1 October 2023

Heathrow Fail

My frustrations with Heathrow airport.

European efficiency does not cross the English channel. It clearly stops at Calais and can not be bothered swimming to Dover. I mentioned in an earlier post that getting in through Heathrow.

Well, just as unorganised is getting out of Heathrow.

What I found amusing was that their display-boards only displays information on which gate to go to 30-40 minutes before departure, yet the furthest gate is 25 minutes away from the waiting lounge. And what was the greatest source of frustration for those on my flight, was the gate information appeared before the passengers on the plane we were using had yet to disembark leaving us waiting behind security doors in a hallway with no seats… Much to the inconvenience of families, elderly and a guy in crutches. On top of that, our flight and every other plane couldn’t take off for a half hour because the computer systems crashed in the control tower. Leaving a back log of planes queuing at the head of the run way.

Ok, end rant.

Heathrow, to its credit is the easiest airport in London to get to. I had to fly into Luton from Paris (Eurostar fail – £168 compared to a <£60 EasyJet flight) and the connections between the airport and central London was painful. Bus to the train station, train to Kings Cross St Pancras then connection to the underground (Oyster card only usable on the last leg)… Whereas Heathrow is on the Piccadilly line – nice and easy.

I’m on a plane bound for Washington DC, flying out of Reykjavik, Iceland.

Icelandair is perhaps the best kept secret of transatlantic flying. They are a ‘budget’ airline, where you have to pay for food and alcoholic drink, but every seat has awesome leg room, and a screen. I was impressed with the trip from London to Reykjavik. The stopover was only an hour after our delay so that was sweet… And the terminal itself was easy to navigate. Literally a 250m walk from plane door to plane door. Their flight boards only half filled with the number of flights taking off. And most passengers are there to transfer from Europe to the States.

So as I blog now, I’m over the Atlantic Ocean, leaving Europe bound to America. And as a reflection and conclusion to my Europe section of my blog, coming up next is the tips and tricks I learnt during my time – hope you enjoy!

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