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Londoners fear misery at Heathrow Airport

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bambbbam2

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From
Londoners fear misery at Heathrow Airport - News - Travel - smh.com.au

London's ambition to overtake New York as the world's pre-eminent city faces a big obstacle: its gateway, Heathrow Airport, is enough to make visitors feel like flying home before they even see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, or the financial superhub known as the City.


Notorious security checks, a labyrinthine layout, and shoddy service combine to form the "Heathrow Hassle".
 

ansettrule

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Mar 14, 2006
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I am a little worried at the moment.I am travelling to london in 6 weeks and have heard nothing but complaints about heathrow airport and as Malaysia Airlines only fly to Heathrow we have to land there.
What is so bad that people don't want to fly there??.
A good friend of mine said to me the other day Heathrow is the best airport in the world and you will love it.But after reading some stories I am not sure.
Any tips would be great.
Thanks all
 

NM

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I don't find Heathrow such a bad place, but my experiences may not reflect reality for everyone. From my view, the biggest current issue with LHR is the disastrous baggage situation, which is worst for people making connections through LHR.

I have experienced long queues at T4 arrivals immigration processing, but I have also experienced long queues at other airports (LAX is my record worst immigration queue delay). Most of my LHR arrivals are in the morning and so I normally have FastTrack access for immigration and have never had a delay with FastTrack immigration processing.

Most of LHR check-ins are at Terminal 1 (my most common destination from LHR is FRA) and the Premium Check-in facility (area R) has always been fast and efficient. And it has its own security screening point for access airside.

And I like the BA FLounges at both T1 and T4 where they have decent scotch selection and Walkers crisps.
 

dot

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Mar 2, 2007
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I've flown into LHR four times over th past year and I've never had any hassles. Transfers via bus to LGW arent a lot of fun, but not a hassle at the LHR end (LGW is another story). Similarly, catching a taxi or getting to the getting to Hertz has nver been a problem for me.

Flying out of LHR is where you are more likely to have hassles. If you are checking at the Y counters, the queues can be very long - J and F checkin in my experience has been problem free for BA and QF flights out of T4 - I have no idea what the Malaysian checkin in T3 will be like.
 

simongr

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Despite my recent baggage issues - I have not had any trouble with LHR - travelling J though so again fasttrack all the way.

I just think the arrivals areas look like a disgrace - not a way to welcome people to the country :(
 

trooper

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So... would it be fair to say that Heathtrow is not SO bad...

IF - travelling F/J.... and starting or completing travel there?

Whereas if you have no access to "fastracking", have checked your bags AND are connecting...

Go somewhere else?
 

simongr

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Yes - just don go to LGW - it i a ZOO!!!

Dont go to FRA - it is a building site

Don't go to CDG - it is France ;)

Don't go to HEL as it is nowhere anything !

Looks like your options are limited ;)
 

davi

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I've never had an issue with Heathrow Airport. Has always been easy to navigate etc. On the other hand, Gatwick was terrible the last time I used it (March 07), security was a nightmare.
 

trooper

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Arrrgghhh!!! That makes it a bit hard!!!! :shock: :mrgreen: :shock:

FRA was the next one on the list...... (Looking at a trip via the US in both directions.. ultimate destination PRG) "All roads (seem to ) lead to Frankfurt"!

That would be Y+ on NZ SYD-LAX, then UA in Y (with E+ access through my travelling companion) say ORD-FRA or similar... avoiding LH codeshares! Drive (train?) FRA-PRG??? We'll see....

(The only thing wrong with France is that it is full of french people!:D )
 

bambbbam2

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I must admit I was pretty impressed with AMS..

Friendly staff, well designed etc..
 

opusman

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simongr said:
Despite my recent baggage issues - I have not had any trouble with LHR - travelling J though so again fasttrack all the way.
I'm flying into LHR on QF J in November - is there a fasttrack for immigration clearance for J/F or is it just on departure? Do you have to ask/say anything in particular to get it?
 

simongr

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I m a UK citizen so I get my own fasttrack ;) I have heard that AA give out pink tastrack forms on for inbound immi - I have never seen or needed one though...
 

Commuter

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LGW is an awful airport to fly into/out of in my opinion.
LHR is a bit more organsised, but having to wait for ages for my baggage irritates me.

Immigration queue doesn't seem to be too bad though.
 

Mal

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simongr said:
I m a UK citizen so I get my own fasttrack ;) I have heard that AA give out pink tastrack forms on for inbound immi - I have never seen or needed one though...
With all the EU immigrants these days, sometimes the EU/Locals line can grow quite long! You should be able to sign up for the IRIS express clearance trial if you want to go through faster! Border & Immigration Agency | IRIS - Iris recognition immigration system

@Opusman - You should get given on the flight a 'Fasttrack' voucher which you can use to express immigration clearance at Heathrow. It's a special section which is open for most of the day. Sometimes on BA flights they don't give them out, and your Boarding pass is what you show the line dragon, but I think they give them out on QF flights.

British Airways - Connecting at London Heathrow
 

littl_flier

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simongr said:
I m a UK citizen so I get my own fasttrack ;) I have heard that AA give out pink tastrack forms on for inbound immi - I have never seen or needed one though...
When I arrived in December last year, the foriegners line was shorter than the EU line. I've had nothing but good experiences with immigrations on the three times through LHR although I'm pleased I was entering LHR rathen than leaving in last years Fog Fiasco.
 

Blue Peter

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Jan 15, 2007
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Hi Ansettrule,

It's true that Heathrow has had a rough time of it in the press lately. The main criticisms seem to centre on Security (BAA's responsibility) and lost bags (mainly at BA who seem to lose them by not gettting them loaded in the first place).

Given that Malaysian have loaded your bags, you really should have no problem with being reuinted with them at LHR. The baggage halls are pretty grim places, but then many are.

When you come to fly home, just make sure you arrive in plenty of time and are prepared for the time it will take you to get airside (of the order of 90 minutes)

You might like to visit BAA Heathrow: Welcome to Heathrow Airport and hit the SECURITY panel for the latest advice.

On the positive side, there is a wide range of shops and restaurants (which is part of the reason BAA have been accused of running a shopping mall with runways rather than an airport)!

Have a good trip.
 

drron

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Arriving in LHR when visiting the UK was amongst the best of experiences getting through immigration and customs but that was because of a passengers medical problem and QF was allowed first slot and because I had been involved was allowed out with F pax.Third and Fourth throuh immigration and customs and not a long wait for luggage.
The next occasion was a nightmare when flying DBX-LHR-CDG on BA.I had insisted on a later CDG flight and thought 3 and a half hours would be fine.Landed 30 minutes late meaning fasttrack had closed for the day,finally got to checkin after it had closed but allowed on but in Y instead of J and naturally the bags missed the flight.One turned up that evening the other took a leisurely 3 days to reach our Paris hotel.
So if transiting which I will have to do next year I am making sure of a morning landing in LHR with a 6 hour gap before next flight.But then will be explat so no worries if everything goes smoothly.
 

Tiki

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Jul 21, 2004
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We had to check in with BA who handles Finnair. The queues were horrendous and everyone seemed to have some dramas. One couple held up a checkin counter for 10 minutes. I don't think the staff are very well trained. The girl who checked us in didn't want to interline our bags to BNE because the NRT-BNE segment was on QF codeshare JL metal. She had to get a supervisor to approve it before she would do it.

And one of our three bags was delayed, it showed up in BNE 28 hours after it was supposed to arrive on our flight. At least it showed up! :rolleyes:
 

simongr

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Mal said:
With all the EU immigrants these days, sometimes the EU/Locals line can grow quite long! You should be able to sign up for the IRIS express clearance trial if you want to go through faster! Border & Immigration Agency | IRIS - Iris recognition immigration system]
I have been tempted by IRIS but as I dont plan to be there often I didnt bother - then I had three weeks back in the UK, LGW-LHR transfers and next year a week in UK - someone is conspiring against my grand non-UK plan...
 
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