LHStarAlliance
Topic Author
Posts: 2096
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:15 pm

LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:33 pm

Hi !

I went to LHR 3 days ago for my first time in Life , and I must say it was a great airport very comfortable and fast going through the controlling , many windows to look out and many Restaurants .

IMO it was far better than FRA , MAD or any else , why is it so criticized here on A.net ??

BAA has done a great job with LHR !

Cheers ,

Konstantin
Boycott The Olympic Games In Beijing !
 
musapapaya
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:02 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:36 pm

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter):
MO it was far better than FRA , MAD or any else , why is it so criticized here on A.net ??

Because everything is slow in LHR especially if you wish to transfer between one terminal to another. But I am glad to hear something positive about this airport too!
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
User avatar
shamrock350
Posts: 5375
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 12:38 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:39 pm

I like Heathrow but I have never had to connect through it. T1, 2 and 3 just seem to be huddled in the middle and T4 is just dumped there.
T5 and Heathrow East will simplify the airport a lot and probably make it easy for people to transfer between terminals in the future.
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:47 pm

LHR is one of the worst airports in the world passenger wise. Everything is SLOW, especially security and checkin. I always avoid it if i can as STN, LTN and LCY are so much quicker.

Its not too bad for photography however, but the reason it is heavily criticised on this front is it used to be SO mucb better!
Extraordinary World
 
Emirates029
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:13 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:51 pm

I wish they'd get rid of BAA's control of LHR, they are allowed to get away with so much!
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:53 pm

Quoting Emirates029 (Reply 4):
I wish they'd get rid of BAA's control of LHR, they are allowed to get away with so much!

yes exactly i agree, especially staff and security wise as they need so much more infrastructure! I think things will improve once T5 comes in however.

I think it is mainly the UK govermnent's problem as they let the BAA get away with all of this, and also do little to help them in rectifying the problems.
Extraordinary World
 
jfk777
Posts: 7214
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:44 pm

Heathrow is great if you are flying to T3 or T4, it sucks at T2 or T1. IF you are O & D it works OK too. Connecting FORGETABOUTIT, Arrivals lounges at T3 for AA, UA and VS & BA at T4 are great, a unique LHR thig.
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:55 pm

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 6):
Heathrow is great if you are flying to T3 or T4, it sucks at T2 or T1. IF you are O & D it works OK too. Connecting FORGETABOUTIT, Arrivals lounges at T3 for AA, UA and VS & BA at T4 are great, a unique LHR thig.

im not sure i agree about T3. I checked-in there last week with Virgin, and it took 1.5 hours, and the security took another 45 minutes. Was a complete nightmare! In fact T3's security is always very slow, like T1's.
Extraordinary World
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:14 pm

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 6):
Heathrow is great if you are flying to T3 or T4, it sucks at T2 or T1. IF you are O & D it works OK too. Connecting FORGETABOUTIT,

While security check in at T3 is slow, it isn't any worse than IAD, LAX, JFK, just to list a few examples. I don't think T1 or T2 are that bad either. The lounges at LHR are indeed quite nice, if a bit crowded at times. And the shopping choices at LHR aren't bad at all.

The key problem with LHR is the horrible system for moving between terminals. I've been stuck on a bus from T4 to T3 for 30 minutes thanks to a flat tire, and once when we were leaving T3 for T1(or maybe T2, I don't recall) there was an accident between another bus and a service vehicle which snarled all the T1/T2/T3 bus traffic. While the Dulles people movers are bad, at least they don't get caught up in LHR-type traffic jams.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ac747
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:10 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:51 pm

Mind you, the original post says

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter):
I went to LHR 3 days ago for my first time in Life

So let's think about what an impact going there for the first time would have had.
Yes, it's a mess to transit through and it can be slow moving yadda yadda yadda.
But, it's one of the world's great airports ! Imagine going through LAX or JFK for the first time. You would be thrilled, excited, enthralled.
As an enthusiast it would be a massive rush.
So I can well understand why the original poster was transfixed by the LHR experience.....first time out.
Maybe after a few more visits and transits that perspective may change !!
Haven't we been here before ?
 
Norcal773
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:19 pm

Quoting AC747 (Reply 9):

I agree. I was kinda impressed my first time in LHR albeit 11 years ago but after being there a lot more since, I absolutely hate the airport. It's a good experience for a first timer for sure.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
User avatar
SEPilot
Posts: 5524
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:40 pm

I flew into LHR for the first time in Sept. (on AA) and departed from there as well. I had no problems, did not consider anything to be particularly bad or slow. I rarely fly to or through very large airports (I flew from BOS) but did not consider LHR to be much different. I notice most of the complaints have to do with transfers; I did not have to deal with that. My most frequent airport is BDL, by the way; an order of magnitude smaller.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
richierich
Posts: 3618
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:50 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 8):
While security check in at T3 is slow, it isn't any worse than IAD, LAX, JFK, just to list a few examples. I don't think T1 or T2 are that bad either.

Great.... LAX, IAD and JFK... that's like the trifecta of miserable airports! And yes, LHR does belong on that list. (I will go on record briefly by saying that I think JFK has made huge strides in the past decade and is now a much easier airport to navigate and generally the facilities are much much better than they were.)

I like going to the UK and LHR is so damn convenient for me, so it is a necessary evil! My biggest gripes at that airport are not the terminals themselves, although T3 is nothing to write home about, but of the lack of gate space and remote parking. Flying across the pond for 6 hours or more and then spending an hour on the ground waiting for a remote space to open up, only to disembark the aircraft on some airstairs in the rain isn't very thrilling. Although I have grown a strong affinity to the smells of JET-A and the whistling sounds of about 50 APUs in the immediate area.

I am curious to try STN or even BRS, but I have not had the opportunity to fly to those airports yet. And LGW is out of the way for me usually. Ditto MAN, although I generally prefer both of those airports. So my next UK trip will likely be through LHR - the airport I love to hate and hate to love - and I will still, strangely, look forward to the experience.
None shall pass!!!!
 
[email protected]
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:59 pm

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter):
I went to LHR 3 days ago for my first time in Life , and I must say it was a great airport very comfortable and fast going through the controlling , many windows to look out and many Restaurants .

I'm glad you had a positive experience, makes a change from the barrage of abuse LHR get's from some people. I suppose it's a matter of choice and luck. Some people find it a good experience if there are no other problems such as delays, lost luggage etc. Others find it stressful, all depends on the day really.

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter):
why is it so criticized here on A.net

Maybe it's an A.net thing.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
ac747
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:10 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 12):
LAX, IAD and JFK... that's like the trifecta of miserable airports!

Ah yes, but if you're visiting them for the first time, then they are new and exciting places.
Haven't we been here before ?
 
Emirates029
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:13 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:07 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 12):
And LGW is out of the way for me usually.

Why is it out of the way for you? Not sure if you've heard about it, but there's a train service called Gatwick Express that links the airport to Central London (London Victoria) non-stop, 30 min ride.
What with the delays at LHR (waiting for luggage, waiting for a gate to deplane etc etc) LGW could be quicker, despite being further away from London.
 
LHStarAlliance
Topic Author
Posts: 2096
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:15 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:15 am

Quoting Emirates029 (Reply 15):
LGW could be quicker

I´ll test this Airport in 4 days  Smile .

Off Topic :

My back flight with BA 767 G-BNWA was awful , why do they have so old seats on this A/Cs LH was far better !
Boycott The Olympic Games In Beijing !
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:23 am

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Reply 16):
My back flight with BA 767 G-BNWA was awful , why do they have so old seats on this A/Cs LH was far better !

BA 767's are very old and tired, they are due for replacement, but they are just hanging onto them until they announce their new order decision.

