Heathrow's terminal 5 shopping mall.

So I'm enduring the bloody mess that is terminal 5 at Heathrow at the
moment. It's a mess because, like all UK airports, actually traveling
is the last thing this place was designed for. Instead it's awash with
high end shops and eateries where you can't get anything as basic as a
bacon sandwich. I could have a tuna nicoise with elegant salad flowers
and rustic artisan bread if wanted, and if I had £10 to spare. Or I
could spend £2 for a bottle of coke, or £6 for a fancy coffee. But
basic food is nowhere to be found. Even the pre-packed sandwiches are
fruit to sound clever. It's ham and bloody cheese, not mediterranean
this and authentic southern that on a wholemeal fair trade something
or other.
Also as with all UK airports, the passengers are treated like
children. They refuse to post the gate numbers until half an hour
before the flight leaves. The airports think that forcing everyone to
sit in a cramped shithole will make them go and use the shops.
Instead it results in pissed off frequent fliers and a scrum when the
flight is called as 400 people all try to get to the gate at once.
Wouldn't be a problem in an airport but when all those people have to
dodge and weave through expensive shops to get go the gate, things get
a bit dicey. The other effect of course is that there are constant
announcements for people about to miss their flights. Because instead
of treating us like adults and printing the gate number on the
boarding pass, we're all forced to sit watching TV monitors.
We've been here for 20 minutes now and I honestly have no idea where
the planes are. I mean they must be here somewhere, behind the YSL
store, tucked next to Harrods or something.
Either way, for a frequent traveller, this place sucks donkey balls.
Just like every other UK airport. I'd hoped they would have figured
out how airports work when they built T5 but sadly not.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Last week, whilst in transit, I needed to buy some toothpaste. According to the BAA web site, there are three Boots (pharmacy) stores in T5. I couldn't find any of them. I looked behind Harrods - they definitely weren't there.

I thought I was a fan of T5, but having read your post and with the benefit of that experience last week, I think you're right... donkey balls it is!

Sadly, it's better than the majority of airport experiences here. :-(

The security staff were courteous during the (random) pat-down and, a bonus, they take a sensible approach to use of the X-ray bodyscanners - unlike Manchester, with surly staff and where the arrays of bodyscanners are kept constantly supplied with fresh humans.

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