On my last trip through London Heathrow Terminal 5 BAA was (un)wise enough to ask me for feedback on the experience. I so much enjoyed writing down my thoughts that I decided to replicate them here.
Dear BAA, you ask for feedback on my experience today (16 October 2013) at Heathrow Terminal 5. Well…
For a start, the automated machines at security are utterly useless. They are the wrong height – short people / kids / elderly struggle to get their bags onto them. Legal-size carry-on bags don’t fit in the trays. Staff shout at you as you unpack computers and liquids. The trays move off before you are ready. Sometimes it’s belts and shoes off, sometimes it’s not. The staff chat instead of getting you through the X-ray machine quickly. On the other side, the conveyor belt keeps moving your luggage along as you pick up your change and put on your belt. You never know if the machine is going to swallow your tray while it still has something in it. More shouting by the staff. The system is no quicker than the conventional type of machine, requires at least as many staff and is dehumanising.
Then there is the layout of the terminal and lounges. Security is on the same level as the BA lounge, but you force us to go down a floor, then walk along, then go up a few escalators, to get back to a point a few yards from the exit to security. All dragging our hand luggage. The purpose appears is either so that first class passengers get a better deal, being allowed straight into the lounge area. Or so we have to walk past all the shops. Either way, it is an daft and annoying way to treat your customers.
But thanks for asking 🙂