Quoting Emirates029 (Reply 15):
What with the delays at LHR (waiting for luggage, waiting for a gate to deplane etc etc) LGW could be quicker, despite being further away from London.

I agree, LGW is normally always quicker for me living in London then LHR is. They are both of equal distance but LGW is a more pleasant journey (unless you ride the extortinate Heathrow Express which I always boycott) as I have a travelcard which allows me to use the underground for free as oppose to paying £10 or whatever it is one way on the Express.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 12):
Great.... LAX, IAD and JFK... that's like the trifecta of miserable airports! And yes, LHR does belong on that list. (I will go on record briefly by saying that I think JFK has made huge strides in the past decade and is now a much easier airport to navigate and generally the facilities are much much better than they were.)

I flew through JFK last week and was really impressed at how much it improved. The new T4 is excellent, and also the customs official were so much more friendly than before  Smile
 thumbsup  for JFK!
Extraordinary World
 
DavidT
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:37 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:25 am

I've only flown from LHR on BA longhaul connecting from Manchester, and I've never had to many problems - land at T1, board a bus to T4, get off bus straight into deparatures area!

However that was before last summer. Not sure what it is like with all the new restrictions.
 
richierich
Posts: 3618
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:41 am

Quoting AC747 (Reply 14):
Ah yes, but if you're visiting them for the first time, then they are new and exciting places.

I don't disagree. To be honest, I still find it an exciting place, until I have to go into the terminal.

Quoting Emirates029 (Reply 15):
Why is it out of the way for you? Not sure if you've heard about it, but there's a train service called Gatwick Express that links the airport to Central London (London Victoria) non-stop, 30 min ride.
What with the delays at LHR (waiting for luggage, waiting for a gate to deplane etc etc) LGW could be quicker, despite being further away from London.

I am well aware of the Gatwick Express, which would be helpful if it was the center of London that I was going to. More often that not, I try to avoid the middle of London. I will say, however, that I like the fact that LGW is on a mainline train station. The LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">HE by comparison is very expensive and means you have to go to lovely Paddington Station.
None shall pass!!!!
 
ac747
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:10 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:54 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 19):
To be honest, I still find it an exciting place, until I have to go into the terminal.

LOL !!
Understood.
No argument there.
Haven't we been here before ?
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:55 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 19):
The LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">

What thats all about  Smile !?
Extraordinary World
 
richierich
Posts: 3618
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:35 am

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 21):
What thats all about !?

Holy smokes! Not sure what happened there...sorry. I'd abbreviated the Heathrow Express 'HE' when this site added some other stuff! I was trying to type something to the effect "The Heathrow Express by comparison is very expensive...."

To sort of clarify my point earlier, I have business in the UK Midlands later this year. I might try to get to MAN (BHX is a remote possibility also) but the reality is that LHR offers the most flight options for me. If I don't rent a car, then I will take the train, but that is not easy from LHR (I'll probably take the bus to Reading). I suppose I could consider LGW too but that is truly 40 miles in the wrong direction for me, and taking a train into London and connecting to a tube is a lousy option. Now I think about it, there is regular train service from LGW to Reading (without going to London)... hmmm.....  Smile
None shall pass!!!!
 
LHStarAlliance
Topic Author
Posts: 2096
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:15 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:50 am

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 17):
BA 767's are very old and tired, they are due for replacement, but they are just hanging onto them until they announce their new order decision.

Well I hope they buy soon some 783  Smile this A/Cs are terrible , though I was happy to fly for first time a 767
 cheeky 


Konstantin
Boycott The Olympic Games In Beijing !
 
madairdrie
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:40 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:16 am

I must be one of the strange people in this world I love LHR, as you get a great view of different airlines and aircraft. I also have never had any real hassle at LHR, I use it mostly for domestic travel from GLA/EDI and find T1 easy and very smooth. But I have also used T2 and T3 for Europe and US flights, both transferring from T1 and also arriving to fly from T2 and T3 (been years since I have been in T4 as a passenger). I have never had any problems with check in or security - maybe just my luck. I hate T2 as a terminal as it is ancient and tiny but find the other terminals great.

