British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 11:34 am

A few days ago my friend from London flew in from London Heathrow on a BA744 to JFK in New York, and when she was at Heathrow she said it was very messy and very big, but she said Gatwick was pretty nice. Seeing that i havent been to one of them, which one is nicer
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RE: British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 11:42 am

Terminal 4 at Heathrow (for BA intercontinental service) is badly designed and overall a mess. Terminal 1 (for BA Europe flights) is much better organized. BA's terminal at LGW is not very large, and the waiting area is a bit cramped at times. Overall, you are more likely to get lost at LHR than LGW. This is based on personal experience. (I have been at LHR dozens of times, and at LGW a few times).

I believe BA is still going ahead with plans to build a Terminal 5 at Heathrow, which should help out.

RE: British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 6:36 pm

I don't agree that T4 at LHR is badly designed, there is plenty of space for pax, even at peak times, and great views by each gate. The BA Europe/Domestic terminal (T1) is fine, not a problem.

Gatwick North terminal (BA intercontinental/domestic) is badly designed, only in the sense that there are no viewing areas until you arrive outside your gate, and even then they are not great.

Gatwick does get a lot of traffic though, it's in no way a second-rate airport.
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RE: British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 6:47 pm

LHR is indeed a very "messy" airport. This is due to its basic layuout which dates back to around 1943. The original plan showed a central terminal area surrounded by multiple runways arranged in a "Star of David" pattern. This layout has hampered expansion and has resulted in most of the smaller crosswind runways being closed and built upon. In fact, construction work at the airport has never ceased since the airport opened in 1946. Terminal 1,2 and 3 are essentially "trapped" in thew centre area with Terminal 4 and the future Terminal 5 out on the perimeter, where ALL the terminals should have been from the beginning. One early plan also showed a secondary smaller airport on the north side of the main airport just across the raod.
Environmentalists had yet to appear in 1943!
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RE: British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 8:23 pm

Like LHR, most other UK airports have happended rather than being planned. Unlike in AMS which always seems to me to be organised and looking ahead, we build facilities to catch up wiht demand rathar than build facilities to meet expected demand.
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Have A Look

Sun Nov 05, 2000 9:02 pm

Have a look at my user name and guess which one I prefur  
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RE: British Airports

Sun Nov 05, 2000 9:12 pm

BAA spends £1 million a DAY! on new construction at Heathrow.

T4 to me has always seemed the best of the LHR terminals - it's easy to get to, easy for check in (that huge hall has loads of space) and then when you get through the passport control the shopping, gates are all well arranged. The only prob is the mammoth walk you have to get to those 'cul-de-sac' gates.

T1 is much better now that it was redesigned airside, but landside the checkin areas are still a mess. Domestic lounge is much better now it has been tidied up.

T2 - haven't been there for a while but apparently it's very nice since the 1996 refurb.

T3 - a bit of a mess really. I think this has to be the worst LHR terminal. It's crowded, the check in area is crap and the duty free/lounges are all a mess.

Terminal 5, when it gets built, will be incredible. There is also a plan to build another Terminal (6?) in the opposite side to T5 (i.e. the maint base) and then extend the satellites all over the central area (which would involve demolishing T1, T2 + T3.)

As soon as T5 is complete BA will transfer all their ops there (Int, Euro and Domestic) which will make transferring at LHR as seamless as at AMS or CDG.
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RE: British Airports

Mon Nov 06, 2000 5:46 am

I have only been to LGW but I will say that transferring airlines/terminals at LGW is a pain, Other than that, LGW is a nice airport, a little confusing though but thats it, no real complaints from me.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...