We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What's going on at LHR

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Bolton, United...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
7,960 posts
87 reviews
Save Topic
What's going on at LHR

We landed at LHR on Saturday for the last part of our journey from Honolulu back to Manchester. We thought we were in a third world country, the airport arrivals area was dirty, disorganised, queues of confused travellers everywhere, no organisation and no personnel on hand to explain things to visitors to our country. When we did find staff they were either rude or could speak very little English. Signage explaining what was allowed on connecting flights was contradictory and if anyone had any queries or failed to understand they were shouted at by staff. What a welcome home!!! or more to the point what a welcome to foreign visitors. We were ashamed, disgusted and just hope this sort of behaviour is not prevelant at other UK airports.

Dublin
Level Contributor
5,955 posts
88 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What's going on at LHR

If I understand this thread correctly, the people who speak very little English are not rude. Whereas the people who can speak English are rude. So it would appear to be implicit in the above post that there were no staff around who could speak English and were also courteous. Or was Saturday just an unlucky day for you ? I have flown through Heathrow about eighty or ninety times. And I have yet to encounter rudeness from anyone. But perhaps I'm just lucky.

London, UK
Level Contributor
1,502 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: What's going on at LHR

What's the point of this thread?

It's fairly common knowledge that Heathrow is a run down dump, hence why BAA are spending billions building Terminal 5 and the new Heathrow East project.

warrensburg,MO
Level Contributor
7,685 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: What's going on at LHR

Someones travel experience being discussed on a travel forum. That's the point of this thread.

And not everyone knows about quality and standards that Heathrow keeps up or fails to keep up which is why when planning a trip they can get some advice here.

London
Level Contributor
938 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What's going on at LHR

Sue, I agree Heathrow is the pits but like the others have said, terminal 5 is currently being built and hopefully they can then demolish or extensively refubish the existing terminals. Just out of interest which terminal did you fly through? I must say that although the buildings and furnishings are tired and dated I have never had any trouble with signage or the staff, maybe I have also been lucky or you just had really bad luck.

And no, not everyone knows that Heathrow is a dump, there are plenty of people on this forum researching their first trip to London, I think a heads up like this will let these people know what they may possibly encounter.

Heathrow
Level Contributor
131 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: What's going on at LHR

Can someone please exactly describe precisely what is wrong with Heathrow within the definition "dump".

I've only ever originated at Heathrow, never transited through.

Benchmarked against the many airports I've transited through its fine - though I guess no airport can make a transit a pleasant place.

Terminal 1 and 4 seem better than 2 and 3, the only problem I see is the crowds.

Rather have the crowds and shops than the stark 'nothing' of many places that are mindnumbingly so dull with time going excruciatingly slowly.

Bolton, United...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
7,960 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What's going on at LHR

We flew into terminal 3 but most of the problems occured with our transfer to the connecting flight at terminal 1. I do hope we were just unlucky.

Greenwich (London)
Level Contributor
1,352 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: What's going on at LHR

When I first started flying a lot, in the mid-80s, Terminal 2 was squalid. Over the years that suqalor extended to Terminal 1, and in time got to Terminal 3.

I've not flown from Heathrow recently, but I iamgine the latest "War On terror" changes haven't improved things

Dublin
Level Contributor
5,955 posts
88 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What's going on at LHR

Singapore Changi and Hong Kong International are consistently named as the two top airports in the world. Heathrow never makes it into the top ten. This year, the detailed SkyTrax evaluation of world airports ranked Munich Airport third (after Singapore Changi and Hong Kong respectively). Amsterdam's Schipol Airport always emerges as a big hit with travellers. And from an ergonomic point of view, Copenhagen Airport is cleverly organised so that people can get through it with a certain degree of rapidity.

I love the architectural splendour of Hong Kong. And Changi in Singapore is customer oriented with a huge range of shops and even a hotel in the transit area (so that you can literally sleep for five or six hours and then catch your connecting flight). Let's face it. Heathrow is a bit aged at this point in time. Perhaps the new terminal will usher in a new era of splendour at Heathrow. Doubtless, the planners have visited some of the more successful ariports in the world in order to ascertain the magical qualities which make airports work effectively for consumers.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
31,667 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: What's going on at LHR

Heathrow's problems are mainly due to initial bad design, being one of the first major international airports & being Britain, if you want to do some you invariably have to do several other things first (think finding something in your junk cupboard)

Also trying to get anything done at Heathrow invariably involves a Public Enquiry - for example the initial planning application for T5 was made in 1993. In 2001 they finally got permission to build it. The first flights will be in 2008 and it won't be fully operational until 2015 - ie over 20 years after the 1st application

Greenwich (London)
Level Contributor
1,352 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: What's going on at LHR

"Top airport" by what metric(s)?