tonystan
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T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:05 pm

Having recently done my tour of T5 I am not so sure that T5 will be all that it is hyped up to be.

I personally found it rather cluttered so not the vast open space it was promised to be and once again packed in with high end retail stores and food outlets.

Indeed it will be a vast improvement over anything else in LHR or London for that matter but I really feel that the BAA have missed an opportunity to build something really great with the space available. Also as long as the runways are as congested as they are I really do not see T5 benefiting the travel in terms of delays.

What do you all think?
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:09 pm

Quoting Tonystan (Thread starter):
high end retail stores

Well THERE'S a surprise ! T5 with BAA as an owner/operator was always bound to be Bluewater-with-jetways. I'm amazed they found space to squeeze in check-in desks. Oh that's right, they didn't - it's all DIY now - even MORE branches of Sunglass Hut and Tie Rack, oh goody.  Yeah sure
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jamman
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:44 pm

I would hold judgment until I've seen it myself but if they have not taken the chance to build an airport that will streamline the process of passengers checking in and flowing through security check points to the airside waiting areas it would have all been for nothing.
Shops in an airport are a fact of life and are needed for extra revenue and something for the passengers to do but with out sacrificing the prime function of an airport.
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BCAL
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:24 pm

Of course BAA has over-hyped T5 saying that it will set the benchmarks for future airport terminal developments, or something very similar.

Trouble is even when T5 opens, there are still the problems with congested runways, transferring passengers and their baggage between the terminals, and even some BA flights departing from other terminals. IMHO all T5 will achieve is perhaps making the LHR experience more bearable for the majority of BA passengers. Also, T5 just adds to the mess that is LHR which only the Brits could create. It is high time to build a brand new airport to replace LHR/LGW and STN if only they could find a suitable place near London.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
I'm amazed they found space to squeeze in check-in desks. Oh that's right, they didn't - it's all DIY now - even MORE branches of Sunglass Hut and Tie Rack, oh goody.

 rotfl   rotfl 

Never has a truer word been spoken! Actually you will find Sunglass Hut and Tie Rack replaced with more up-market brands.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
B747forever
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:30 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
It is high time to build a brand new airport to replace LHR/LGW and STN

Dont think it will happen. The new airport would be to big, to be near London´.
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Revelation
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:54 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
Trouble is even when T5 opens, there are still the problems with congested runways, transferring passengers and their baggage between the terminals, and even some BA flights departing from other terminals. IMHO all T5 will achieve is perhaps making the LHR experience more bearable for the majority of BA passengers. Also, T5 just adds to the mess that is LHR which only the Brits could create.

Now, now, it's no better or worse than transferring between buildings at, let's say, JFK.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
It is high time to build a brand new airport to replace LHR/LGW and STN if only they could find a suitable place near London.

Now after such castigation of BAA, why do you think they'd do it better if given a second chance?

It's lovely to get a huge budget and a clean sheet of paper like DEN or HKG, but what's the odds of that happening in London?
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Vasu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:01 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
T5 with BAA as an owner/operator was always bound to be Bluewater-with-jetways.

Haha... such a good analogy
 
Rivet42
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:04 pm

Well, the big advantage for BA is that their aircraft will no longer have to wait for clearance to cross an active runway to get to/from the BA terminal, and for anyone who has been caught in that predicament, it is a big improvement! Just feel sorry for those airlines 'banished' to T4 when BA have moved.

Also, T4 is at the centre of LHR baggage woes, as the silly one-bag rule swamped the already creaking baggage system there more than at other terminals (though I'm not sure why T4 was worse hit). Presumably after T5 opens, a) congestion at all terminals will be significantly reduced, and b) for BA in particular, and their appalling baggage statistics, a (mostly) single terminal operation should bring about an overnight improvement.

As for Bluewater West, well, my understanding is that BA have managed(?) to restrict the BAA's retail obsession in T5, so I dread to think what it might have been like. In fact, we will find out, as there's likely to be no such restraint at Heathrow East, so we will get Bluewater West eventually...  crazy 

Riv'
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Someone83
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:11 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
I'm amazed they found space to squeeze in check-in desks. Oh that's right, they didn't - it's all DIY now

They have these DIY desk at T2 in MUC and they work great, I prefere them over the manned check in counters

Quoting Tonystan (Thread starter):
Indeed it will be a vast improvement over anything else in LHR or London for that matter

How could it not  Yeah sure
 
pilotdude09
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:59 pm

Hey,

Are there any pictures of inside T5 yet?

Cheers
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B747forever
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:01 pm

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 9):
Are there any pictures of inside T5 yet?

BAA doesn't allow any cameras. So the answer has to be no.
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
Glom
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:35 pm

One of the BAA guys was bragging that T5 was better than Bluewater. A lot of the other guinea pigs liked it though because they enjoy shopping. I don't get the complaint anyway. Of course an airport is going to be filled with shops. It's called duty free. What's the problem?
 
BCAL
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:34 pm

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 9):
Are there any pictures of inside T5 yet?

No pictures but you can see some video footage here
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
tonystan
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 11):

Well you are right but I just fear that it is indeed FILLED with retail units!!! Filled to the point that it will take away from the promised primary benefit of T5 which was to provide more space for passengers. That coupled with the fact that from what I could tell when I was walking around what will be the duty free area of the main T5 building (T5A) most of the stores were to be very high end retail units (Harrods to name but one) and very few more affordable establishments. This may be in keeping with BA's policy of attracting premium customers but when you keep in mind that it will infact be the masses of economy travellers who will be stuck with having to make do with the more confined space within the terminal (as the premium pax will have the Galleries to lounge about in) then I can see this being considered rather pretentious to them!!!

Is my logic flawed??? Probably! LOL!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
Glom
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:04 pm

The design of T5 is such that I think it is a choice between seating space and shops. Security is on the checkin level. The arrival halls is on the arrivals level. Shops are on the departure level. It's not like elsewhere where you could argue that security space was reduced to make room for shops. There is a clear partition of purpose here.
 
APYu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:18 pm

I thought the same Tonystan. While its great to have lots of shops in, they really do make the walkways feel narrow and a bit cramped, and also I felt the gate 'rooms' were quite small. If you have a 747 leaving from A17 or A18 then thats a lot of people anyone travelling from A19 to 23 will have to navigate through.

The only time I thought - wow this is big is the baggage hall which seemed cavernous - maybe as thats where most people will wait the longest.?

Did you think the Self Servie Check in Machines were very close to the desks too? There wasnt much queueing space inbetween and I can imagine lots of back ups

To improve the flow to the gates though I can imagine two process changes coming in too with the launch of T5

1 - Even if you have checked in online - if you havent printed your boarding card you would have to get one from a Self Serve machine (The Agents werent saying 'Have you checked in Sir?' they were saying 'Do you have a boarding card Sir?' which isnt the same) This would effectively introduce a two queue check in for those without a printer which would really annoy me as check in at ba.com is supposed to be easier for everyone. I really hope they dont do this.

2 - Boarding by seat row number only for all - When the 'Now boarding rows x to y' signs were on there was no reference to Exec Card holders, Club or First pax on those signs. Also, reference to pre-boarding for the premium travel classes is not advertised with the products on ba.com and I'm sure it used to be (although the Gold and Silver Exec card pre-board benefit still is advertised thankfully) - Hopefully the prems would kick off suitably if they werent allowed to get on first and tuck into that Champagne

Still, it will definately be an improvment and I cant wait to try it for real. Congrats to anyone involved in the building of it as it is a great structure and will almost certainly remove some of the immense pain that is LHR now, if not all of it.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
davescj
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:39 pm

I'll be flying through LHR on 30 March (arriving from JNB), as it is a BA flight, connecting to FCO, I"m hoping to go through terminal 5, just to see what it is like. I didn't think T4 was all that aweful.......though BA does need to do a better boarding job...but that is a different rant.
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theginge
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:44 pm

The security has been made bigger at the insistance of BA so BAA have had to get rid of a pub to fit in a larger security search area.

Word was that some stupid volunteer passenger on the proving trials bought their own suitcase last week and 'Checked It In', then wondered where it had gone when they didn't get it back at arrivals later in the day!

Thats because they were not using the same sets of bags for the departure so the bags being checked in went into the baggage system and came out somewhere to be then used again somewhere else to test the systems. This meant someone had to go in and look for the volunteers bag late in the day when they reported it missing.
 
APYu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:44 pm

Quoting Davescj (Reply 16):
I'll be flying through LHR on 30 March (arriving from JNB), as it is a BA flight

Yes the terminal 1 longhauls, of which JNB is one will move there in the first wave, with the T4 long hauls moving from T4 during April
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
BCAL
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:50 pm

Quoting Theginge (Reply 17):
Word was that some stupid volunteer passenger on the proving trials bought their own suitcase last week and 'Checked It In', then wondered where it had gone when they didn't get it back at arrivals later in the day!

I think that was a joke as I remember somethig similar being said at the introduction talk. Volunteers for the trials have to go through security screening before they are even allowed on the bus that takes them from Aviation Academy to T5, so anyone trying to check-in a bag would soon be given his marching orders.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:52 pm

Quoting Tonystan (Reply 13):
Filled to the point that it will take away from the promised primary benefit of T5 which was to provide more space for passengers.

The T5 promise was about the passenger experience and that includes more than just space. It includes the processes and the retail and eating options available to passengers. One of the complaints with the current terminals has been the location and layout of the shops and the design of T5 was meant to solve that and group them in a central location.

Quoting APYu (Reply 15):
I felt the gate 'rooms' were quite small. If you have a 747 leaving from A17 or A18 then thats a lot of people anyone travelling from A19 to 23 will have to navigate through.

There are no 'gate rooms' in T5. All gates have seating areas around them, but you board directly to the aircraft. Furthermore, those passengers in the lounges will likely not go to the gate until necessary. In addition, while some of the T5A gates can be used for longhaul aircraft, it is designed mainly for shorthaul, while T5B and T5C are designed for longhaul. Gates A19 to A23 are on the southern side of the terminal and passengers going from these gates shouldn't necessarily have to pass A17 or A18, as the central walkway will lead directly to the southern end. The beauty of the T5 design is that boarding at one gate shouldn't cause issues for passengers going to other gates, unlike T4, where if gate 11 is in use, it can block the walkway leading to gates 12-17.

To get a sense of the T5 layout and the use of the space, you can go to either the BAA website www.heathrowairport.com or the BA T5 microsite on BA.com www.terminal5.ba.com. Both have maps and virtual tours, along with a host of information.

[Edited 2007-11-08 14:25:47]
 
APYu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:52 pm

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 20):
There are no 'gate rooms' in T5

Thats why I put the rooms bit in quotes. There were about 90 of us around one of the gates and there were lots of people having to stand / lean or sit on the floor

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 20):
One of the complaints with the current terminals has been the location and layout of the shops and the design of T5 was meant to solve that and group them in a central location.

Did they really get lots of complaints? The new design ensures you have to walk past them - cunning indeed  Wink is there a statistical breakdown of passenger complaints with 'position of shops' cited. Maybe Im just a bit cynical

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 20):
To get a sense of the T5 layout and the use of the space, you can go to either the BAA website www.heathrowairport.com or the BA T5 microsite on BA.com www.terminal5.ba.com. Both have maps and virtual tours, along with a host of information.

These are great maps but they make it look bigger than I felt it was.

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 20):
Furthermore, those passengers in the lounges will likely not go to the gate until necessary

I dont think you can make that assumption. Me and my colleagues always leave the lounge early to grab overhead locker space.

I dont think BAA can claim many great leaps forward in process. Theres a checkin, a central search a wait and you get on the plane. Thats pretty much the same at all airports. But the best part for me was the views of the airfield - its a planespotters delight!!!! Bring on March
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
Rivet42
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:40 pm

It'll be my turn for a passenger trial in 2 weeks' time, so i'm looking forward to casting a critical eye over the place, and being prepared to provide plenty of feedback...  Smile

The thing I hate about T3 in particular, (it's not so bad in T1 or T2, and not a problem at all in T4), is the way you are forced into the retail upon exit from security. That's unashamedly cynical, and I was hoping that they might have followed the T4 approach (which is a bit more subtle, in line with most other airports I've been to). Damn shame if they haven't.

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:08 am

Everyones raving about T5...

what about the falling down shed that is T3 ?


If your not flying BA... (basically AA, VS, UA) your dumped into the pire of 2 hour long checkins/bag scan / shoe scan/passport scan/belt scan/interrogation.. I dont see this improving in the future...

