Thursday 3 January 2008

An airport to be proud of (sic)

Returning to Heathrow from Munich last night, we were greeted amidst the building site that it Terminal 1 by posters proclaiming that BAA is 'working towards an airport we can be proud of'. The terrible grammar is not the only thing wrong with this corporate guff. We left Heathrow on December 23 and were fortunate enough to find, amidst the fog, that our flight was only thirty minutes late departing (other flights to Munich had been cancelled that day). But spending a few hours in the airport before being allowed into the Departures lounge was like entering hell. There was no attempt to provide coherent information. There were no clear queues for check-in or baggage drop desks. Trolleys blocked the limited space between desks and shops. Thousands of people aimlessly wandered about not knowing what was happening. On our return, we faced confused baggage return carousels, lengthy EU immigration queues and being forced to pay £15.50 for the ghastly Heathrow Express listening to video exhortations to passengers to visit Bognor Regis (I jest not) as the train meandered slowly past 'signal problems at Hayes' into Paddington, having apparently cancelled the rather better value Heathrow Connect.
We are told that Terminal 5 will be the answer to all our prayers. I'll believe it when I see it (though where possible I shall use non-BAA run Bristol instead). Meanwhile, is this really the great welcome that our visitors are promised?

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