mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:58 am

Quoting babybus (Reply 48):
However, I would say that UK administration in all government departments is breaking down. Cheap unskilled, uneducated labour who couldn't give a monkies if the client is dissatisfied.

A friend of mine has recently fully recovered from extremely aggressive breast cancer and full reconstructive surgery on the British National Health Service.

I don't think she and most certianly I would share your view however much we respect your opinion.

Quoting babybus (Reply 48):
There is something wrong with these games, bad karma and all that.

?

57% of a 20% turnout voted to strike in the ballot concerning these workers.

Mathematics is not my strong point but even I can see that all is required is a simple change in the law if 10% of the total workforce in any one area can hold the country to ransom.

Have you seen the Olympic Park by the way ?

The venues are amazing.

[Edited 2012-07-23 05:06:58]
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
tom355uk
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:00 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 43):
Hell on Earth?

I experienced this a few months ago, for sure!

Arriving at BHX at 00:10 on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning, from FUE on a full ZB A321, shortly after two TCX 757's arrived from similar destinations. Travelling with tired wife and grumpy 18 month old (no buggy either, it was in the hold so not available till baggage reclaim), we had to queue for 90 minutes, as there were only two staff at the passport control gates, and over 600 people in single file.

Tremendous fun 'twas not.

Back on thread, I've been through T5 once in the past few months and it was probably the best airport experience I've ever had. Smooth, no hassle, no queues and courteous and efficient service from all concerned. Going through T3 a few years ago wasn't so much fun, but we had just landed after QF and 9V so that probably made things worse.
on Twitter @tombeckett2285
 
DrColenzo
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:52 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 34):
And before anybody slams me for being off topic, this post is precisely ON topic, probably as on topic as it gets, because this seems to be the heart of the problems at LHR.

Totally on topic; this is one of the reasons Heathrow has the intercontinental traffic it does and one of the reasons I use the place is to do business and visit friends and relatives in far flung corners of the former British Empire.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
IMHO the problem with LHR is simply too much airport on too little a piece of geography.

Well yes, but there is still a fair amount of space to build improvements and despite what the NIMBYs are saying, the area that is planned for the third runway is just another scrubby tract of land with a few villages that are claimed to date back to the 11th century but are, in fact, housing estates of 1960s origin. Maybe the odd church and barn will have to be deleted or moved, but this is about the greater good and whilst I would not advocate building an airport in a national park, historic city centre of area of outstanding natural beauty, we are not talking about any of these with the third runway.

If they do build the third runaway, the smart thing to do would be to move the maintenance hangers to the north and use that space to build a terminal analogous to T5 in size and capacity. Then, just like in Atlanta continue the T5 transit system the whole length of the airfield and have ten plus satellites and then the extra capacity will have been found for the airport. Won't happen, the new T2 being built in the central island has ruined a plan this this for Heathrow...maybe the lesson is that airport planners in the UK lack the foresight to adequately plan ahead?
 
skipness1E
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:08 pm

Quoting eire123 (Reply 47):
I'd say privatize the UK border agency!!

Ridiculous, why not privatiSe the Police, Army and Judiciary while you're at it. Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to set up the East India Company..... Some things are appropriate to the office of the state. When people can have you strip searched and held against your will, then that should be under public control. It's not as if you can make a case that G4S would be any better now is it?

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 52):
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
IMHO the problem with LHR is simply too much airport on too little a piece of geography.

Yeah.... not so much really, the issue is rich and influential people under one of the approaches, the geography of physically expanding the site is not too much of an issue. Two small villages, Sipson and Stanwell stand in the way but that is not insurmountable.
 
DrColenzo
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:18 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 53):
Two small villages, Sipson and Stanwell stand in the way but that is not insurmountable.

Well, said. May I point out that neither is traditional village in the cricket green, ivy clad buildings, ancient church Miss Marple tradition and are in-fact, extended housing estates and nothing more.* Personally, if I lived there I would welcome some government cash to move somewhere else.

*My wife was the financial manager of the charity linked to the Concorde spare parts auction a few years back when I was still in the RAF but on my way out due to injury. As a result of this, I was forced on many occasions to go to fund raising events in and around Heathrow wearing my CS95s and limping around the place helping my wife and it was at the time of all the NIMBY nonsense about the third runway. I remembered thinking at the time, 'Why would anyone want to prevent this from being bulldozed?'

