Pathetic Heathrow Airport loses all hope of helping passengers

21 December 2010

We're hardly spoilt for choice in the UK when it comes to international flights; plenty of regional airports offer only the bare bones of a truly international schedule. Sooner or later, all routes lead to Heathrow - and anybody who has tried to reach the airport, transfer between terminals or pass through it with ease realises what a dismal, ineffective operation it is.

Travel writer David Whitley sums up Heathrow perfectly in a blog post today:

BAA labours under the impression that it is running an impressive operation. It is not – it is running a large operation badly, seemingly oblivious that it is in fact an airport rather than a large shopping mall. The snowy conditions have seen Heathrow caught with its pants down, but let’s not pretend that those undies are ever more than ankle-high.

If further proof is required, beyond the past few days of disorganised misery, then there's this message from the airport's official Twitter account:

Bitterwallet - Heathrow Twitter

What a dreadful message to send out to the public. Passengers shouldn't hope to catch the plane they've booked? Everyone, but everyone turns up at an airport hoping for a flight. Whether they expect one in adverse weather is a different matter - but there is a difference. Heathrow must be a laughing stock amongst world class airports; it's a shame thousands of travellers are having to learn it the hard way.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Shizzle N.
    How very confusing, I thought it was the airlines' issue with telling passengers whether or not their flights were going, rather than the people who operate the building from which these airlines send their planes from.......
  • steve
    Have travelled to Asia, America and China from other UK airports so its not like you HAVE to go via Heathrow. I did fly to the US from there once and it was the worst and most chaotic arrivals experience I ever had.
  • Nobby
    @Shizzle ... isn't that what they are saying. Don't just turn up hoping your flight will not be cancelled, check with your airline first before travelling to the airport. Otherwise it is BAA that has to deal with loads of dirty people sitting around in their shopping centre all day, with nowhere to go to at night. They are then responsible for bringing in extra food and water to sell to the dumb-fucks that are not going to travel any time soon, as well as requiring more security staff, and so on.
  • Dave T.
    Have to agree with Nobby - a lot of the problems are indeed the dumb fucks that just turn up at the airport and hope that by shouting at someone they can force there way onto an aircraft. Its more a case of pathetic passengers!!
  • Mr S.
    Given that everyone should now know what a complete hole it is, I'm surprised people still travel via Heathrow at all. Like steve said, it's not like you really don't have a choice.
  • Bryce J.
    I have been caught for 5 days by this nonsense at Heathrow. Flew back eventually through Schipol which was operating at near full capacity in lower temperatures and deeper snow. I pitched up on Friday for a flight. There was a light dusting of snow and it was cold but not desperately. Anyway, to answer Dave. due to the complete lack of ability to contact BA in any way shape or form over the internet or phone. Internet wouldn't allow rebooking due to a complete collapse in that system and the advice was to call your booking agent which, as it was online, was BA itself. Trying any of the three lines you got a recorded message saying 'Due to heavy demand on the hotline please use to rebook' and then click as it cut off. So there was a perfect closed loop of non communication. Nice one Mr Walsh. Fire your head of IT and also head of Press Relations (conspicuous by his/her absence) @ Dave and Nobby So us 'dumb fucks' had to turn up at the airport to physically get in front of an agent to get rebooked. Very glib comments, Nobby and Dave, if you weren't caught in it.

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