Newest Review: ... a chance you really should use the lounge. In the past year due to travelling more with BA I have managed to progress to the Silver level... more
T5-Heathrow. A breath of fresh air.
BA Terminal 5
Member Name: Dexter01
BA Terminal 5
Advantages: Very quick, easy to use, clean.
Disadvantages: Security were miserable.
Terminal 5, the newest addition to Heathrow. The whole terminal is taken up by British Airways and was opened, with fiasco, early last year. The wife and myself flew from T5 to New York in July last year and was both excited and apprehensive about departing from the new terminal.
On arrival at T5, which is clearly signposted all the way in, you see a rather nice, elegant looking building. You also notice that it is very big. At seeing the size, I did worry about getting lost and being late for our flight, but this turneed out not to be the case.
We walked into the entrance and you are in a very large check in area. There are a lot of desks lined up the length of it, all for the different flights that BA have operating at the time. We found our desk, and having already checked in online, we only had to check in our baggage. The queue here was quite long and due to this, I could see a flaw in the layout.
Once you get to the counter and speak with the person, you notice it is not like the normal airport check in with the conveyor belt running width ways behind the desk. Here, the conveyor belt runs away from the desk and underground. This means that once you have checked in, you simply keep walking forwards, past the assistant and then head towards security. This is a very simple and brilliant idea, but I noticed that once people had done with the trollies they had their baggage on, they just left them here and they were in the way. I didn't see anyone collecting these trollies, so it made it looked a little unslightly.
Anyway, you head to the X-Ray area and join the queue. The usual thing happens, coat off and I believe we had to take our shoes off as well. All metal objects in the tray, to go through the conveyor X-Ray and you wander through the metal detector. No beep from me, but my bag did get a separate search. The X-Ray picked up that I had a can of Lynx deodorant in my carry on bag. No explanation was given, but the security woman just took the can out and threw it in a bin. Then she gave me bag back and that was it. I was a bit put out here and couldn't ask anything, as she had wandered off. What made it even worse was walking 5 metres away from here and into Boots, where I brought the exact same size can and put it in my bag??!! Not amused.
The whole process of arriving and getting through the security bit took around 20 minutes. This was the quickest it has ever been for me and I was impressed by this. The terminal wasn't exactly quiet either, around the same amount of people as I normally see. Due to this, we thought we had a little bit of time spare to have a wander around the shops. We soon discovered this was not the case.
As we walked towards the shops, we happened to look towards where you get a train to the gates. We didn't know you had to do this and was surprised to see it took around 20 minutes to get us to our gate. No time to wander around anything due to this and was surprised no one had mentioned you have to get a train.
We boarded the train, which was clean and new, and found our gate. There was a line of passengers by our gate, no one was sitting, so we joined the rear of that and eventually boarded the plane. I was disaapointed at not being able to wander around and see the new terminal. I can tell you that there is a Boots and a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. That is all I saw.
When we arrived back at T5 and exited the plane, we had to walk to the customs bit, which I don't actually remember, so can't have been bad and then the baggage reclaim. This walk seems like forever. You go up escalators, down escalators, up some more and feel like you have gone to an entirely different town.
The baggae reclaim was great. I normally hate this bit, everyone crowded around, trying to grab their luggage and pushing and shoving. I don't like it. At T5 though, the conveyor belt bringing the baggage around is very large. It comes into the building at one point and exits at a point further down the building. There is enough space for everyone to stand around the conveyor, without being pushed around. It is a breath of fresh air after getting off the flight and being very tired.
Overall, the terminal is very good and I would recommend it to anyone. I do wonder if Virgin will get it if BA collapse.
Summary: How terminals should be.
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