I try and avoid at all cost LGW as anytime I have travelled from their or to there my flight seems to be delayed, I know that is not LGW fault but it leaves a bad impression. What is LGW's fault is the dreadful queues for security last time it was 2.5 hours just to get through security, the queue went right round and started at the train station, the first hurdle was to get through the queue to check in, which was an initial 45min queue to check in then 2.5 hours to clear security. And I have experienced that once to many recently at LGW. Whereas I manage to pass through LHR without any problem.

STN and LTN are great airports in their own way - although wrong side of London for me, but if you are delayed at LHR or LGW at least there is something to do - sit and watch the planes, which is not as much fun at STN or LTN.

I know this is all to do with personal expereince but that I suppose is what affects most peoples views of airports.
Kenneth
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:17 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 22):
Holy smokes! Not sure what happened there...sorry. I'd abbreviated the Heathrow Express 'HE' when this site added some other stuff! I was trying to type something to the effect "The Heathrow Express by comparison is very expensive...."

hehe  Smile thats funny

Quoting Richierich (Reply 22):
take the train, but that is not easy from LHR (I'll probably take the bus to Reading). I suppose I could consider LGW too but that is truly 40 miles in the wrong direction for me, and taking a train into London and connecting to a tube is a lousy option. Now I think about it, there is regular train service from LGW to Reading (without going to London)...

i have lived around this area all my life so maybe able to offer some help! The direct train for LGW to Reading is very handy but it does take a very long time and is not a particualrly nice train (1.5 hours). The Railink bus from Heathrow is quicker and more comfortable, although fairly expensive. A very cheap option (and not really any longer) is to take a bus from LHR to West Drayton station where you can board a direct train to Reading, but I would recommend this more to save money (it costs about £6 as oppose to £15 for the bus) rather than time saving as its no quicker in total.

If you need any more advice let me know!
Extraordinary World
 
raventom
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:50 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:30 am

Is this an April fools joke?
I love the smell of burnt kerosene!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
PLANAR
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:37 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:37 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 6):
Heathrow is great if you are flying to T3 or T4,

mmm.. T4? I have always connected there (9 times now) and everytime it seems that everything is in chaos, the whole thing just loos like a warehouse and not to mention the corridors.... seriously, whats up with the loong corridors which are sometimes stuffy too! It seems more like a dungeon, or more appropriately with people running around here and there, some kind of a bomb shelter.

Otherwise though - I love some of the gates, where a huge 747's nose is right in front of you and you can look down the length of the aircraft....
Flim-Flam Balderdash...
 
ncelhr
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:53 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting PLANAR (Reply 27):
mmm.. T4? I have always connected there (9 times now) and everytime it seems that everything is in chaos, the whole thing just loos like a warehouse and not to mention the corridors.... seriously, whats up with the loong corridors which are sometimes stuffy too! It seems more like a dungeon, or more appropriately with people running around here and there, some kind of a bomb shelter.

Makes me sad to read this - I remember passing through T4, 3 days after its opening, so long ago. It was all so beautiful and new, with all those big bright open spaces... I guess with time you start trying to cram as much as possible in a building - more than what it was designed for - and it all goes wrong...
 
brilondon
Posts: 3046
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:10 am

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 3):
LHR is one of the worst airports in the world passenger wise.

Last time I was there I thought the same way you did until I actually got there to check in. I arrived prepared to wait and stand in line alot. I was surprised check-in as very quick and easy. It took me about 7 minutes. After I went quickly through security they did not make me explain every thing in my carry on like they did in Buffalo. All I had to do was walk through the metal detector and my carry-on was waiting on the other side. I did not have to put up with people who were on a power trip and the security at LHR actually did something that the US security did not, they smiled.  bigthumbsup 
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:58 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 12):
Flying across the pond for 6 hours or more and then spending an hour on the ground waiting for a remote space to open up, only to disembark the aircraft on some airstairs in the rain isn't very thrilling.