Preventing LHR from growing makes a lot more sense at a Hampstead dinner party than it does to the average business person in the UK economy.
 
okees
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:19 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 6):
Upon arrival at LHR from SFO on VS20 last Wednesday I was stunned. No line at immigration. Process took 2 minutes max.

Flew into LHR last saturday, very quick immigration. Took about 5 minutes. My parents arrived during peak rush hour, took them 12 minutes. There were staff timing average processing times at each immigration booth. They are definitely doing their best to keep things flowing smoothly and quickly.

On the flip side, arriving into YUL last night at 11 PM, very little traffic at the airport at that time, and it took me about an hour to clear immigration, pick up my bag and clear customs. So all in all, all this fuss about LHR being a disaster and hell on earth or whatever you call it is overblown..
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glideslope
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:35 pm

Thank goodness I can watch from my living room on NBC. I'd be scarred to death across the pond.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
DrColenzo
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:41 pm

Quoting glideslope (Reply 56):
Thank goodness I can watch from my living room on NBC. I'd be scarred to death across the pond.

Dude, I am an Anglo-American growing up Pennsylvania and frankly, I feel just as safe back home in North London than I do in the US.

It is not all bad; Heathrow may be somewhat organic in its planning and the Olympic park a below par effort compared to Beijing or Sydney (equal to Athens, maybe) but the chances of my being blown to bits are somewhat lower than central Pennsylvania and guess what?

I needed surgery last year, it was free, done by experts in a wonderful London teaching hospital and I am still here!
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:52 pm

Moan, moan, moan, moan, moan.

Anyway interested in aviation should be in heaven at LHR not hell.....all those heavies trundling around the place etc

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 57):
and the Olympic park a below par effort compared to Beijing or Sydney

Below par in what way ?

Did you know by the way that the tower next to the stadium is made from old washing machines and cars etc etc
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
AussieItaliano
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:56 pm

This is all completely overblown.

While LHR can certainly use some improvements, "hell on earth" is a bit overstated.

There are plenty of airports that I consider to be far worse than LHR in certain respects. For example, I've never had a good experience with customs at LAX, and I hold a US passport. It has always taken me at least an hour to get through passport control. Also, ORD and JFK can be perfect proof that even with more runways, it doesn't always mean no congestion.

I do think LHR needs to be a 4 runway airport, and will remain the main London airport for years to come, but to describe it as "hell on earth" is a huge overstatement.
Third Runway - LHR, Second Runway - LGW, Build Them Both!!!
 
starrymarkb
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:02 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 28):
Here in the US we have what is called "eminent domain." This means that the state or federal government can take private land at the going price against the wishes of the owners if it is deemed to be in the public interest. This is what should have been done at LHR and not allowed the lovely commmunities of Heston, Hounslow, Slough, Drayton and let's not forget Windsor to have successfully squashed a national asset and necessity like Heathrow.

The problem isn't the areas immediately around the airport (Hownslow, Hayes, Drayton) by and large these accept the noise in return for the jobs the airport provides. The worst complainers are those further out in the richer areas of Ealing and Richmond (wouldn't be surprised are if they held key positions in the civil service   ) The third runway would add another flightpath over more posh areas (the residents of which have suddenly become interested in these villages in the way of the new runway)
 
DrColenzo
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:11 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 58):
Did you know by the way that the tower next to the stadium is made from old washing machines and cars etc etc

Really? Might be for a separate thread, but I wonder if it is possible to use some recycled materials in aircraft.

As for the LHR debate, well anyone who did O-Level Geography can explain the concept of 'ribbon development' and how London is a series of towns and villages that somehow agglomerated together along the path of twisty roads that had been there since the middle ages. Even with a planning regime in place since 1947, the process is one of knitting together separate parts and there is, in-fact, only a single piece of legislation that counts as a statutory master plan, the one which established the green-belt around large cities.

Ergo, LHR has grown and will always grow in an incremental pattern and the transport links will be cobbled together, somehow. The Crossrail project is a good example, Paris had the cross city lines in the RER since the late 1970s and crikey, even Glasgow has two, but London, well it has taken time but it might happen in 2018(ish) and even this government would have liked to cancel it on coming into power, but the project was already too far gone to cancel without huge losses.

So, that is that, Heathrow will get another runway, eventually, keep pushing in slots and traffic and will continue to be threatened as a hub by Frankfurt and Paris. However, I put my ten pence worth on LHR continuing to grow, just not in the nice planned way found in an airport like Dulles and London's transport links will continue to grow, just not in the nice planned way found in the DC Metro.

Wow, 25 years in Britain and I have become utterly phlegmatic and resigned to my fate....
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:02 pm

One of my favorite quotes about LHR reportedly came from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (not a man who suffers fools gladly) who responded with an incredulus look when an Amrican tourist asked him why they built Windsor Castle so close to the airport.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:03 pm

Move over Concorde...have just heard that a fleet of Mary Poppins' are going to descend into the stadium on Friday night at the opening ceremony.

Lol
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
GDB
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 39):
The departing Labour government in a petty and bitter parting shot left a note at the Treasury if you remember

That was actually intended to be a private joke between Byrne and his Tory opposite number, Phillip Hammond.
Both knowing it was a parody of what departing Tory Chancellor Reggie Maulding said to Jim Callaghan after the 1964 election.
But the result in 2010 meant a Coalition was formed, wasn't Hammond but that Lib Dem in the job, who lasted a mere couple of weeks before his expenses fiddling did for him.
So he made great play of that note, while as a millionaire MP, he was screwing us all with his cheating.

But that's to digress, I have never heard such strong and sustained attacks on a transport 'policy' (it is barely worth calling it that), on a government in general, from a BA CEO, as from Willie Walsh, who is clearly exasperated by the Coalition.
Imagine having to deal with that awful Justine Greening and worse, her Aviation Minister, Teresa Villiers.

Not to mention Teresa May's great idea to please nasty George at the Treasury by doing major cuts in immigration staff, before the Olympics .
And sacking any poor civil servant who spoke truth to power.
Nasty AND incompetent.

However, it's also true that out of date reports from a notorious paper with an axe (one of so many) to grind, are not a good guide either.

As another aside, what about those Policemen on duty in Parliament who started chanting 'G4S' whenever government ministers, MP's, went past them!
 
skipness1E
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:21 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 64):
Not to mention Teresa May's great idea to please nasty George at the Treasury by doing major cuts in immigration staff, before the Olympics .

Conservative Home Secretary alongwith Damien Green, having promised to bring immigration to heel. To then slash the budgets and pensions of a demoralised and demotivated workforce was frankly poor judgement and shows why politicians would not get a proper job in a commercial environment with their "skill set" as it were.
The ones that do tend to get there on who they know.

In other news, we're still giving aid to India to help them (with their Space Program?).
 
starrymarkb
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:59 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 65):
In other news, we're still giving aid to India to help them (with their Space Program?).

I was amused by the reaction when India decided the Rafale was a better fit for their airforce. Apparently we didn't give them the bribe aid to buy French *rolls eyes*
 
tioloko100
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:33 pm

[quote=starrymarkb,reply=60]The problem isn't the areas immediately around the airport (Hownslow, Hayes, Drayton) by and large these accept the noise in return for the jobs the airport provides. The worst complainers are those further out in the richer areas of Ealing and Richmond (wouldn't be surprised are if they held key positions in the civil service

It is understandable that aircraft causes noise pollution but its the the NIMBY issue that battles LHR and other airports in UK. Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates; they have shown outstanding result but their system of government gives them the ability of not facing such NIMBY issues that LHR faces.
So every airport around the world faces one or more issues like the LHR and other UK major airports.
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:34 pm

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 67):
It is understandable that aircraft causes noise pollution but its the the NIMBY issue that battles LHR and other airports in UK. Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates; they have shown outstanding result but their system of government gives them the ability of not facing such NIMBY issues that LHR faces.
So every airport around the world faces one or more issues like the LHR and other UK major airports.

I think we need to get this into perspective before we commence the mud slinging.

A plane lands or takes off from Heathrow every 45 seconds.

Seat Capacity Available on International Departing Flights for w/c 23/07/12 was 872,836 making it the worlds busiest international airport.

That's some 160,000 thousand more than than the second busiest (HKG) at 707,225.

Nobody is trying to throw a spanner in the works as the above figures OBVIOUSLY tell us.

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 67):
Take a look at Dubai Airport in the United Arab Emirates

Why ?

DXB was built to attract traffic.

LHR has been expanded over the years simply to service existing demand.

We don't have to go into all the different aspects of British society/history etc that explain why LHR is so busy again do we ??

There will always be high volumes in and out of the south east of the nation no matter what happens.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
tioloko100
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:40 am

DXB rapid traffic isn't because it was built for traffic but I personally suggest is it because of it's strategical geographical location which makes the city to be in a position that connects passengers from the continents within 8 hours block and stand mid-way between the financial capitals of the world.
Many years ago, African passengers travelled mostly through Europe to connect to Asia and North America but now its quicker for them to pass through DXB.
Regarding LHR; technically economic expansion simply explains that and there will always be expansion in Aviation as mentioned but all these expansion shouldn't be a problem is well managed according to expected traffic turnover.
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:05 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 69):
DXB rapid traffic isn't because it was built for traffic but I personally suggest is it because of it's strategical geographical location which makes the city to be in a position that connects passengers from the continents within 8 hours block and stand mid-way between the financial capitals of the world.

Look, I don't want to get myself into hot water again but it really isn't a very good comparison.

DXB is fantastic. It's main carrier is fantastic as is its business model.

LHR is an old work horse of an airport with a main carrier that is concentrating more and more on O&D.

DXB and EK are part of the India and China phenomenon. The sky is the limit.

DXB will increasingly connect the world.

LHR will increasingly connect Britain and move away from transfer.

There are too many new O&D opportunites and not enough capacity for anything else at LHR.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:51 am

I'm delighted to report back on this thread that I went through LHR this morning, totally unscathed.

Arrived off the BA206, which was 10 minutes late to the gate at 0650, breezed through all formalities (I sensed a barely percpetable feeling that even the train was going slightly faster and slightly quieter), and was in the Concorde Room in time to enjoy a glass of fizz with Eggs Benedict in front of the BBC 0730 news update on TV. How very civilised.

A leisurely stroll on to the BA1386, an on time arrival into MAN, and I was in the car 24 minutes after landing.

That, on one of the busiest days in history, has to be a huge endorsement of operations at LHR.

Well done.   

Rgds
Flying around India
 
skipness1E
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 70):
Look, I don't want to get myself into hot water again but it really isn't a very good comparison.
DXB is fantastic. It's main carrier is fantastic as is its business model.
LHR is an old work horse of an airport with a main carrier that is concentrating more and more on O&D.
DXB and EK are part of the India and China phenomenon. The sky is the limit.
DXB will increasingly connect the world.
LHR will increasingly connect Britain and move away from transfer.
There are too many new O&D opportunites and not enough capacity for anything else at LHR.

Start swimming  
Dubai has a competitive advantage in that it is not competing in the same kind of market.
LHR is not an old workhorse going forward. In the seven years I have been London based, I have watched Terminal 5 go up, Terminal 2 come down and go back up, Terminal 4 being revamped, the cross runway being removed and the entire Eastern taxiway and terminal layout being replaced. The 2005 AIS versus the 2012 version shows an immense change, more so than any comparable period in the modern era. By 2015, only T3 and T4 arrivals will be "tired."

DXB connects a different part of the world than LHR, they are not like for like competitors.
I also do not see BA moving away from transfers in favour of point to point, indeed I see no evidence of this in the BMI integration.
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:20 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
DXB connects a different part of the world than LHR, they are not like for like competitors.

Isn't that what I said skipness ?

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
I also do not see BA moving away from transfers in favour of point to point, indeed I see no evidence of this in the BMI integration.

The ratio is nowhere near what it used to be ?

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 72):
LHR is not an old workhorse going forward.

Not old as in run down......how about 'mature'.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
Rafabozzolla
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:06 pm

I flew in and out of out T1 twice in the past two weeks. That's how it panned out:

Arriving from GRU at 3pm was a breeze. I was flying C and one of the first out of the plane. Took the e-gates for immigration and bags showed up at the carrousel 15 min after landing. I was at the minicab some 20 to 25 min after landing.

Going to Berlin on Wednesday morning bank was a nightmare. I don't ever remember queueing so long for check-in. Over one hour! Nevermind that I had checked I online and just needed to drop my bags. LH's arrangement mixing check- in and bag drop is a total mess...

Arriving from Berlin mid day yesterday flying Y was again OK. The e-gates weren't working but no real lines for EU passports. My bags didn't have the priority tags and were the first ones on the carrousel!

Leaving for GRU was again easy, but I guess that flying again in C with priority check-in and fast track helped. However, lines didn't seem huge for the general flying public.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:40 pm

I just flew through Heathrow today, a day before the Olympics. Security was a breeze, walked right through. Re-checkin for an AA flight went in minutes. Everything worked well. Even got my luggage to the destination. Cleared immigration at JFK in 7 minutes. AA flight attendants were friendly.

Don't wake me up just yet, I like this alternate universe.
 
slinky09
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:34 pm

This whole thread is poorly titled, anyone ever been to MIA, that's a form of hell on earth, the old BLR another. Heathrow is far from hell on earth and I often exit a transcon aeroplane and reach my car in 20 mins, or vice versa check in to lounge in 10 mins.
 
tioloko100
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:26 am

Its understandable that MIA might be in a more not so good state but the focus is more on LHR in this topic. I am sure the MIA authorities will surely react similarly to opinions of people from different parts of the world and many of the people aren't just talking for the sake of it but expressing their sincere concern about the state of things at LHR.
 
goosebayguy
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:16 am

I once queued for 4 hours at MIA Missing In Action! I dread to think how long it took for the AF 747 which arrived shortly after my BA 747. Have actively avoided MIA ever since.
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:40 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 77):
Its understandable that MIA might be in a more not so good state but the focus is more on LHR in this topic. I am sure the MIA authorities will surely react similarly to opinions of people from different parts of the world and many of the people aren't just talking for the sake of it but expressing their sincere concern about the state of things at LHR.

I think what we are hearing here is that it is actually not 'that' bad.

One would have to be slightly unrealistic to expect to be able to 'always' breeze through an airport as busy and as constrained as LHR.

If your business/holiday travel plans are determined by the airports involved they cannot be that important perhaps ?

I travel frequently to New York and Los Angeles....both have airports not known for their speedy process of non American citizens....to be honest it never crosses my mind when I book a flight to these places.

Nor does it cross the minds of non British airlines that make huge amounts of cash flying to LHR.

Spare a thought for BA and VS who are 'based' there.

Pre Terminal 5 was far from ideal for BA.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
mikey72
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:25 pm

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/27...rways-another-great-thing-about-uk

There you go....it's not that bad accoriding to this chap who also wrote in the article...

Despite a few hiccups since opening in 2008, this is a terminal that works. In 2011, some 26.3-million passengers on 184,616 flights -- most of them British Airways flights -- passed through Terminal 5 en route to destinations around the world. When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
ltbewr
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:32 pm

One thing that can screw up LHR is the timing of inbound aircraft if they have been affected by weather from their origination point. For example at peak summer seasons, a number of USA airports, in particular JFK and EWR, can have departure times or aircraft continuing from them to LHR get completely out of sync due to summer thunderstorms in the later afternoon and evening that can cause major delays. If a bunch of long-haul flights come in close to together, it can cram up immigration and to a lesser extent, customs and luggage handling.
Throw in some staffing issues at LHR, from insufficient staffing to hold down costs, union/worker slowdowns to extort pay raises as well as the short notice to staff up when weather related issues screw up flights and it is no wonder there flyers could have problems at times getting through a major airport like LHR.
 
Viscount724
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RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 80):
Despite a few hiccups since opening in 2008, this is a terminal that works. In 2011, some 26.3-million passengers on 184,616 flights -- most of them British Airways flights -- passed through Terminal 5 en route to destinations around the world. When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections

I've connected at T5 a few times but LHR is still among my least-preferred airports in Europe for connections, a close tie with CDG. While T5 is an improvement over its predecessors, you still have the overall congestion of LHR to contend with. Any airport that operates so close to 100% capacity almost all the time is more prone to disruptions when there are any abnormal circumstances (e.g. weather).

A high percentage of flights to LHR (at least those I've been on) also have to hold and go around in circles for as long as half an hour before landing, which is very rare at any other major European hubs.

Even T5, in my experience, also has congested security checkpoints, and I have never understood why passengers connecting at T5 have to stop had have their tickets/boarding passes checked before they can go to the gate. You never have to do that at other European hubs. You just get off your inbound flight and go directly to the gate.

Other inconvenience with connections within Europe at LHR (all terminals) is due to the UK not being part of the Schengen agreement. It means that if you want to connect between two Schengen airports via LHR, you have to clear security again at LHR. You don't have to do that if you connect at a Shengen airport like AMS/FRA/ZRH/MUC/CDG etc.
 
lasairlinerenth
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:59 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:30 pm

I don't have a lot of experience going through Heathrow, but the 6 times I have transited the airport -- in both Terminal 3 where American Airlines is housed and Terminal 5 where British Airways is headquartered -- since 2009 have all been good experiences for me. I've never gotten held up in Security on departure, and the most lengthy time I waited to get through Customs and Border Control was about 45 minutes in the early evening (6:00PM-ish GMT) late last July. But the line was moving and staff were quite friendly.

Not sure I should admit to this or not, but: also last summer, absent-minded professor -- and American -- that I am, I left my passport at one of the money exchanges as I was leaving the airport. Didn't realize what had happened until I got to my hotel. In a panic, I raced back to Heathrow. I must say that the BA and Customs and Border Control staff were all ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT as far as helping me out. I was able to retrieve my passport with their assistance and with a minimum of fuss -- and they didn't make me feel anymore idiotic than I did on my own.

Ironically, I had a much worse experience going through baggage reclaim and Customs at Terminal D in Dallas/Fort Worth on my way back to the US. There were hundreds and hundreds of people arriving on international flights trying to make their domestic connections with no help from the people who run the airport. Lines were going every which way with no direction at all and people -- staff and passengers, myself included -- had lousy surly attitudes. Not sure if it was the time of day or the fact that it was a Saturday afternoon, but it was a terrible experience. I've had better luck going through Heathrow and JFK.
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 83):
Lines were going every which way with no direction at all and people -- staff and passengers, myself included -- had lousy surly attitudes.

This is not particular to LHR only, i have had the same experience in CDG and DXB few times , its what i call the airport mood swings.
 
lasairlinerenth
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:59 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:02 pm

Quoting tioloko100 (Reply 84):
This is not particular to LHR only, i have had the same experience in CDG and DXB few times , its what i call the airport mood swings.

Airport mood swings indeed! I'm actually gearing up for a trip to Perth via LAX and Brisbane in late November; I'll have to make sure I'm ready for those mood swings!
 
lasairlinerenth
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:59 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:03 pm

Just about anything has to be better than that trip through DFW.
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:39 pm

Quoting lasairlinerenth (Reply 86):

i doubt that DFW has its good side, it might be congested and clumsy sometimes but still good for connecting into other parts of the US especially when flying from Europe.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 4646
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 80):
When travelling, there is nowhere I would rather make connections

I think this is interesting, I love T5 but I have never needed to connect through it. Flight Connections seems to be an ongoing pain point. The joys of living in London means I may not find out for a while!
 
User avatar
eurowings
Posts: 570
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:40 pm

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 88):

I had my first experience of a T5 International to T1 Domestic yesterday, courtesy of the current BA/BD set-up (didn't actually realise when booking since the BD flights carry BA codes now and Avios give no information). Thankfully, it was late evening so fairly quiet.

Phew, it's time consuming though, first the bus from T5 to T1, then a surprisingly long walk to the Domestic Flight Connections area at T1 (about 10 mins) followed by immigration and then biometric capture, followed by another 5 mins walk to security. The domestic gates are at the other end of T1 (a good 10 mins again) where your biometric capture is checked and you are stuck in the domestic area. Took me easily 50 minutes, and that's with no queues whatsoever.

T5 is a lot simpler IME for international to domestic, but for some reason they haven't installed the e-gates for EU passports meaning queues easily form and also the queue to have your photo taken can be troublesome as well.

[Edited 2012-08-07 16:50:03]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
tioloko100
Topic Author
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

RE: How Heathrow Became Hell On Earth

Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:07 pm

Its good to know that some passengers are seeing the good side of LHR connections despite the fact that e-gates for EU passports are yet to be installed which is still better than many US and EU airports.

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