Basically all that will change in 2008 is that we will find a diamond in a ghetto.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
It is high time to build a brand new airport to replace LHR/LGW and STN if only they could find a suitable place near London.

Approx figures for 2006

LHR 67 million passengers/annum
LGW 29 million
STN 23 million
Total 119 million

I really can't see even a country with lots of open space attempting to build an airport on such a scale. Thats double the size of anything else in existence. There must come a point where even with mutliple runways, you simply don't have the airspace available.
 
jamman
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:45 am

Looking at the maps....

Is there really a need for a branch of Accessorize on the LANDSIDE of departures?  Smile one more security check one would have been better.

Other than that the layout is lot better than the current terminals.
Phoning it in from a place with no phones.
 
pilotdude09
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:13 am

Quoting B747forever (Reply 10):
BAA doesn't allow any cameras. So the answer has to be no.



Quoting BCAL (Reply 12):
No pictures but you can see some video footage here

Thanks guys.

That video wasnt too bad. I like the baggage collection area looks quite nifty.

But i do feel that they had the opportunity to do something extravgent and set a new benchmark but it just looks like any other airport really. But nice none the less. Shame the Aussie services wont be using it.
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
commavia
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:20 am

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 20):
All gates have seating areas around them, but you board directly to the aircraft. Furthermore, those passengers in the lounges will likely not go to the gate until necessary.

I absolutely hate this system.

It is probably my single least favorite thing about flying in to, out of, or through the London airports.

After getting of 10+ hour redeye flights from the U.S., and while waiting for a 2-hour connection to wherever, some of us actually would rather go to the gate and just six and relax, maybe even catch a few minutes of sitting-upright shut-eye, rather than shopping for that new 14-kilo keg of Chivas, or that piano-sized case of Cubans that would make Fidel blush.

Why is it that everyone insists on people shopping? I'm at the airport to fly, not peruse. If I want to shop, I'll go to Regent Street. But during a connection, I'd love it if I could just go right to the gate, sit down, and relax, like in the United States.
 
theginge
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:43 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 27):
Why is it that everyone insists on people shopping? I'm at the airport to fly, not peruse. If I want to shop, I'll go to Regent Street. But during a connection, I'd love it if I could just go right to the gate, sit down, and relax, like in the United States.

To make money out of peoples idle time between flights!
 
commavia
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:51 am

Quoting Theginge (Reply 28):
To make money out of peoples idle time between flights!

Obviously, I understand that, but it's just disgusting that they don't really give you a choice: either by design or just sheer disrepair, the Heathrow terminals provide nowhere for you to go if you don't want to shop. It's uncomfortable and unpleasant to sit in those tiny little cramped hallways with 250 of your closest friends waiting for the gate for that 777 headed wherever to finally open up. It's just so ridiculous - let people sit down in the frigging gate area!

It works in the U.S. Why can't it work in London?
 
Glom
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:21 am

You can just sit down by the gate. There's plenty of seating.
 
commavia
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:27 am

Quoting Glom (Reply 30):
You can just sit down by the gate. There's plenty of seating.

Not in Terminal 3.

As if that lovely 'Sovietesque' interior decorating motif wasn't bad enough, the Terminal 3 I've flown through has about 10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats outside the actual gate area for each of the gates. What inevitably ends up happening is that the 10 people who go to the gate first (you know, the ones who want to skip the Chivas and Cubans) sit in the seats, and the other 150-250 people who eventually make their way to the gate end up sitting on the floor.

Again, I don't know if I've been flying through a different Heathrow then you, but in my numerous experiences there over the years, that has been my impression every trip.
 
APYu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:34 am

So do we assume they want you sat in the lounges or the restaurants until they're ready for your row number and we'll all arrive at the aircraft att he right time and at the right order? fabulous.

A few other design features - Once passed the gate police you decend via escalator lift or stairs to the airbridge and theoretically straight onto the plane. I think most people will use the escalator due to the 'sheep effect' of people following each other, and then I can just visualise getting to the bottom of the escalator and getting to a huge mass of people who cannot get onto the flight as a group of 27 passengers with 17 infants have only 25 boarding cards and no english speakers are stuck at the door of the plane. Meanwhile the escalator gently brings a steady flow of passengers to crash into the massed group and passenger carnage. Unless of course BAA have a lady / gent in green stood at the airbridge ready to hit the Escalator Stop button when there is no place to move forward to?

