Saturday, March 29, 2008


The long awaited Terminal 5, at Heathrow, has finally opened; and to the surprise of no-one who has had the misfortune to pass through that incompetently-run aircraft hangar, all Hell has broken loose; hundreds of cancelled flights and thousands of lost bags, less than half the staff knowing what they are doing. No change there, then!
My trip to New York, a few years ago, was eventful enough; ticket checked, and then directed to gate 55 (and yes, this did mean walking past gate's 1, 2, 3 etc). I got to that gate after a twenty minute walk, but that was nothing compared with my trip to Canada, when the woman checking my ticket hadn't the faintest idea where to send me. I was directed across the terminal, up a flight of stairs, outside of the building and across a road, up another flight of stairs. Finally, and after checking the departures on a television screen, I realized that I was in the right place. When I did, eventually, take my seat on the plane, it felt like quite an achievement; the airport staff had been no help at all. My experience at the airport in Canada was pleasant in comparison. The same checks, but with a competent staff, and a layout that a blind man could follow. Upon leaving ,I got there early, and then spent an enjoyable couple of hours browsing in the shops. So no stress, no running around. It must be said that, with it's habit of treating passengers like cattle, Heathrow was an international disgrace, even before the fiasco of T.5.
So now the bosses are sorry, the passengers are jeering the staff, BA are facing a two million pound fine. Not before time, I say, for this is surely the worst airport in the world (although I've yet to hear a good word about Gatwick).
Last word to the shame-faced Heathrow bosses; visit a few other airports and see how it should be done, because you are in serious need of a few lessons.
In other words ... Heathrow sucks!

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