Friday, January 21, 2011

London Heathrow: Terminal 3

Don't expect to get through LHR quickly for international flights out of T3.

One you get past security you will find the "World of Shopping". I don't know
what it this area is really called but it is extremely annoying. The bright lights and strong
smells of perfume stop people in their tracks. Eyes glazed over, they
stare around while blocking the narrow winding pathway through the
mega-duty free shop. If you can muddle through and pass up all the
lovely (fake) deals, you come to an open seating area where a sign
clearly informs you that if you are headed to gates 20-22 you may want
to plan for a 20 minute walk. Son of a .....

I made it to my gate in 10. I also think I knocked over at least one
person along the way. Folks have a tendency to lollygag in Heathrow.

Don't get me wrong - I actually like London Heathrow overall. But the
standard international flight rule of getting to the airport two hours
before departure is a bit misguided for this airport.

The Star Alliance Lounge is nice but always very busy. The World of
Shopping is extensive but I've never had time to browse. Food stops
seem good but again: no time to stop and enjoy.

Really, my biggest complaint is just the sheer size of the place and
the comatose passengers wandering aimlessly. Due to these factors, I'd
get there a bit earlier than two hours. See my note on Virgin Atlantic systems
on more reasons why you might need the time.

-- Happy (Fast!) Travels

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