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Des’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 20 Aug 2006

Location: Heathrow, UK

MapHeathrow Hassle
Well, after the recent terrorist scare, all stops were pulled at the let’s make life easy factory. Heathrow and the BAA (British Airport Authority) who couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery – caused all sorts of chaos at the airport. “Come early they said” so we did. I arrived at 0715 for a 1040 flight to Istanbul.
“Too many people !” they cried “why did you all come early ?”
“Because you told us to !” we cried right back.
“Oh, that”
So we sat in tents outside the terminal until within an hour and a half of our flight (for me 1.5 hours), thereby negating all advantage and handing it to the laggards who dribbled in and walked straight in. Once inside the terminal, in a show of extreme organisational skills, BAA made all of us queue in one queue no matter what flight or destination. One and a half hours later, I gave my case to a spotty youth, took a boarding pass and then queued for passport and then queued for security checks where we stripped down to undershorts and perfume (almost).
I caught my flight with 10 minutes to spare after being in queues for over three hours with no chance to get breakfast or even a cup of water. The queues were so long we had Births, Deaths & Marriages. No, really. Oh ok, engagements only because we couldn’t get the wedding planner into the queues without causing a scene.
My return flight to Vienna allowed me to relax for a while …quite a while as it turns out, in the Turkish airlines lounge. What an experience. It was a Sultans palace re-created, all glass, chandeliers, silk chairs with gold wood arms, jewellery in cases, curtains.
This particular trip to customers was one of airport chaos – as well as above, Istanbul airport computers glitzed so no screens showed data, and we were two hours late leaving for Vienna. In London from Vienna, the aforesaid BAA couldn’t remember that when a plane lands it must be let into the terminal, well at least the passengers must. 20 minutes we all stood in a queue (see the pattern) waiting to get off the plane and into the terminal.