And, in my experience, all of the above frequently follows going around in circles in a holding pattern for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before being permitted to make the approach and landing.
 
buck3y3nut
Posts: 824
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:38 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:13 am

LHR is a dump. i hate the airport and will avoid it in the future unless I really really have to go through london...
 
trintocan
Posts: 2781
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:47 am

LHR is certainly one of the world's great airports in terms of its history, prestige anbd the fact that so many airlines queue for ages to fly there. It also offers one of the wiodest range of connections and destinations available on the planet. The trouble with it is that its land area cannot be easily expanded and so its facilities have been increasingly crammed into the acreage available, giving rise to the impression of overcrowding. The heavy use made of its facilities add to the run-down appearance of the place.

T5 will be a welcome relief as it will take a lot of traffic away from the other terminals (esp. T1 and T4) and allow for reorganizeation. T2 will be closed after that and T1 rebuilt. I do enjoy flying from LHR despite the somewhat slummy atmosphere there - where else do you see the variety of flights?

As for getting to the Midlands of England from LHR, consider the National Express bus service. Buses run from the Central Bus Station to destinations across the UK on a regular basis - so much so that the Central Station is actually Britain's busiest bus station! I am not kidding here but LHR is a Mecca for bus spotters too! There is also the Heathrow Connect service from the T1/T2/T3 railway station to Hayes & Harlington, from where you can get a train on to Reading but the fare on the Connect from the airport is the same as the Heathrow Express (the Connect is run jointly by BAA and First Great Western and links intermediate stations on the main line with LHR and Paddington). As aforementioned the local bus services link LHR to West Drayton (and Hayes & Harlington, though here they have been overshadowed by the Connect train services), again providing access to main line rail services. There is also a bus link to Feltham station from where South West Trains services run to Reading but these take a longer, slower route with many stops. I think that the direct bus is your best bet.

TrinToCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
xXMHxLHx5LXx
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:17 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:10 am

Quoting AC747 (Reply 14):
Ah yes, but if you're visiting them for the first time, then they are new and exciting places.

I guess that depends. In January I arrived for the first time into JFK (on an AA flight from BRU) and I honestly didn't like it at all. The building reminded me a lot of LHR, in fact Well, and one AA one 767 jet really needs far over an hour for immigration?? That was really slow... People didn't know where to queue, nobody there for assistance... it was quite a mess.

But back to the topic

I never had huge problems connecting at LHR (which I did quite a few times) except the normal traffic-jam, one hour in the pre-departure AA question-queue...
But what really bothers me about LHR is having a flight MUC-LHR and spending more time circling the airport and waiting on the tarmac than actually flying.
(Worse MUC-FRA, flying 1:15 h on a route that would usually be more like 30 - 40 minutes feels kind of awkward. Estimated flight time is actually the same as MUC-TXL)

Regards...

xXMHxLHx5LXx

[Edited 2007-04-07 03:16:22]
Airbus 319/20/21 332 333 342 343 300 388 Boeing 717 722 732/-3/-4/-5/-G/-8 742 744 748 752 763 764 772 788 DC3 DC10 DH7
 
Rivet42
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:02 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 22):
I suppose I could consider LGW too but that is truly 40 miles in the wrong direction for me, and taking a train into London and connecting to a tube is a lousy option. Now I think about it, there is regular train service from LGW to Reading (without going to London)... hmmm.....

Actually, there are several Virgin trains (yes, same brand!) per day, that go from Brighton, via LGW, all the way to Birmingham and Manchester bypassing central London altogether. So Gatwick can be quite useful.

