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Heathrow, Gatwick etc.... How was it for you?

Travel Forums General Talk Heathrow, Gatwick etc.... How was it for you?

1. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

A Happy New Year To Everyone.

There was a post put up in T.P. not so long back, asking if anyone agreed with the quote made by some big cheese - that arriving in the UK was "Like Landing in a Third World Country." So may or may not be the case. I know I turn my nose up at the lack lustre LHR and LGW both have, compared to the the moderness and efficiency of Manchester and Schiphol, for example.
However - as we all know, both LHR and LGW have been the laughing stock (yet again) of the airline industry - across the globe, during the recent flurry of snow over the last two weeks or so.
So.... Were you there? Do you know someone who was? Were you due to be there, but your flight was cancelled or diverted?
Thank goodness my recent return flight was out of/and back to Manchester, which remained open throughout the bad weather.
The thoughts and opinions of anyone who had a connection with what went on, I'm sure - will make interesting reading.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Dec-2010, at 12:31 by flyingbob ]

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Although I missed out on the 'fun' of a few weeks ago, I landed at Heathrow again last night. I'm not sure what terminal we landed in, but having just come from Hong Kong, it sure looked pretty dated. Terminal 5, where our connection left from was nice though, and the security check was super quick and efficient, with nice, friendly personnel to boot (travelling with a 4 year old after a 14 hour leg from HK, that's worth a lot!). Interestingly enough, apparently the folks at Oslo's airport have been contacted tons in the past few weeks by other airports asking for advice on how to keep airports open in snowy conditions. I just hope they don't do so much consulting that it affects the reliability here :)

3. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Interesting - your comment about Oslo. LHR has had a continuous breakdown of good facilities for years, what with the disasters of this and last winters, the sham of Terminal 5, forever breaking down carousels and escalators etc. Wouldn't you think by now, with the huge profits they post each year, they could do something constuctive about all the problems?
Thanks for your comments.

4. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 769 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I must say that I am not a big fan of Manchester airport, have you tried Liverpool airport? Much better I think. Obviously it is much smaller and so not so many flights go from there but I really like it. Gatwick airport is quite nice too. Basically what I like in an airport is a nice bar to have a beer in before my flight. HK airport is best I have ever been to. Worst ever? Incheon airport in Korea. Winner of best airport in the world for the last 3 years or so. It's rubbish. I live in Korea and if you want to go to a shop or restaurant or bar after 9pm then don't fly from Incheon. Everything shuts apart from one small kiosk after 9pm or so. Rubbish.

5. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I'm with you all the way on this.
Quite honestly for me - the smaller the airport, the better.
All I need is a beer, sandwich, newspeper, seat - oh and the shortest possible walk to the plane.
I can't be doing with Selfridges, Harrods in the Sky etc. If I want perfume or after-shave, I'll buy it somewhere else.
Your comments about Manchester are interesting. You don't actually say 'Why' you don't like it. It's one of Europe's biggest regional airports, and quite honestly I'm not the biggest fan either. Reasons being for me.... It's so big now, that getting off the train and to the furthest terminal, takes longer than in Schiphol. They're always going on about how it's one of the fastest growing airports in Europe, yet the moving floors are forever breaking down - and faulty fire alarms, which always result in evacuation, are a regular occurence.
The one thing that lets Liverpool down is it's public transport service. It's lousy.
Virgin Atlantic has announced this week - that it's witholding take-off/landing and parking fees due to BAA, until the 'Snow at LHR' enquiry is completed.

6. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 769 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I think the problem I have with Manchester airport is that it is a bit...well, to be honest, I don't really know why I don't really like it. It just doesn't feel like a modern airport. Don't get me wrong, I have been to much older, dirtier etc etc airports, but I just don't get the atmosphere at Manchester. I am quite strange as I enjoy being in airports, they are the start of a journey and journeys are always exciting. Manchester, I suppose, just doesn't 'do it' for me.

7. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I see your point entirely.
There are quite a few outstanding airports - and others that leave me cold too.
I can't stand Franfurt Main. It reminds me of a container depot at any large docks (Rotterdam, Southampton etc.). Then there's JFK. Oh how I want to bulldoze it - and build something that has an atmosphere.
On the other side of the coin.... Pearson-Toronto, I just gape every time I'm there. Always something new - and Schiphol.... That has to be the world's most efficient airport.
Cheers for the comments.

8. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 769 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Schipol is a great airport, but just so big. It takes ages to get to the gates, and also if you land on their 3rd (?) runway it takes 15 mins to taxi in. Apart from that it's a great airport. And also the fact that when you land there you are only 25 mins away from Amsterdam Central and having a beer in a lovely little bar about an hour after touchdown.