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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Well, it wasn't half as bad as all the reports suggested. It's flawed, when it has no reason to be as a shiny big new terminal. But it's not disastrous.

    The lack of seating is a big problem, particularly just past security where there's nowhere to put shoes back on. And there's going to be far too little seating once they bring the continental stuff in.

    The fact there's only one exit from Heathrow Express (and at the other end from the one you get on at Paddington) is plain silly. And even more silly that the only transit to gate B & C annexes is back, again, at the other end of the terminal.

    The security line is a shambles at the moment, as you have to put all carry on into their silly plastic trays, which means people are balancing wheely-suitcases on top of trays, otherwise the conveyor doesn't work. The conveyor itself is too slow. People can't get their stuff out of the trays sensibly. Somehow they've managed to make security even worse than before.

    But there are some good things, like the fact that you never have to walk very far to a gate, compared to the rest of Heathrow; and the Terminal has easy access to the runways so you don't spend hours driving around the airport after leaving the gate/landing.

    They still haven't worked out how to get staff to the gate in time to push the jetty to the plane, though. I think this is something the people at Heathrow will never, ever learn despite every other airport finding it easy.

    Other people have commented on a mess with the parking, as BAA are gouging the parking companies and putting up prices by a factor of 8 or something, all the cheap-parking companies are just saying use Terminal 4 parking and get transit.

    Which is apparently a big problem when all the tranist, and Heathrow Express, all stop at midnight.

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  • JtS
    replied
    Terminal 5

    RICHARD BRANSON DIES LAUGHING
    TRIBUTES are being paid to Sir Richard Branson this morning after the Virgin Atlantic boss died of laughter.

    Sir Richard was discovered at his West London home early today, slumped over on the sofa with a huge smile on his face and the television stuck on Sky News.

    Staff at his Holland Park mansion said they heard him banging on the floor shouting, 'stop, stop, I can't take any more!' before he let out one final burst of uncontrollable laughter.

    A company spokesman said: "Something must have set him off yesterday afternoon. I called him at around 4pm and he could hardly speak. At one point I think I heard him say he'd pissed himself.

    "It's a shame because he would probably have wanted to go in a balloon accident or some other self-promotional activity."

    Meanwhile Heathrow has hailed the catastrophic opening of its new terminal five as an 80% improvement on a normal day at terminals one, two, three and four.

    British Airways passengers had to wait five hours to collect their bags, compared to the usual 12, and only 300,000 pieces of luggage went missing over the day.

    Airport boss Bill McKay said an 'outstanding' first 24 hours had been marred only by a small riot and a handful of isolated knife fights.

    He added: "It did turn a bit nasty when someone pointed out the terminal was just a big shed that wasn't actually connected to any departure gates. Still, thank God for Alsatians, eh?"

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  • Wyatt Earp
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Munich airport's got it's own specially brewed beer. That's the kind of air travel Hell I like, folks!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Terminal 5

    The seats are in McDonalds. Or even worse in some catchpenny Italian place. Don't you just yearn for fastfood outlets when you see those places at airports?

    Ah, John McD, E10. I thought it was odd that you'd quote his (I presume) neighbour, Mr Wilshire. By all means put that up. I can't find the Gilmour on this public computer I'm on. But it did have a good bit about how being woken up and not being able to get back to sleep wasn't being counted as "sleep deprivation" by Terminal 5's proponents.

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  • N est à?
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It was BA who famously 'weren't getting on no plane, fool' as recently as the eighties, so their manifest failings running an airline come as no surprise.

    More seriously, I suspect a lot of the problems are ultimately down to BAA's warped priorities in building the new terminal- to maximize revenue from the many, many retail outlets, the actual airport facilities and functions being rather an afterthought.

    And from the tv pictures, it looks like they haven't bothered putting in any seating at all.

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  • E10 Rifle
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Tubbs, no I meant John McD, who's been banging on about this for yonks.

    Like the Undertones gag though

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  • Rogin the Armchair fan
    replied
    Terminal 5

    ITN's news reporter (who's perhaps been primed with lots of BA free champagne) has just gushed, "this is is highly sophisticated new system, where computerised chips will eradicate the problems of lost baggage we've always experienced in the past".

    And, true to specification, none of BA's baggage is being "lost" at present out of terminal 5. None of it's going fucking anywhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Is it David Wilshire you have in mind, E10? He seemed to be of the "it's going to happen because it is" school of argument. And that was talking about Terminal 6.

    A lot of Tory MPs argue like that. I'm surprised John Harris (in the article you put up the other day) didn't suggest that a lot of them had seen The Undertones.

    BA's reputation is way below what BR's ever was. BR was mostly wisecracks about catering.

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  • noj
    replied
    Terminal 5

    They could sort out the immigration queues by, you know, hiring more immigration officers. I've been in a completely full arrivals hall with only three officers before.
    To be fair that's not the Airport's fault, that's the fault of HM Customs and Excise.

    Heathrow is a mess and always will be. This pdf thing for the TCPA is quite interesting in terms of history etc.

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  • Felicity, I guess so
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Would I be right in suspecting that the baggage problems in particular are due to "teething troubles" with very just-in-time working practices?

    BA is starting to get the sort of reputation in media coverage that BR had way back in the day. To the point where i've twice heard BAA (the airport authority) referred to, and slagged off, as BA (the airline). My heart bleeds.

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  • E10 Rifle
    replied
    Terminal 5

    I'd like to link to an article by former Isleworth resident, Ian Gilmour, but E10 would take the piss out of me too much.
    Heh. We could do a trade off in that regard. You post up something by Gilmour and I post up something by the current MP for the area affected by Heathrow's expansion.

    Leave a comment:


  • Crusoe
    replied
    Terminal 5

    The Money Pit writ large.

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  • anton pulisov
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It's hilarious how nothing is working. The baggage system isn't working. The employees can't log in to their workstations. The lifts aren't working. The bank machines have broken down. It's a fantastic failure on a grand scale.

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  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Chubby Cyclist, the extra capacity that Terminal 5 creates will almost inevitably lead to pressure for a new runway.

    I'd like to link to an article by former Isleworth resident, Ian Gilmour, but E10 would take the piss out of me too much.

    Anyway, isn't 24 Hour news great when someone like BA are in the shit?

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  • Rogin the Armchair fan
    replied
    Terminal 5

    I always take a great deal of schadenfreude delight when a multi-million pound computer system, brought in to "save" the need for hundreds of organic computer systems to do the same job as well, conks out and causes chaos.

    I mean computerised luggage handling, FFS. You tell someone which plane you're travelling on. They write your flight number on a label. Tie it to your bag. Then take it to your plane. Why did anyone at BAA think that letting some Dallas-based programmer and his latest Metal Mickey invention take that over would be a great idea?

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Terminal 5

    E10 Rifle wrote:
    They're pretty much destroying an entire village for Heathrow's expansion. At what point do you actually make a long-term principled decision and say it's time to stop?
    Was that for T5? Or would that be for the T6 and third runway expansion, which would increase the number of flights (and seems to me a pretty stupid idea for all kinds of reasons)?

    It may be a nice idea that Heathrow would reduce the number of flights coming through, but clearly that wasn't happening even without Terminal 5. As far as I can see Terminal 5 doesn't add any more flights, and there was never any reduction coming in the medium term, so at least making the airport less unpleasant to use would be sensible.

    Clearly, from reports so far, it no less unpleasant than before, just more spacious and more useless. But providing more gates and more space and more infrastructure but with the same number of landing and take-off slots (as there are still only two runways) is still the right thing to have done.

    Leave a comment:


  • ad hoc
    replied
    Terminal 5

    You ought to be grateful. Bucharest is hosting a NATO summit next week and the country has gone fucking mental security wise. Half of the capital city has been closed down (already, even though the summit doesn't start until Wednesday). I'm at the airport today and it's already gearing up in a big way, plus the queue of traffic stretching into Bucharest basically reached here - about 20kms north of the city. Passed rows upon rows of buses bringing extra cops into the city from all over the country. People are not even going to be allowed to walk along selected streets in Bucharest. Yesterday they went along putting flowers and trees along all the routes that the dignitaries will use - and by this morning half of them had already been nicked.

    Leave a comment:


  • G-Man
    replied
    Terminal 5

    On Sky they interviewed a traveller who was told that her flight had been rerouted from Terminal 5 to Gatwick, and she had been told to find her own way there. Which would be scandalous.

    I don't think I'd be likely to opt for a BA flight any time soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • E10 Rifle
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It's needed, I'm pretty sure of that, whatever the whiney protestors say.
    What about the non-whiney protesters?

    Unless you cut back on the number of flights, which isn't happening any time soon.
    Why shouldn't it though? Sooner or later, it will (have to) happen. Or will our mutant descendants be justifying Terminal 30 in 80 years' time on the same gounds?

    They're pretty much destroying an entire village for Heathrow's expansion. At what point do you actually make a long-term principled decision and say it's time to stop?

    Leave a comment:


  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It shouldn't fill up any more. There's no room on the runways for more flights (indeed, there's probably no room for more flights even with a third runway), so this should merely ease congestion.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tubby Isaacs
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It's like a road though, isn't it? Just fills up with more traffic. What limits are in place?

    I couldn't believe how bad Terminal 4 was the other week. Not only had Al Qaeda necessitated stringent checks, they'd also blown up about half the check in staff by the look of it.

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  • Eggchaser
    replied
    Terminal 5

    It's needed, I'm pretty sure of that, whatever the whiney protestors say.
    Where's the wagging finger smiley when you need it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Crusoe
    replied
    Terminal 5

    The BBC is now reporting that all check-ins at the new terminal have been suspended. What a mess.

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Terminal 5

    Oh, and I hate British airports' horrible drayed worn thin carpets. But not as much as I hate those dirty looking dark yellow illuminated signs which haven't changed since the 70s and looked tacky and tatty then. They're the big beacon that says to me "Welcome to grey, miserable, wet, inefficient Britain. We hope you enjoy your stay in the immigration hall and the one at baggage reclaim, and then enjoy spending the same amount to get to your destination as you did on your plane ticket."

    Leave a comment:


  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Terminal 5

    You could make the same point about Dulles, say, GY.

    They could usefully have more than one IRIS thingy at each terminal, too.

    Leave a comment:

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