AVOID LHR

 
Old May 18, 12, 1:43 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: New Orleans, AA EXP, DL PM, SPG PLT, HH Diamond
Posts: 3,750
AVOID LHR

Connected this week through LHR. Must say the worst experience ever at an airport. Airport and security personnel were extremely rude. Had reserved a wheelchair for my wife. Had to wait 30 minutes, just as we had the last time, and when the buggy arrived, there wasn't enough room, and people were arguing with the driver as to who would get on. People arrived at the security lines without gels, liquids in plastic bags (in fact bags are provided here). Very, very inefficient security personnel. Was planning to go to the Concorde room, but could not since it took almost 3 hours to clear security. Will not connect through LHR if have another choice.
aceflyer2 is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 1:51 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NYC/DFW/SJD
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 327
Sounds about right...
blakepilot is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 1:53 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: TK E+, BA Gold, HH Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 789
Originally Posted by aceflyer2 View Post
Rant
Thanks for the advice. Being London-based I'll have to look for flights from LGW or STN in the future then.
duvin is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 1:54 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: AA Lifetime PLT , BA Silver , BD RIP , HH Gold, SPG / Marriott PLT , EF Subscriber
Posts: 6,616
Could you give a breadown of what took 3 hours, especialy as you appear to have been in a Wheelchair flying First Class, so would be Fastracked to The Front of the Line at Security.

Also if you are flying First Class you have virtually no choice other than LHR for OneWorld TATL flights.
UncleDude is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 2:25 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,049
You can substitute virtually any international airport into the description and it would be accurate from time to time.

Arrive mid-afternoon and you can queue that long to get through immigration in DFW for example then have another long queue just to get passed customs.

I'm also applying the usual translation filters 'extremely rude' staff are usually just doing their jobs and refusing to make exceptions that people feel entitled to.

Quite how individuals failure to have their liquids packed properly is a LHR problem I do not know.

I travel in/out of LHR a lot and see none of this rampant inefficiency and rudeness, but I do see a lot of people failing to make life easier for themselves and having unreasonable expectations not met.
Mark_T is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 2:28 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: eastern Europe
Posts: 3,057
LHR is IMHO the worst gateway in Europe, and if flying to London, I have long prefered Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted. Since doing a challenge to AA Plat, however, I find the BA lounges make even LHR quite tolerable. If not for those BA lounges, I would be trying to figure a way to fly through other OW gateways like HEL or MAD.

I will also say, that it was connecting through LHR that put me off switching to AA when I bailed out of DL during the www.saveskymiles.com fight, and then out of NW when DL took it over. Little did I know that BA's lounges were some of the very best around.
Carolinian is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 2:32 am
  #7  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,269
So, you must have been travelling BA First for Concorde Room access, but perhaps you can tell us which connections you were actually making so we can place this in the proper thread (or Forum, even?)
JDiver is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 2:59 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Platinum: KL Gold: A3 Silver: AZ, BA
Posts: 24,658
Originally Posted by Carolinian View Post
LHR is IMHO the worst gateway in Europe, and if flying to London, I have long prefered Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted.
Quite funny to see the term "gateway in Europe" in the same sentence as Luton, or Stansted...
irishguy28 is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 3:00 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: FLL
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by Carolinian View Post
LHR is IMHO the worst gateway in Europe
Surely CDG is worse.
GEXPO is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 4:40 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: midway between EDI and DND
Programs: BA Gold, AA Plat for Life, ex BD Gld (RIP)
Posts: 574
I can sympathise with OP. I experience this regularly - two hours in line for immigration, interrogated by surly and nearly rude immigration officer, queue for customs snaking through bagge hall, transfer to anoter terminal, security staffed by downright rude, hectoring officials shouting at passengers like they are morons........

Only thing is, this isn't at LHR but at ORD.

I'm no LHR apologist. It isn't perfect but it's no worse than most. I would expect, admittedly as a UK passport holder, to be able to do plane door from AA TATL to BA lounge (including the T3-T5 transfer) in less than an hour (it was 40 minutes on Wednesday).
superscot is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:10 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: AA EXP 3MM
Posts: 495
Originally Posted by superscot View Post
I would expect, admittedly as a UK passport holder, to be able to do plane door from AA TATL to BA lounge (including the T3-T5 transfer) in less than an hour (it was 40 minutes on Wednesday).
As a US citizen, I've had nearly as quick transits through LHR most times. The worst has been arriving at 11 pm; long and slow immigration lines. The BA lounges in T5 are really great, and make it much more tolerable.
altaskier is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:18 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Programs: AA EXP 3MM
Posts: 1,773
Originally Posted by superscot View Post
I would expect, admittedly as a UK passport holder, to be able to do plane door from AA TATL to BA lounge (including the T3-T5 transfer) in less than an hour (it was 40 minutes on Wednesday).
Me too. About 35 min the last couple of times. The passport check is so minimal on the transfer that is doesn't significantly delay non-EU passport holders either.

Clearly the wheelchair fiasco added some time for the OP, but without knowing the OPs connection (presumably to/from a BA longhaul in F because of Concorde room access. Presumably to T5 rather than from because the delay prevented him from going to the Concorde room. Presumably from AA as posting in this forum), and details of the specific components of the cumulative delay, its difficult to assess how extreme the situation was.
beerup is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:27 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Evanston, Illinois USA (ORD)
Programs: AA 4.0 MM Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by altaskier View Post
As a US citizen, I've had nearly as quick transits through LHR most times. The worst has been arriving at 11 pm; long and slow immigration lines. The BA lounges in T5 are really great, and make it much more tolerable.
+1

I also fly to LHR from Chicago, several times a year, and have for years - I've never understood what all the fuss is about, at either end.

By the way, British immigration agents are "rude?" Are you serious?
jpzeller is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:50 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Racine, WI/VCE
Programs: AA EXP, MR LT PPE, Arise Mucci des Hommes de Fer
Posts: 1,047
Originally Posted by jpzeller View Post
+1

I also fly to LHR from Chicago, several times a year, and have for years - I've never understood what all the fuss is about, at either end.

By the way, British immigration agents are "rude?" Are you serious?
+1. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
TheAAdmiral is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 6:35 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 158
I have to mention that on a recent experience with LHR, I was quite dissatisfied with the security personnel at T5 who I thought were both rude and arrogant. First, as an EXP, I thought we were allowed to utilize the fast track line at T5 (came in on an AA flight TATL in J, transferred onto a domestic UK flight with BA with no CE). The BA gatekeepers on the lower level allowed me into the fast track lane, but when I got upstairs, the security personnel informed me that since I am not traveling in J or F, that I am not allowed to use the fast track lane and tried to send me to one of the other lanes. I informed them that I was an EXP and arriving on a J ticket and transferring to Y since there was no J on this UK domestic flight; and in the process was accused of being "arrogant". Obviously, I was quite irrate at that point, spoke with the supervisor for this agent, and got his name and badge number to file a complaint with BA/BAA. Nevertheless, this has been only one poor security experience in over 10+ years of transiting in LHR.
booji is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: