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How would YOU improve T5 - radical ideas to reboot BA’s “home”

How would YOU improve T5 - radical ideas to reboot BA’s “home”

Old Jan 23, 2019, 6:57 pm
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SIN
Programs: BA, CX, SQ, Accor, IHG
Posts: 96
1- decent lounge toilets. The current offering is more suitable for installation in a bus station. I do wonder who designed these and, more interestingly, who in BA thought these were reflecting the premium experience they think they are providing.
2- as others have said- clean the place! How hard can it be? Sends a message that smacks of 'we don't care' which is probably quite accurate.
3- early gate info, 90 mins out should be quite achievable. Plenty of other airports around the planet mange it. Last min gate changes are easily displayed if required.
Hotcat1970 is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2019, 7:04 pm
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: San Diego
Programs: Plat Pro AAdvantage, but defected to BAEC
Posts: 1,222
You mean that there is more to T5 than the First Wing, Galleries F (just passing through), the CCR and the tunnel to the aircraft gate?
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Reetmafreen is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 12:41 am
Join Date: May 2006
Location: GVA
Programs: BA Gold, LH FTL, KL/AF Ivory
Posts: 1,886
I'm mostly connecting through LHR, so here are my 2 cents worth.
Abolish security checks for passengers from "trusted" destinations (Schengen, EI, ...) - Schengen countries "trust" UK security and don't require transit security checks and I doubt that the LHR security catches more than the odd bottle of water. On top of presenting connecting passengers with a better experience, it would free up resources for the security check for those who really need it. As for implementation, it's pretty simple, just switch the escalators at the end of the airbridge to going up for connecting passengers (maybe have a BP swipe to check validity/conformance etc.).
Improve the staff carrying out the security check. Even TSA is pleasant compared with the vast majority of staff, particularly at T5. They're largely rude and don't appear to be competent. The protocol which requires "retaliation" against passengers where an anomaly has been detected, rather than clearing the anomaly, make the whole exercise look like security theatre than what it's supposed to be. The experiences I've had in T2 are a delight in comparison.
As others have said, why no normal urinals in the lounge WCs? Leads to totally unnecessary crowding. Also the showers with their odd noises feel as though they're in some low-end developing country hotel.
Don't understand why gates don't get announced earlier. No wonder that the B-lounge is so pleasant as by the time B gates get announced you have no time to go there anymore. It's presumably largely used by those who know how to get gate information in advance.
The transits are largely unpleasant as they run so infrequently. I usually end up walking, particularly if I've just missed one, and reckon I beat the transits most of the time.
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catandmouse is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 12:46 am
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London, United Kingdom
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold;BA GGL; hhonors lifetime diamond; Marriott lt Gold; IH Plat Amb; Amex Centurion
Posts: 4,752
Originally Posted by bd95

Errr, but what about non-UK/Irish nationals who aren’t subject to free movement under the CTA. You don’t have to show a British passport at Irish immigration if you can prove otherwise that you are British, coming from CTA and subject to CTA freedom of movement e.g a driving license will do. FWIW domestic arrivals in Ireland also have to go through immigration.....
In which case why do we *not* do that? (I didn't know about domestic flights and I am surprised - though not of course doubting you; it must be a right pain to queue up at immigration if you simply going from, say, Shannon to Dublin.)
hsmall is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 1:02 am
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 65,009
Originally Posted by hsmall
In which case why do we *not* do that? (I didn't know about domestic flights and I am surprised - though not of course doubting you; it must be a right pain to queue up at immigration if you simply going from, say, Shannon to Dublin.)
It's more of an Irish airport layout issue, they don't check at the KIR/CFN/etc end. And they don't always check arrivals from UK to Ireland at the regional Irish airports. But yes, I think it's wrong, HAL spent a large sum of money adapting T5 for Dublin flights, DUB should have done the same. DUB did have a dedicated UK arrival area but it got swept away in a layout change.
corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 1:15 am
Join Date: May 2015
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 196
I am amazed this one hasn't come up yet: extend the rail line to Reading, and route all crossrail trains through T5!
linz36 is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 1:41 am
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 302
Have a better-connected Rail system from the South Coast, from where I am, I have to go Petersfield > Woking then either continue on stopping service to Clapham Junction or get a bus from Woking to Heathrow.... well over 2 hours...
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Old Jan 24, 2019, 2:00 am
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Lausanne Switzerland
Programs: BA Gold; Swiss Blue
Posts: 1,244
Allow connecting INT:INTpax to use any security lane irrespective of where they are leaving from.

