Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Terrible Terminal Two

Now back from my trip to England and Portugal and starting the process of recovering from the return journey. This was the first time I'd been through the new Terminal Two at Heathrow. If heading on a genealogy, or any other trip via Heathrow - beware.

Certainly compared to the old Terminal Three to which I've been accustomed the new one is spacious. Unfortunately the space is used in a feast or famine manner. You're forced to use the check in machines, even if you checked in online, to print a baggage tag. The machines are so user friendly they station lots of staff in the area to help you figure them out. Isn't that enough of a clue to Air Canada that they aren't part of good customer service, but maybe that's not important.

Following that you're directed through one of those back and forth cattle corridors to drop off your bags and go through a second passport check. That part of the Terminal Two experience is all too familiar to airline travelers. That's also true of the security check, another cattle-worthy experience.

The particular agony at Terminal Two is the exercise regime. According to the signs it's a 15 minute, repeat 15 minute, walk from the check in to the gate. No wonder these days travelers dress like they're going for a hike, at Terrible Terminal Two they are. There are moving walkways but the time indicated to get to the gate must include those and walking along them. Why couldn't Heathrow take the tip from Gatwick and Atlanta and install a train for such a distance - it can't be any less than between Gatwick's North and South Terminals.
That walk is also required on arrival, even worse coming as it does after a mostly sleepless overnight flight.
One day a major air terminal will rethink the process and focus it on the traveler experience, not just the cost efficiency for the airline and terminal operation. But I'm not expecting that day to come anytime soon at Heathrow.

I never thought I be sentimental about the old Terminal Three with all its faults.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Oh my gosh John, I tthink this has been my best read of the day. I was laughing non stop and had to put down my cup of tea for fear I would spill it. I'm either as tired as you must be, or simply enjoy your sense of humour. You do keep us informed as well as entertained. Welcome home!