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Heathrow "Shambles"

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  • Heathrow "Shambles"

    BA Flight 054 from FAJS which departed on 5 September - I was on board. After 10 odd hours of flying the main gear kissed the runway at 06:55hrs on Thursday morning (6th September) - we pulled off the runway and stopped - for 45 minutes due to "human error" as our parking slot was "not available" at Terminal 1. We eventually disembarked at Terminal 5 (yes) and we were bussed to Terminal 1.

    OK - now we hit emigration - there are 12 desks at the "Foreign Passport" section of which only 3 were operating. It took 123 minutes to clear this mess afterwhich our luggage was "parked" on the floor next to one of the baggage carrousels. I picked up my hire car at 10:45hrs - my sense of humour was tested to the limit.

    Anyway, returning to SAfrica on BA055 last week Wednesday, we landed at FAJS at 07:10hrs - So, South Africa is usually slated for being inneficient. I was off the said BA744, through emmigration (fully manned desks, and FRIENDLY greeting - yes please chaps) with suitcase in hand and HOME (56 Kilometre drive through PEAK HOUR TRAFFIC) by 08:45hrs - my humour suitably restored.

    So, when South Africa SMACKED the Poms (THIRTY SIX to ZIP) as well as handing out a "snot-klap" to them at the cricket - JUSTICE was served...
    Last edited by RobinB; 2007-09-17, 12:19.
    RobB


  • #2
    Its the same in every country. - Those who are not citizens get second place in terms of passport queue lengths and procedures. Ive found this be true in every city/airport Ive ever visited, with none being so obviously prominent as the USA. (no offence lol) One rather funny incident I recall after arriving in Tampa on BA (an airport that seems to not be used to an aircraft the size of a 777 arriving) was when i group of high school girls got confused with which line they should be in and on finding out they could use the shorter (by about 200 people) line for US citizens, yelled: "Oh sweet, w'ere US citizens, yeah hahah!". An audible grown and shaking of heads could be heared from the Brits in the queue lol.

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    • #3
      When I went thru Customes in Munich, there weren't that many people we had to wait for like 5 Minutes. Oh Yea, I forgot to sign my passport, just had to sign it, then the guy noticed my Cubs sweater and started talking a bit since we were one of the last to go thru.
      John Poshepny

      If the Wright brother were alive today Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs. Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines, 'USA Today,' 1994

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BA747-436
        Its the same in every country. - Those who are not citizens get second place in terms of passport queue lengths and procedures.
        It's a shame - I wonder when "the authoroties" will realise that tourism is the world's largest industry and two of the three "categories" (IE: Business and Tourism flights) together with cargo is what keeps airlines and airports "afloat".

        I guess one day "they" will come round, or am I a tad optomistic.
        RobB

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        • #5
          Rob, somehow the Brits colonized an Empire. As an airline person who gets to deal with our friends in LHR each day (good people too) they definitely have a different way of doing things and those of us from the colonies have to adapt to them.

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          • #6
            Ha, ha - you put it exactly right - hence the response from those in "the colonies" - 36 - nil in France last Friday evening and a drubbing in the T20 game last Sunday.

            Although, seriously, in all the trips I have done going via LHR, this was the first one that was "slow" - heavens knows how you will cope once the A380's start pouring our passengers. Have fun.......
            RobB

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            • #7
              Oh well lets just talk about the sports. I agree justice is served, as every game poms can only talk about "saving their pride" which never happens !!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BA747-436
                Its the same in every country. - Those who are not citizens get second place in terms of passport queue lengths and procedures. Ive found this be true in every city/airport Ive ever visited,
                you obviously haven't been through Perth on an Australian passport, took me over 2hrs to clear the joint and I'm an Australian citizen.


                next trips
                USA/DXB August.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Longreach747
                  you obviously haven't been through Perth on an Australian passport, took me over 2hrs to clear the joint and I'm an Australian citizen.
                  They were happy to see you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ptbodale
                    They were happy to see you.
                    next time I'll be sure to arrive with a reciept book and issue them a bill for wasting my time.


                    next trips
                    USA/DXB August.

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                    • #11
                      Having been through Perth airport more times than I care to mention I can attest to its general sh*tness. lol

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                      • #12
                        The very best transit through an airport for me was at Tokyo Narita. Admittedly we did not need to reclaim baggage but I was later told that had we needed to do so it would have been delivered to the airport hotel for us.
                        We were transiting on an overnight stop with JAL travelling Heathrow-Tokyo-Cairns. My mother, who needs wheelchair assistance was met at the aircraft door, placed in a wheechair and.....take a deep breath because this is gonna' be quick...off we go.
                        Immigration is first. Lifts are being held for us. Bypass the other passengers at immigration by going through the crew access gate. Hand over passport at window at front of gate, move to exit grabbing passports at exit window. Break into a run to keep up with porter. More lifts being held for us to descend to ground level. Now to get the transit bus. Off at speed again with traffic held up to allow us to cross to the bus queue. Priority boarding ahead of other queuing passengers ( mostly Japanese who were more than happy to let mum on first ). Short trip to hotel about 1 mile away. Off bus to reception, again jumping queues and check in to hotel.

                        Total time from aircraft door to hotel reception, including the bus ride ?

                        14 minutes !!! The wife and I were knackered from the running to keep up.

                        Next day we need to check in and get boarding passes for the QANTAS/JAL codeshare to Cairns. No problem. Check in at the hotel and get boarding passes there. Reverse the previous day experience with the only delay being to buy the departure tax. That was disgusting, it took all of almost 5 minutes !!

                        Time to check in including queuing time, get to the airport, buy departure tax and take a seat in the departure lounge ?

                        26 minutes.

                        That'll do for me.
                        If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !

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                        • #13
                          Shabbyrow is a national embarrassment. It regularly takes three hours from landing for a T4 arrival to disembarking and moving at a snails pace from queue to queue to get to T1 in the hope that you havent missed your onward connection. Many of us northerners will not use LHR anymore. We could drive there from Manchester in the time it takes to get from T4 to T1! KLM ,Air France, Emirates all offer preferable altalternatives to flying by Heathrow and most of us are taking them.


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                          • #14
                            PS those questioning the sporting prowess of the English clearly werent watching the rugby today. It's all gone quiet down under...............!
                            Last edited by cja; 2007-10-06, 22:41.


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