At the security x ray machines, there is only room at the back end of the current scanning machines (post search) to have 2 or maybe 3 passengers unloading their boxes at the same time, putting their belts and coats on and restowing their liquids and laptops. (Note this was Southern Search and it may be different at the northern end). I can see this leading to delays as people get dressed after the search. At Glasgow these machines have a much bigger back end which allows 5 or 6 people to be dressing at the same time which leads to better passenger flow and I'm disappointed this wasnt recreated at T5 - Looking at the space around though the cost of longer machines whith such space would have been another Wetherspoons pub being removed to make way for it  Wink

Its really great though that BAA let us passengers get involved with this trials so we can feed back now all the little points which did not meet our expectations so they have time to fix them. At the start of the trial they said they wanted passengers to feel exhilerated by the new terminal which I hope is a level they manage to exceed. They are actively looking for this kind of feedback so I would encourage any local folk to attend some of the trials. Money gets donated to charity for each attendee!!
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
commavia
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:41 am

Quoting APYu (Reply 32):
So do we assume they want you sat in the lounges or the restaurants until they're ready for your row number and we'll all arrive at the aircraft att he right time and at the right order? fabulous.

Exactly.

I love that "last-minute shuffle" when, 15 minutes before departure, the gate magically appears on the screens flickering above the shopping mall, and you see a mad dash of 150 people running like idiots to get down to the gate for an on-time departure. It's just absolute madness.
 
APYu
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:57 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 33):
and you see a mad dash of 150 people running like idiots to get down to the gate for an on-time departure. It's just absolute madness

Only to find the gate isnt actually opened and there are two gate agents smiling at you as though you are daft for doing what you are told.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:06 pm

Quoting Glom (Reply 30):
You can just sit down by the gate. There's plenty of seating.



Quoting Commavia (Reply 31):
the Terminal 3 I've flown through has about 10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats outside the actual gate area for each of the gates.

Whilst I've never seen a gate area with "plenty of seating"; I've never in an major airport found one with "10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats". All airports regardless of their country seem to provide seating at the gate for 50% or so of the pasengers. Even where you pass the gate check and enter a sterile lounge their is rarely seating for everyone.

Quoting APYu (Reply 32):
A few other design features - Once passed the gate police you decend via escalator lift or stairs to the airbridge and theoretically straight onto the plane. I think most people will use the escalator due to the 'sheep effect' of people following each other, and then I can just visualise getting to the bottom of the escalator and getting to a huge mass of people who cannot get onto the flight as a group of 27 passengers with 17 infants have only 25 boarding cards and no english speakers are stuck at the door of the plane. Meanwhile the escalator gently brings a steady flow of passengers to crash into the massed group and passenger carnage. Unless of course BAA have a lady / gent in green stood at the airbridge ready to hit the Escalator Stop button when there is no place to move forward to?

Surely the act of having to pass the "gate police" prior to boarding the escalator should act to restrict the flow of passengers onto the escalator. With them checking the boarding cards at the top, all passengers should then have the appropriate paperwork to present at the aircraft door.
 
commavia
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RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:11 pm

Quoting APYu (Reply 34):
Only to find the gate isnt actually opened and there are two gate agents smiling at you as though you are daft for doing what you are told.

Oh, so I see you've partaken in the gate shuffle, too!  Smile

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
All airports regardless of their country seem to provide seating at the gate for 50% or so of the pasengers.

I'm not discussing the seating at the gate itself, which they only open 30-45 minutes before departure (or really not until boarding on some shorter flights). I'm talking about the sterile, Ugandan hospital hallways outside the gate areas where everyone not shopping or eating is forced to sit waiting for the gate to open.
 
APYu
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:23 pm

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:16 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
Surely the act of having to pass the "gate police" prior to boarding the escalator should act to restrict the flow of passengers onto the escalator. With them checking the boarding cards at the top, all passengers should then have the appropriate paperwork to present at the aircraft door.