Change the Transit to "Clean" and "Dirty" sections so you get ride of the security check at A gates and allow a better flow of passengers.
Run trains out on north track and back on south track could allow an extra train so increase flow.

Show planes leaving from B & C gates sooner.

Train the T5 Security agents to be polite and work faster.
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SWISSBOBBY is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 2:40 am
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere between 0 and 13,000 metres high
Programs: AF/KL Life Plat, BA GGL+GfL, ALL Plat, Hilton Diam, Marriott Gold, blablablah, etc
Posts: 30,789
1) For me the worst is the transfer experience. It is still very poor especially for "fast track" passengers. The British requirement for higher checks on transit passengers is entirely absurd: even the worst possible checks at the origin airport could not possibly make you "more" risky than someone who has not been through any check at all as they are coming straight from the streets of London or wherever. However, even assuming that BA and HAL are not gifted enough at lobbying to change that ridiculous rule, then they should deploy resources differently because fast track connections is systematically slower than regular (non-fast-track) O/D so then just open more fast track connection lanes to ensure that fast track gets faster security than non-fast track;

2) Fully agree with the gate announcements. That is unjustifiable and undoubtedly more related to ensuring passengers spend more time stuck in areas with shops rather than wait in the gate areas where they cannot spend money. That we know because some airports which used to advertise gates much earlier are now withholding gate announcements for that very reason.

3) Build semi contact gates (ie you walk to the plane) on the sides of the A gates with covered and heated walkways to minimise bus boarding/deboarding and if possible increase the number of positions there. Short haul flights arriving at/leaving from B/C gates used to be the exception, now I get them in at least 30% of my non domestic short haul flights and that is not only a source of frustration to many but often a source of delays as B/C gates for short haul flights are not often only mentioned 50 minutes before departure or less and many occasional flyers do not know their way.

4) Rethink bus gate boarding areas so that all bus gates board/deboard from the A terminal. Many other airports do that better

5) Rethink arrivals circuits so that gates A1-7 can be used as both domestic/international without a need to use a bus. Many airports have now successfully implemented mixed gates which enable you to channel people to/from as either domestic or international and it's time for HAL to look at what their competitors do in that regard.

6) North/South A walks have not been well thought through. No travellators for elderly people and the space is narrow and cluttered so you always have to slalom between people. Compare to what you have in, say, HKG.

7) In 5C, a number of gate indications are plainly wrong, ie the indicated direction to some gates does not point to the shortest route to them. Again, I suspect that this is about making people walk past shops and that is not a good enough reason.

8) Arrivals is MUCH better than before especially for those of us who can use machines, but still hit and miss.

9) As pointed by others, lounge showers and bathrooms are really poor - in every BA lounge. Inspiration from QF and CX (or if one can dream, in the CCR from the La Premiere lounge) would go a long way into making the lounge experience much better for transit passengers arriving from a long haul flight and wanting to shower. The current setting is just not up to competitors' standards.

10) Build a second CCR at the C gates.

11) If BA are going to continue having operations from T5 and T3, rethink the link between the two. It is still very much hit and miss especially when transferring into T3 (as opposed to the other way round) where connection security queues are often really long and fast track lane frequently not enforced with people from the other lane waived in the fast track queue.

That would be a good start I think... The point is, both CDG and FRA (the two main competitors) have improved a lot recently especially for transfer passengers. LHR T5 has got rather a bit worse instead even though it was starting from a much better place originally. Smaller airports like ZRH, AMS, etc are typically better than all of the above.
orbitmic is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 4:21 am
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: BA, Virgin, Lufthansa
Posts: 185
Originally Posted by linz36
I am amazed this one hasn't come up yet: extend the rail line to Reading, and route all crossrail trains through T5!
It's coming, it's just as with all Uk infrastructure projects it seems to be taking a long time

dajdavies is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 4:37 am
Join Date: Feb 2003
Programs: Sir CT-UK - Streaker pour les autres.
Posts: 5,921
Originally Posted by allturnleft
Said it before
Extend ABC transit to terminal 3
Agree run the transit more frequently
The transit for me is the worse aspect of T5
Walk it is often much quicker even from the C gates.

The transit is awful when busy
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CT-UK is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 6:35 am
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: AB BA Waterloo Mama Mia
Posts: 1,201
I transit T3 to T5 and vice versa many times a year. I would like to see quiet areas where I could stretch (available in Dallas in open areas off the main walkway areas towards gates) though I suspect people would use them to lie down and sleep much as I have seen take place in the Multi faith Prayer Rooms. Alternatively, a mini gym where I could work out in the lounges and...more kids friendly play places than currently exist as there are very few of them and they are minimalist at best. All things considered I am comfortable transiting Heathrow and the free bus system around the perimeter that takes to me to any number of local hotels is appreciated. More budget food options for the day I lose my status and recliner chairs that I have used in AMS and FRA would also be appreciated ... notwithstanding I have fallen asleep in the Relaxation Room at T3 too many times and almost missed connecting flights.
testycal is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 3:00 pm
Join Date: May 2015
Location: 38,000 Feet
Programs: BA Gold, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Plat
Posts: 49
For me its just the little things! Decent climate control... I'm always a sweaty hot mess and realise I've been walking around the CCR with bits of napkins stuck to my brow!

Then in the same vein some sort of outdoor area. At least T4 has that funny outside smoking area. Not that I smoke but its nice to get a blast of fresh kerosene sweet air! .

More Pod parking! Such a brilliant simple system but it always seems to be fully booked when I need it. Dedicated Ride-share collection - Row R is becoming a bottleneck.

Smarter lifts going to car parks - after a 10 hour flight you don't want to wait ages for the handful of small lifts that are jam packed going to the car parks.

A lost property system that actually works! If you loose anything in T5 forget seeing it again. Even though you can see online that they have found your items - it's impossible to actually claim them. Plus the Lost property office closes stupidly early
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mikeijay is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 3:43 pm
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,493
Originally Posted by mikeijay
Smarter lifts going to car parks - after a 10 hour flight you don't want to wait ages for the handful of small lifts that are jam packed going to the car parks.
T5 has 12 large lifts that go from arrivals to all 4 levels of the car parks and departures level. An additional 2 go to level 1, 2 and 5.
xxxxx is offline  
Old Jan 24, 2019, 4:48 pm
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
Join Date: Jan 2009
Programs: Battleaxe Alliance
Posts: 22,129
Having a strictly enforced Quiet Area, where talking at a level beyond whispering and any noise-making activities beyond quiet typing is banned (anyone making noise beyond that will be asked to leave immediately).

Examples of banned activities:
Slurping, on food or otherwise, or loud chewing etc.
Talking on the mobile phone
Listening to music etc. on a speaker
Mobile phone that is not on Silent/Vibrate-only
Typing loudly
Banging or tapping on things etc.
Making excessive noise with crockery/cutlery etc. or anything else for that matter
Shouting, screaming, running etc.
Talking loudly enough that it can be heard more than 8 feet away

(In fact they could have a dedicated "Quiet work area with no talking or eating permitted")
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Last edited by LTN Phobia; Jan 24, 2019 at 4:56 pm
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