The nightmare that is Heathrow airport

Heathrow says airport border queues at 'unacceptable level'


  • I have hated Heathrow for my entire airline career, and now that I’m retired I only go there when there is no practical alternative. Terminal five drives me absolutely bonkers. Most of my worst air travel experiences happened in or near Terminal five.

  • I now avoid LHR whenever possible. The signage is sorely lacking, and -- as Sealord points out -- it's nearly impossible to find someone to help. I will fly in and out of there when I'm just going to London, and don't have to connect, because I love the easy access to the Picadilly Line.

  • Right on Sealord! Absolutely terrible. Even the Business Class lounges. It's like eating and sitting at a Costco on a Saturday afternoon. We've never seen so many people wandering around like the Zombies in the Night of the Living Dead looking for someplace to sit!

  • edited March 11

    Yes ... the public restaurants and lounges are nicer than the BA business class lounges. The AA lounges in terminal three are pretty nice. Terminal two is like a different airport ... very nice. We were on a BA airplane when all of BA shut down. They had guards on the elevators so you could not get up to ticketing. The taxi line was ‘miles’ long and there were no hotel rooms at the airport. We knew the territory, so we went to the Novotel attached to terminal five and went to work on the cell phones. We found a 4+ hotel downtown, got the concierge to call us a limo, and we went on vacation in London for three days while waiting for our replacement SAS flight to Stockholm. We could not get through to BA. So when we tried to get on BA for our return out of Copenhagen, we discovered they had canceled our tickets because we had not taken their flight from London to Stockholm ... which they had canceled without replacement. They fixed that after a two hour ordeal. Tauck and the insurance paid for ‘everything’. We actually had a great time after I booked the SAS flight to Stockholm ... the last that would get us to our boat to Russia. (I’ve told this story before on a different venue, so I apologize if you find it to be a repeat.) Oh ... forgot to mention. BA sent our luggage to Frankfurt, so we did our entire trip to St. Petersburg with little more than our carry on.

  • We were typing at the same time. :)

  • I'll offer a counterpoint:

    LHR has advantages for me because British Airways is one of a few airlines that flies direct from Las Vegas to Europe. My alternative usually involves changing planes somewhere in the eastern USA or Canada. That means a shorter flight and less time to sleep on the plane (aah - lay flat beds). So I'm willing to deal with the hassles of Heathrow and so far I've been pretty lucky [knocking wood and holding on to rabbit's foot]. I didn't think the BA lounge in Terminal 5 was that bad. The one in Terminal 4 is terrible, but we have Priority Pass through our credit card which gets us into the Plaza Premium Lounge, which is much nicer. Terminal 4 always seems like more of a maze to me than Terminal 5.

    My worst experiences have been changing planes in domestic airports like JFK, ORD and LAX. I'm not that crazy about De Galle in Paris, either. Forest Gump said that life was like a box of chocolates. I say that changing planes is like a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (Harry Potter reference), you never know when your going to get the one that tastes like vomit or earwax. :D

  • edited March 11

    There aren't too many non-stops from DEN to Europe, either. BA is one and I try to avoid them as often as possible. Besides the LHR issues, their biz class seats are poorly configured and the interiors are worn beyond reasonable, at least in their ancient 747s.

  • All the BA 747s are now retired. The new business class seats look much better.

Sign In or Register to comment.