Do you know how many boarding cards go missing between the gate police and the door of the plane? Ask anyone who has been cabin crew. the number of passengers who then put in in a pocket or then in their bag or think they gave it to their husband..... If everyone kept it in their hand it would be fine. But I'd say about half keep it handy to show at the door.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
tonystan
Topic Author
Posts: 1669
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:02 pm

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 23):
Everyones raving about T5...

what about the falling down shed that is T3 ?


If your not flying BA... (basically AA, VS, UA) your dumped into the pire of 2 hour long checkins/bag scan / shoe scan/passport scan/belt scan/interrogation.. I dont see this improving in the future...

Basically all that will change in 2008 is that we will find a diamond in a ghetto.

LOL....Well it must be said....Terminal 3 is well up there with some of the worst airport experiences ANYWHERE in the world!!! BUT hope is on the horizon as after BA vacate Terminals 1/4 all ONEworld carriers are due to move to T3 and a major refurbishment project is due to take place. Infact a lot of the refurbishment is already taking place with an expanded checkin area being created.

Then all they need to do is move some of the dodgy airlines over to T4 and then that will become the problem!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
antonovman
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 12:45 pm

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:04 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 31):
Not in Terminal 3.

As if that lovely 'Sovietesque' interior decorating motif wasn't bad enough, the Terminal 3 I've flown through has about 10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats outside the actual gate area for each of the gates. What inevitably ends up happening is that the 10 people who go to the gate first (you know, the ones who want to skip the Chivas and Cubans) sit in the seats, and the other 150-250 people who eventually make their way to the gate end up sitting on the floor.

Theres no-one like the americans for telling the rest of the world how it should be done
Maybe it should be done like in the US. Standing at the gate, 300 fat americans with 2 rollabord suitcases each, a pizza in one hand a giant hotdog in the other and a half gallon of coke under their arm, surrounded by 200 people sitting on the floor. Oh and at the desks, fat american women in jogging suits screaming and raging at the gate agents, THEY never told me that, THEY didnt say that, THEY said it would be ok
Yeah its absolutly perfect in an american airport
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:19 pm

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 39):
Theres no-one like the americans for telling the rest of the world how it should be done

What is your problem?

I never told anyone how to do anything. What I simply said is that I'd prefer the American way - in this instance - better. And, I further said that I wish I had the choice - the U.S. way (go to the gate, sit down, relax) or the London/BAA way (buy a new wardrobe at duty free, eat six pounds of overpriced food you don't need, and then run to the gate 15 minutes before scheduled departure only to find it isn't opening for another 14 minutes).

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 39):
Maybe it should be done like in the US. Standing at the gate, 300 fat americans with 2 rollabord suitcases each, a pizza in one hand a giant hotdog in the other and a half gallon of coke under their arm, surrounded by 200 people sitting on the floor. Oh and at the desks, fat american women in jogging suits screaming and raging at the gate agents, THEY never told me that, THEY didnt say that, THEY said it would be ok

That's just unnecessary, uncalled for, and just plain rude.

I never resorted to making fun of British people themselves in any of this discussion, as this has absolutely nothing to do with them. In my experience, the vast majority of Brits see things exactly the way I do: they recognize the absolute sh*thole that Heathrow has become, and the national disgrace that it is for people arriving into London/Britain. They further recognize that - like any rational person could plainly see - there has to be a better way. I was just offering up my opinion - as people tend to do here on A.net from time to time - on what I have found, in my experience, to be a better way.

There was just no need to resort to that ridiculous, idiotic and completely unfair generalization about traveling in America, or Americans. Period.

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 39):
Yeah its absolutly perfect in an american airport

I never used the word "perfect." But I'd wager that if you asked travelers which airport experience they would rather take - Heathrow or the average U.S. airport, I'm fairly confident on which one they'd choose, and suffice it to say, I don't think it would be Heathrow. And no, I don't think that would only apply to those fat, ugly, poorly-dressed, beer-drinking, pizza-eating, moronic Americans, either. I think that some - maybe, just some - of the Brits stuck in those infamous 2-hour lines at security, only to find their flights are delayed, and that can only check one bag, and are forced to sit around restaurants and Fendi boutiques waiting to do the jog out to their gate might well enjoy the U.S. system a bit more, too.
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2343
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:31 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 31):
Not in Terminal 3.

As if that lovely 'Sovietesque' interior decorating motif wasn't bad enough, the Terminal 3 I've flown through has about 10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats outside the actual gate area for each of the gates. What inevitably ends up happening is that the 10 people who go to the gate first (you know, the ones who want to skip the Chivas and Cubans) sit in the seats, and the other 150-250 people who eventually make their way to the gate end up sitting on the floor.

God forbid me for defending T3 as I am not but on all the times i have flown through it, I like most others wait until the gate is called and then slowly make my way up to the gate and its always been open. There is plenty of seats in the main holding area of T3, sure its always busy but heck, find me a busy airport like this that isn't. More often than not I will wait in the RCC of UA and let everyone else queue up first, but generally I have never had any problems and in the gate area as well, yes its cramped but theres not too long waiting around before boarding, espeicailly if your sitting up front.
In saying that, you cannot get UA over to T1 quick enough, and get Heathrow East built for the Star alliance carriers
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:35 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:18 pm

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 39):
with 2 rollabord suitcases each

 rotfl 

Yeah, you can definatley tell an American in an Airport!, look for the ones with the most luggage!!  Wink

I must say funniest thing when i was flying in the usa was these guys with massive rollercases trying to put them overhead on a ERJ!! never seen anything like it before  Smile
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
Rivet42
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:28 pm

Quoting APYu (Reply 32):
At the security x ray machines, there is only room at the back end of the current scanning machines (post search) to have 2 or maybe 3 passengers unloading their boxes at the same time, putting their belts and coats on and restowing their liquids and laptops.

This is a particular annoyance for me, at just about every airport, as i always have to remove belt, shoes, coat etc, which I don't object to, and often there is actually nowhere to sit whilst putting one's shoes on again (I don't wear bedroom-style slip-ons). This is one area that is always overlooked.

I will dress as usual for my T5 trial, and then see how inconvenient the procedure is post scanner...

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
Surely the act of having to pass the "gate police" prior to boarding the escalator should act to restrict the flow of passengers onto the escalator. With them checking the boarding cards at the top, all passengers should then have the appropriate paperwork to present at the aircraft door.

In reality there is nearly always a queue backing up in the airbridge, especially for single-aisle aircraft, for all the obvious reasons, and the idea of people being thrust into that queue by an escalator is actually quite scary. It will only work if they employ extra staff (anathema to BAA) to monitor the flow of people at the bottom of the escalator, or the boarding gate staff are in constant contact with staff at the entrance to the aircraft to monitor the situation.

In reality over time I can see these escalators being permanently switched off so that people have to walk down them, effectively slowing them down but also allowing them to stand on the escalator when the airbridge itself is full.

Riv'
I travel, therefore I am.
 
APYu
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:23 pm

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:33 pm

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 42):
look for the ones with the most luggage!!

Those travelling to Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean often seem to wish to take half their worldly belongings with them. Id hadnt noticed our American cousins being particularly bad in that area.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:38 pm

Quoting APYu (Reply 44):
Those travelling to Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean often seem to wish to take half their worldly belongings with them. Id hadnt noticed our American cousins being particularly bad in that area.

Indeed.

Lest anyone get the wrong impression that Americans are bad when it comes to luggage, I'd invite anyone holding this view to spend about 2 hours at the AA ticket counters at JFK and MIA right around 5am on any given morning and casually observe the families of 10 people checking in for flights to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, with 2 bags (or boxes, or loosely-rapped trash bags) per family member.

Besides - laugh all you want - I'll take the American baggage rules any day over the rest of the world, personally. I love having my own things with me, and like that I can watch my luggage the entire trip from departure to arrival, as it's five feet above my head.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3542
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:10 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 40):
I never resorted to making fun of British people themselves in any of this discussion, as this has absolutely nothing to do with them. In my experience, the vast majority of Brits see things exactly the way I do: they recognize the absolute sh*thole that Heathrow has become, and the national disgrace that it is for people arriving into London/Britain. They further recognize that - like any rational person could plainly see - there has to be a better way. I was just offering up my opinion - as people tend to do here on A.net from time to time - on what I have found, in my experience, to be a better way.

There was just no need to resort to that ridiculous, idiotic and completely unfair generalization about traveling in America, or Americans. Period.

Have you ever considered that to the British, US airports seem to be totally bereft of facilities ? I recall waiting 2 1/2 hours at Washington for a connecting flight, in a Satellite terminal, which appeared to have only a poorly stocked snack bar for amusement.

To my mind LHR even with its overcrowding would have been far better.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 36):
I'm not discussing the seating at the gate itself, which they only open 30-45 minutes before departure (or really not until boarding on some shorter flights).

I can't quite fathom this one; in general at LHR you can get right to the gate at any time, obviously providing that the gate number has been announced. Indeed there's nothing to stop you whiling away the time, by going and sitting at any gate in the terminal. The only thing the other side of the gate is the airbridge.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:17 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 46):
Have you ever considered that to the British, US airports seem to be totally bereft of facilities ?

Absolutely, which is why, again, for the last time, it's my opinion. I, personally, would rather not shop at duty free during my layover, but relax at the gate, but in London, I don't have that choice. In the U.S., you can sit down and relax if you want, and, in virtually every international terminal I've ever been in, shop as well if you want to do that. In London - there is no choice: it's either shop and eat, or sit on the floor waiting for your gate to open. And I don't like it, and that's just my opinion.

If you can't stand U.S. airports, that's fine. No problem. That's your opinion.

But, the last time I checked, sparse U.S. terminals (sans the shopping mall, but with room to spread out and relax at the gate) aren't getting international coverage for 2-hour lines, mismanaged facilities, inept or nonexistent staff, etc. Heathrow is (just for comparison).

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 46):
To my mind LHR even with its overcrowding would have been far better.

Good for you, then - you're entitled to shop and eat to your heart's content, and I'm entitled to my opinion, too. I hope you and the BAA are very happy together.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 46):
I can't quite fathom this one; in general at LHR you can get right to the gate at any time, obviously providing that the gate number has been announced. Indeed there's nothing to stop you whiling away the time, by going and sitting at any gate in the terminal. The only thing the other side of the gate is the airbridge.

Again, not in Terminal 3.

In Terminal 3, you can't actually get into the gate until it opens up, which is typically - as I said - not until 30-45 minutes before departure. It's the same at Gatwick, in my experience.

Never once - in all my years of flying through either airport - have I ever been able to just walk up to the departure gate and sit down in the gate area before it is specifically opened by the staff there. Never once. Again, perhaps I'm using a different Gatwick and Heathrow than you.
 
max999
Posts: 1138
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:05 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:25 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 31):


As if that lovely 'Sovietesque' interior decorating motif wasn't bad enough, the Terminal 3 I've flown through has about 10 small, incredibly uncomfortable seats outside the actual gate area for each of the gates. What inevitably ends up happening is that the 10 people who go to the gate first (you know, the ones who want to skip the Chivas and Cubans) sit in the seats, and the other 150-250 people who eventually make their way to the gate end up sitting on the floor.



Quoting Commavia (Reply 33):

I love that "last-minute shuffle" when, 15 minutes before departure, the gate magically appears on the screens flickering above the shopping mall, and you see a mad dash of 150 people running like idiots to get down to the gate for an on-time departure. It's just absolute madness.

Good point...I think BAA does these two things on purpose.

1) The lack of seats at the gates
It's a disincentive for people go to the gates...they want to keep people inside the malls for as long as possible (more shopping time). Once people start realizing there aren't enough seats at the gates...people will learn to stay in the mall.

2) Displaying gate at the last minute
I'm sure they know the gate assignment well in advance...the plane has to have enough time to take on luggage, catering, etc etc. BAA just refuses reveal that information until the last minute. Again, a tactic used to keep people in the malls for as long as possible.

Also, for those who are fighting between American boarding styles and British boarding styles...I don't think it's about culture. It's just about the greediness of a company called BAA who rather be in the shopping mall business than running airports. Since BAA has a monopoly for the majority of airports in Britain...it might make the boarding style seem like it's a cultural thing.
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
8herveg
Posts: 1406
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:01 am

RE: T5....The Holy Grail?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:14 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 24):
LGW 29 million

Gatwick actually handles 34 million a year and now that the new Pier 6 has been built at the North Terminal, the figure is set to increase to 40 million which will be its maximum as there are no plans as of yet to build another runway or teminal.

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