Are airports as bad as the papers say?

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BenandJerry
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Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby BenandJerry » Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:26 pm

Just wondering if anyone would be happy to share what their recent airport experience has been like. Is it absolute hell or am I being taken in by the Daily Mail  :shock: We have an unexpected week's holiday to take and I can't decide whether to risk it and head to Europe or stay in the UK? 
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readysteadycook
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby readysteadycook » Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:59 pm

From my experience this summer at Heathrow, its the luck of the time you get there.

Some days it's manic, other times its a breeze - I think that getting there 2.5hrs before is plenty

Good luck!
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Fran88
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Fran88 » Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:59 am

I am afraid it really is that bad. We traveled on Tuesday from Terminal 3 at Heathrow. We arrived 3.5 hours before our flight. We queued for an hour to drop our bags and get boarding passes ( having already checked in online) and then over 2 hours to go through security. Eventually we had to be taken out of the queue as our flight was boarding and we arrived at the gate to go straight onto the plane as almost the last to board. All the shops and coffee places were deserted as everyone was in the massive security queue that snaked every which way through the terminal. Not a great customer experience.
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Happy Valley
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Happy Valley » Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:04 am

I’ve taken two flights from Heathrow in the past month or so. The one from Terminal 3 on 30th June was terrible - I queued from the moment I stepped in the airport to getting onto the plane - 2.5 hours (couldn’t even get a coffee as I was on my own and didn’t want to lose my place in the queue!). The second was from Terminal 5, 10 days ago - much easier, no worse than the usual summer holiday scenario.
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Happy Valley
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Happy Valley » Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:08 am

P.S. in Terminal 5 they would only let you queue for the bag drop 2 hours before your flight (this was to mainland Europe) so there was no point getting there mega-early. Presumably this is to avoid everyone turning up early, causing more crowds
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Toonmum
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Toonmum » Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:51 am

Not for us. We flew out of Gatwick, 10 mins to drop bags, 20 mins through security/check in. Bags all arrived with us.
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Airport mum
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Airport mum » Mon Aug 01, 2022 8:48 am

We flew out of Gatwick north: Security fine, we have hand luggage so no problem with bag drop.

Problem was easyJet. The plane was smaller than the amount booked on to it, so 48 people were bumped. The flight was half full from people bumped the day before,

Our flight was then three hours delayed.

The airport was filthy, the cafes were understaffed and less produce in them, not making it an enjoyable customer experience
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ellsbells
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby ellsbells » Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:48 am

Flying out of Gatwick last week was fine. We arrived 2.5 hours before, queued 1/2 hour for check-in (our fault for missing the online check in deadline) and were through security in 15 mins.

However, we did then have to sit on the plane for 30mins before take off because there were issues with the air traffic control slot. We took hand luggage only. On arrival back in the UK we were through the airport in half an hour and on the train to Clapham Junction.

So in summary, not quite as seamless as usual but not bad. Very much worth it for a week in the sun and a change of scenery
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KEMS
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby KEMS » Mon Aug 01, 2022 10:30 am

We had a horrific experience at Heathrow Terminal 3 a couple of weeks ago. We did not have bags to check but queued for 2.5 hours to get to security and were still nowhere near the front of the queue. 50 mins before our flight they heard my pleas and pulled us out of the line to fast track us to the scanners as they agreed we were going to miss our flight…. But we then got held up there as the person in front of us had all kinds of things in hand luggage they shouldn’t have had. We then had to run with our children through the airport to the farthest gate and got there 30 seconds before the gate closed for boarding. Super stressful, the children were crying, it was awful.
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beaver
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby beaver » Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:31 pm

I agree with all the previous posts but...if you do have any flexibility then avoid the obvious pinch points ie weekend flights and early morning flight departures and Heathrow and Gatwick airports. If you can fly out of the smaller airports, London City or Stansted it should be better.  Good Luck  :D
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dudette
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby dudette » Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:40 pm

I’ve flown out of Gatwick south and north terminals in the past two weeks. Both were absolutely fine. That includes last Saturday morning which I thought would be terrible but there was no queue for bag drop (although we did have speedy boarding) and security was fine. Suggest you go from Gatwick!!
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muddyboots
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby muddyboots » Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:40 pm

NO!
Flew out of Heathrow Terminal 5 first weekend after schools finished and no issues at all !
Think they’ve sorted the ground staff strike threat now anyway.
If you get a flight booked, just go .
Enjoy your holiday !
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waltzer
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby waltzer » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:20 pm

I think that they are much improved although I think it is different each and every day at each airport.

My brother almost missed a flight this morning at Stanstead as he had to go and buy a mask for a flight to Ibiza. That was despite being there nearly 3 hours ahead of time. Do check what the requirements are for your carrier and for the country you are going into. 
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Starr
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby Starr » Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:31 pm

Terminal 5 Heathrow was a breeze going out and coming in. Terminal 3 in May was hectic and busy.

I think it really depends on airport and destination so arrive in good time just in case.
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AHW
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Re: Are airports as bad as the papers say?

Postby AHW » Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:41 am

We flew from LGW North to Madrid on 23rd July, returning last Sat (6th).  We went with Easyjet and I'd been dreading it due to all of the publicity. But we flew through the airports - here and in Spain, and didn't spend more than 5 minutes in passport control at the Spanish end when we arrived. We did have cabin luggage only, and we also paid for speedy/priority security passes at LGW, but we needn't have bothered as even at 0800 on the first Sat after (state) schools finished, there was hardly a queue.  Arriving back this Sat to LGW, there was a long passport queue for the manned desks, but we went through the automatic gates, so only queued for a few minutes.  All in all, it was super easy and quick - we'd built so much slack in to the journey because of the stories in the paper, so we had to hang around a lot at the airport, but we found a quiet corner and it was OK.  I think LGW have got their act together - I believe LHR may be more of an issue. (And we didn't have to check in luggage, so that may have been bad, I didn't look!). 

 
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