Monday, November 14, 2011

How The Mighty Have Fallen

Not too long ago, I rated my favourite and least favourite airports. Some are ridiculous with the security measures they take (but, hey, at least you have some sense of security, right?), others had nothing to offer outside of the plane right and a nasty bench to wait on. At the top of my least favourite list was London Heathrow. It always seemed disorganized and like a zoo when I had been there. That is until last summer when I sailed through transfers there like never before and the shopping etc had risen to the level of amazing. I cautiously moved it from my least favourite list, but it's BACK! I was traveling with students and tried to do a group check in. The grounds staff seemed a little confused at first but got on board and had a supervisor usher is forward to someone who would "help" us. I guess the forgot to tell her that as she proceeded to tell me that ONE at a TIME was all she was doing. Okay... that's fine. Then she was rude and grumpy with the students when they were fairly polite to her. However, others stepped in and got our kids processed VERY quickly and efficiently and even managed to organize it so that we were sitting together. We breezed through security (these kids are pretty seasoned travelers themselves so it was easy) and split up to spend our 2 hours of free time shopping etc. Sounds fine, right? Well, typical to Heathrow, our gate wasn't listed on our boarding cards. We told the kids to continually check the boards and to give themselves plenty of time to get to the gate. The gate was listed to close at 2:55pm. At said time, the boards still listed our flight as please wait. Also not unusual but we asked an attendant and he informed us we'd be boarding at gate 21. So off we went, hoping it wouldn't change (which it didn't, so that was great). Once we FINALLY boarded the plane (well after our departure time) we found out that the reason for the delay was that Heathrow wasn't fully staffed that day for some reason and couldn't accommodate the volume of traffic (uh... people, millions go through this airport on the regular and have done so for AGES... you'd think you'd know that you need a butt-load of people to make it work). Fail, Heathrow... not epic, but enough to shift you back to the yucky list! ;)

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