Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thank you Heathrow!

I travel quite a bit for my job, and a decent amount of that travel is to Europe, specifically London. I always love going to London, but dreaded dealing with Heathrow while leaving. However, I departed London yesterday from Heathrow and was very pleasantly surprised. First off, they finally completed the construction on Terminal 3 (where United is). It's now spacious and looks very nice.

Now it got WAY better once I went inside to check in. Normally there's a security person who looks at your passport, asks you the standard questions about if you kept your bag with you at all times and then puts a little sticker on the back of your passport. Surprisingly, that person is gone now. So I walked right up to the check in person. She said, "One bag to check?". I responded like I have every time over the last couple of years with, "Am I still not allowed to take a bag on the plane?". Amazingly, she said, "Oh, they changed it and you can take a bag and a small personal item on the plane." WOW! This is huge, as I never check a bag because half the time they lose it and the rest of the time I have to stand around forever waiting for it to come down the bag carousel. That really sucks when you have a layover in Chicago or Washington, as they typically give you barely enough time to make your connecting flight, and arrivals from London are almost always late.

So now I'm having a great Heathrow experience, so I head off to security. Security at Heathrow can be really bad, but I got through in 10 minutes. Oh, and they changed policy there too such that you no longer have to take your laptop out and put it in a separate bin. You still have to do the liquids thing like here in the U.S., but you don't take your shoes off either. (Though they get you later making you put your shoes through an xray).

All in all, I used to hate traveling through Heathrow. Now, it's actually turned into a very decent experience (for an airport that is), so THANK YOU HEATHROW!

No comments: