Friday, 28 March 2008

Terminal 5 - what's all the fuss?

Came through Terminal 5 today on my annual trip to the Techno-Classica classic car show in Essen and encountered none of the problems that have been so widely reported over the last two days - although I had checked in online in advance and was carrying only hand baggage, which probably helped. My flight to Duesseldorf was almost bang on time.

The new terminal itself is magnificent, although it does suffer from the usual BAA problem that the vast, lavishly appointed retail outlets take precedence over the operational side of the airport; even with the relatively low traffic levels going through T5 at the moment, the wait at security was fairly long.

On the plus side, the vast glass frontage gives a great view of the airport and plane movements from the main section of the terminal, and the overall tone is very classy - budget conscious families looking for something cheap, quick and straightforward to eat are going to be disappointed. KFC, BK and McD appear to be completely absent at the moment; I reckon they'll be in within a year when some of the fancy shops don't make it.

BAA probably deserves to be broken up and I find BA's smug, complacent style deeply annoying but I have to say that today, the two companies combined, against all the odds, to give me one of my best flying experiences in recent memory.

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