Back to the main topic of LHR though - I must say that it's through extensive experience over several decades, watching (and feeling) it buckling under the pressure of overcrowding and mismanagement, I am resigned to admit that what was once a great airport, in just about every sense, is now a bit of a dump. I love the place, because of the sheer number of memories I have, but I also hate the chaos that ensues after the very slightest of problems. Of course, the place is a victim of its own success, as it was never designed for the number of aircraft and passengers that are now the norm. I have on many occasions passed through without issue; I have almost as frequently been frustrated by things that just should not happen in a leading international hub airport, such as sitting in a plane in a queue for a parking space for 30-45 minutes, getting to the gate to find that the ground crew had gone to a different gate, being parked on a remote stand only to have to wait for the buses to turn up (I never had that anywhere else), having to de-plane in the pouring rain (ok, we expect that at Stansted & Luton, but Heathrow?), having to queue outside the terminal until I was 'allowed' in to pass through security, having to pay for hotel shuttle buses, etc, etc, etc.

Again, one can be lucky on the day and encounter none of the above, but the more often you use LHR, the more likely you are to work your way through that list (and even add a few gripes of your own!)...

The sooner BAA is split up and Heathrow can go it alone in direct competition to Gatwick, the better.

PhiL P
I travel, therefore I am.
 
planesarecool
Posts: 3257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:42 am

Heathrow is a 'dump' because it is in the process of huge amounts of building work. Remember that they can't just close the airport down for a year while they do all the building work. In a few years time, once T5 is fully operational, connecting on BA will be simple, connecting through Star Alliance, Skyteam and Oneworld will be simple, and the mess caused by the upgrading of facilities in the terminals will be gone.

Yes you may have to spend a few minutes in the stack, but they don't have thousands of acres of desert to throw in 6 runways willy nilly.

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 34):
being parked on a remote stand only to have to wait for the buses to turn up

They can't just click their fingers and have a brand spanking new terminal appear complete with an adequate number of jetways for each flight. Think of the large amount of long haul aircraft which use T4, and then consider that only 16 gates connected to the terminal can handle aircraft larger than the 767.

The use of remote stands (in addition to gates) commonly happens across the whole of the UK, aswell as many parts of the world.

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 34):
having to de-plane in the pouring rain

So you'd rather sit on the plane until it stopped raining? I'm afraid you may find yourself waiting a long time.
 
Ken777
Posts: 9995
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:46 am

Actually LHR is one of my favorite airports. When I was flying a lot and top tier in AA's FF program I could check in at Park Avenue - a small building across from T3. It's about 15 yards from car/cab to the check in counter, which is seldom busy. Then up the elevator to an air bridge that leads to express passport check & security. Fortunately I'm lifetime Platinum with AA so I can still use the Business check in counters, or plead Med Asst at Park Avenue.

In terms of the terminals, they do offer a variety. the only challenge I have ever had was connecting from T3 to a flight to DUB - must have walked 5 miles to get there. Fortunately there was a BA club that had pity on me and let me drop in for a fast shower mid way along the "journey".

There may be a lot of airports that are fresher and/or easier to get through, but LHR still tops my list. The only thing close for me is VIE where I can push my baggage cart tot he hotel across the taxi ranks, right to the hotel and then to my room.

My wife loves me going through LHR also as she knows that the last thing I do there is get her 6 - 8 jars of jam at Harrods. I learned a long time ago how to keep her happy with me taking overseas business trips!
 
Rivet42
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:05 pm

Quoting Planesarecool (Reply 35):
Yes you may have to spend a few minutes in the stack, but they don't have thousands of acres of desert to throw in 6 runways willy nilly.

I think you misunderstood my point (or I didn't explain exactly what I meant) - I meant waiting on a taxiway for gate or remote stand to become available.

Quoting Planesarecool (Reply 35):
The use of remote stands (in addition to gates) commonly happens across the whole of the UK, aswell as many parts of the world.

Again, the point I was making was not about the use of remote stands, but that it has been my experience that the buses (for BA flights, therefore BA buses) seem to be in short supply. Interestingly at other large airports the buses are operated by the airport, but I don't think that has ever been the case at LHR (please correct me if I am wrong!  Smile )

Quoting Planesarecool (Reply 35):
So you'd rather sit on the plane until it stopped raining?

Not at all, but again, other major airports are able to provide enclosed stairs, but you don't see very many of those at LHR.

I think the gist of some of these gripes is in the division of what is provided by the airport, and what is provided by the airline, and this is an area where HAL (Heathrow Airport Ltd) appear to differ considerably to their main European rivals.

Incidentally, my use of the word 'dump' was with regard to the general shabbiness and claustrophobia of many areas, and was not related in any way to the building works currently present. Agreed, T5, the renovated T3, and Heathrow East will all, hopefully, bring about handsome changes, but in the meantime a change of management - with an enlightened focus on customer service in place of this present obsession with retail - would be like a shot in the arm!

PhiL P
I travel, therefore I am.
 
JoeCanuck
Posts: 4704
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:30 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:55 pm

When I read the headline, I though that we had a new winner of the sarchastic remark of the day award. He actually meant it...wow.

I've been through LHR about a half a dozen times in the past few years. While it may ultimately be nice that they're fixing the place up, it has never failed to be a huge pain in the butt to transit through. If they're actually going to improve the place, (which, considering how screwed the place is now, won't be difficult), get it done already.

Maybe one day, in some starry eyed future, LHR will be the pinnacle of airport achievement but, for now, it's my top rated 'most annoying airport'. The place sucks. Avoid it if you can. I hear Gatwick is much better...couldn't be worse.

Besides...they're removing the model Concorde...'nuff said...
What the...?
 
TruemanQLD
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:09 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:44 pm

LHR = 5/10 its okay but not great
 
spencer
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:28 pm

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 37):
Agreed, T5, the renovated T3, and Heathrow East will all, hopefully, bring about handsome changes, but in the meantime a change of management - with an enlightened focus on customer service in place of this present obsession with retail - would be like a shot in the arm!

Absolutely agree! Just out of curiosity has the Heathrow East project been given the go-ahead yet? I heard whatever the outcome T2 will be closed anyway....? This of course once T5 is online obviously! If it (Heathrow East) gets the go-ahead, when's the completion date set? Again, I heard the 2012 Olympics would be the target. Any confirmation there? On a personal note I'd say LHR can and should be improved, yet I still get a buzz travelling through it whenever I get the opportunity! Out of a spotter's view it's up there with the best of 'em!
Spencer.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
spencer
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:35 pm

Almost forgot to mention it but, once T5 comes online shouldn't the remaining 3 terminals (1, 3 and 4) be reorganised? ie. T1 will receive all Star Alliance members at LHR, T3 will get the One World members and T4 should get Skyteam and the other non-aligned members. This will surely bring some of the transit times down a bit, no?
Spencer
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
User avatar
aerorobnz
Posts: 8336
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:23 pm

No matter which airports I fly through, even if technically they are better than LHR it will always be the world's greatest airport in my eyes. It was first airport name I ever learned after my home airport despite being on the other side of the world, and has a folkloric infamy about it that others really can't compete with (except maybe LAX or perhaps ORD). Everyone (even the general public) knows that there is a takeoff or landing every 3 seconds at LHR, that it is the busiest airport in terms of international flights and that it is a fortress of rabbit warrens that could lose the unaware/stupid for hours.
I'm sure everyone knows someone with a diabolic story about LHR, yet we still insist on using it as our port of entry to London. What's more is that no other airport has had more influence on the psyche of passengers worldwide IMO. Most preconceptions of travelling these days I would wager were founded from experiences of LHR at some time or other. Everything you read about in books about airports and travelling like Air Babylon makes sense when put in the context of LHR.

Also I add from a Plane Spotter's point of view, in terms of airlines and aircraft types it is the Holy Grail - even if it has got slightly more limited in recent years. I insist on using LHR every time I visit London, and have never had issue in any of the terminals.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
User avatar
B747-437B
Posts: 8886
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:30 pm

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 42):
Everyone (even the general public) knows that there is a takeoff or landing every 3 seconds at LHR

This would cause a major problem as there are only 2 operational runways, so that would mean only 6 second seperation.
 
planesarecool
Posts: 3257
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:37 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:34 pm

Quoting Spencer (Reply 41):
Almost forgot to mention it but, once T5 comes online shouldn't the remaining 3 terminals (1, 3 and 4) be reorganised? ie. T1 will receive all Star Alliance members at LHR, T3 will get the One World members and T4 should get Skyteam and the other non-aligned members. This will surely bring some of the transit times down a bit, no?

Yes, hence it won't be such a 'disaster' to transfer through because pretty much all connections will be within the same terminal. Although I'm slightly intrigued on how they plan on fitting all the long haul Star Alliance flights into T1, with only around 7 or 8 stands capable of handling aircraft larger than the 767, and no stands A380 capable.

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 37):
I think you misunderstood my point (or I didn't explain exactly what I meant) - I meant waiting on a taxiway for gate or remote stand to become available.

Sorry, i wasn't referring to your post in that point, but people's gripe about having to spend 'ages' in the stack before landing
 
[email protected]
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:21 am

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 42):
Everyone (even the general public) knows that there is a takeoff or landing every 3 seconds at LHR

That would be technically impossible, not to mention downright disastrous!  Smile you probably meant every 90 seconds, that's the average time interval between every take-off and landing at LHR.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
Filton
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 4:54 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:02 am

Quoting LHStarAlliance (Thread starter):
BAA has done a great job with LHR !

Are you kidding? I went to LHR, LAX, SFO, Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai last year and LHR was BY FAR THE WORST - in my opinion. Slow, over-crowded and dated are a few words that spring to mind.

The new airports in the east like Sepang, Changi and Chek Lap Kok make LHR look second rate. Even with T5, it's nowhere close. But then Dubai World Central International Airport when it is finished will make every other airport in the world look pretty poor (it's 10x the size of DXB).
 
LHStarAlliance
Topic Author
Posts: 2096
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:15 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:07 am

Quoting Filton (Reply 46):

my 2 flights where very comfortable and I don´t have any reason for complain,but sure there is a good reason for all LHR bash ...

Konstantin
Boycott The Olympic Games In Beijing !
 
bananaboy
Posts: 1644
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:53 am

Quoting Trintocan (Reply 32):
As aforementioned the local bus services link LHR to West Drayton (and Hayes & Harlington, though here they have been overshadowed by the Connect train services), again providing access to main line rail services. There is also a bus link to Feltham station from where South West Trains services run to Reading but these take a longer, slower route with many stops. I think that the direct bus is your best bet.

Railair coach straight to Reading and connect to everywhere via there. Vv easy.

Anyway, whilst LHR bashing can be fun  Wink I don't have too many gripes with the place. Admittedly, all my travel is O&D from there, but seriously, there are far worse airports.

Never had to wait more than 30 mins for security, 10 mins for immigration and 20 mins for baggage. Comparing those three facts alone with the last time I went to MIA or LAX and already LHR comes out on top.

Its far from perfect.. disjointed, over stretched and under resourced, but I think its pretty far from the dump many make it out to be.

Having said that, I have heard about the trouble people have connecting there. LHR need to work on this ASAP as the transfer market is a key part of the overall "attraction" of the place.


Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
User avatar
aerorobnz
Posts: 8336
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:43 pm

RE: LHR - What For A Great Airport!

Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:41 am

Quoting [email protected]LHR (Reply 45):
you probably meant every 90 seconds,

yep indeed I did. I mixed up my stats ... but your knowledge kinda proves my point about LHR- even if you are a plane fanatic and a local to LHR...lol
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos