• July 24, 2017
July 24, 2017, 10:38:49 pm *
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Author Topic: How bad is Heathrow really?  (Read 31992 times)
science_expat
Science Expat. Just pretending to be a somewhat
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« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2016, 6:14:28 pm »

Did you get to keep the booze?
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hmaria1609
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« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2016, 9:44:44 pm »

Did you get to keep the booze?
Yep!  :)

As a visual, this is the 5 cl. bottle size (approx. 1.70 liquid oz) I'd bought:
https://shop.glengoyne.com/glengoyne-mini-tin-10-15-and-18-year-old-single-malt-whisky

Correction to my previous post: I flew home on a Sunday not Monday.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 9:51:23 pm by hmaria1609 » Logged
nescafe
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« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2016, 1:48:58 am »

I prefer Newark Liberty and Paris Charles de Gaulle as the site of all my travel nightmares.

+1. I rather like Heathrow. The extra screenings you encounter at CDG between Europe and Asia, on the other hand...
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helpful
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« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2016, 11:54:24 am »

The UK government has chosen to let Heathrow build another runway, rather than at Gatwick.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37773052

Course it won't be built for years and there is still lots of controversy over it.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 11:56:57 am by helpful » Logged
mamselle
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« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2016, 9:13:11 am »

I have a new candidate for a really bad airport setup...or maybe it deserves a different threead...

I arrived at CMH (Col's, OH) at 6 AM for a 6.40 flight.

Because of the upcoming holidays, the place was packed.

Delta has its own gate...also its own TSA entrance area.

Therein lies the problem....and it wasn't just mine.

 There was a spelling error on my ticket...I'd booked over the phone in a bus station, we were spelling everything back to each other, but it somehow got through.

I'd already traveled on it, but little miss bright eyes at the entry podium (notice the inflated terms for things...it used to be just a desk....) won't let me go,on, I have to go baaaacckk to the special services desk and get it fixed...and oh, since they're backed up, I'll miss my flight now, so I'm supposed to ask them to re-book me, now, too.

So, because of all the peripatetic Buckeyes, the other direct flights are full, and so now I have an 8.30 flight via LGA to my final destination, and will be 2 hrs later to boot.

Fine, I'll be delayed but I'll get there.

Much worse is what happened to the sweet Cambodian couple ahead of me.

Chatting in line, they said they had to get back because of visa and work constraints, and had to be up early the next AM to be at work upon arrival, given the dateline differences, etc.

They arrived at CMH at 5 AM, when it opened, for their 6.40 flight, to be sure of getting in, but because TSA here is so maddeningly meticulous, they've missed their flight, and need to rebook.

Come back tomorrow, they're told..all sold out. No apologies, no effort to empathize. No way to even partially rebook, no offer to connect with another carrier.

I went over to talk to them, and another person did so, as well...between us, we suggested they go to Travellers Aid near the baggage area, to get lodging, and maybe an advocate to help with the visa and work issues.

Back in line, we're being made to remove jackets as well as coats. Nearly every other person gets pulled aside for additional checking. Its like there's a quota they have to reach and they're going to be sure to reach or exceed it, no matter what.

My whole bag is torn apart because of a change purse full of change: they couldn't tell what it was. Another fellow offers to let them keep his hair gel, he needs to run for his gate after a 1/2 hr wait in line and 10 min. delay while they pull other bags apart for stuff they can't read on the screen.

 But that lets them use the bright, new, shiny spiffy gel scanner, taking more time, of course...the poor guy goes flying down the hall to his gate just before they close.

Are they all new employees?

Nope, it's always been this way but it's gotten worse, it seems, like little tin gods pulling out every tiny thing just because they can.

They're so diligent over tiny things, they're going to miss a big issue someday, I'm sure. And talking with a flight attendant on my way to my gate, it sounds like even their flight team has trouble.

I will never fly Delta out of CMH again.

M.


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zyzzx
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« Reply #50 on: December 16, 2016, 3:07:41 pm »

If you want crazy security, go fly some domestic flights in China. For even better, fly to/from politically sensitive far western China.
They are going nuts about batteries over there - no batteries in checked baggage. Lithium batteries are a thing everywhere now, but the Chinese are going all out to enforce it, pulling everything that looks even remotely electronic out of your checked bags and inspecting it all to be super extra sure that there are no batteries. Other places have no problem if the lithium batteries are in the device, but not China. Those AAA batteries in your flashlight? Can't check them.
Then at the security checkpoint, you have to take everything electronic out of your carry-on. Not just computers, but also cameras, phones, and all those batteries that you couldn't check in. And it all gets endlessly inspected.

Doing this with big bags of scientific equipment is extra fun. We almost missed multiple flights sitting there in the bulky baggage place while they pulled everything out of our bags, "What is this? Batteries? And what is this? Any batteries?" and send them through the Xray machine about 27 times each. Even more fun is doing this for an itinerary with a string of flights on different tickets, so having to check the bags (and redo the inspections) three separate times in one day.

I have few complaints about security elsewhere after this experience.
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hulkhogan
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2017, 1:15:48 pm »

Just got back from my Heathrow mis-adventure. Going, I arrived at T3 and transferred to T5. No big deal, and contrary to expectations, the T5 satellite was almost completely deserted. No wait at security or anything. The main T5 building had decent shopping and restaurants, and I actually picked up a couple of books not available in the U.S. The wifi even worked. Overall quite a pleasant if dull experience.

On my way back, I had the misfortune of flying out of T3 on American. Ridiculous and useless passport pre-checks, and no stores or restaurants, only vending machines that were either broken, sold out, or did not accept Euros. Security was otherwise benign, but overall a miserable experience since the terminal was overheated and I was thirsty. But I guess that"s American for you, too.
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helpful
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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2017, 11:33:06 pm »

Terminal 2 is the best Terminal in Heathrow. it opened in 2014.
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