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:47 am

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."
 
Birdwatching
Posts: 3573
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:48 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:33 am

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
 
richcandy
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2001 4:49 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:12 am

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
 
n729pa
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:43 am

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 avatar
eurowings
Posts: 521
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:40 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:05 am

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]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
ScottishDavie
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:19 am

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
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:55 am

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.
 
Richie72
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:02 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:00 am

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 .
 
planejamie
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:51 am

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).
 
jumpjets
Posts: 1111
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:04 am

"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 avatar
scbriml
Posts: 13243
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:20 am

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. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
ScottishDavie
Posts: 177
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:32 am

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
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:34 am

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.
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:36 am

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.
 
eire123
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:54 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 am

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!!
 
babybus
Posts: 2379
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:07 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 am

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.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
eire123
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:54 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:43 am

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!!

Who is online