4.6 square miles of plane spotting excellence was bought to a standstill yesterday (10th December) as chaos reigned over the stranded passengers trying to get in and out of London Heathrow, 10th December in a snow flurry.
On a flight from Lisbon my flight was delayed from its scheduled departure time of 1040am by some 2 hours, despite being loaded on a quick-time fashion as the terminal announcement is made for the final call for all passengers on BA flight 501 to London Heathrow. Passengers scurrying along to make the flight - to then be sat for two hours waiting with only a half glass of water offered in that time.
|Passengers waiting for hours to get off the plane at LHR|
Finally air-bound and with joy we winged our way to London with ease, food was served by those wiling to pay airline prices or who were simply hungry having missed breakfast.
Arriving in London we made up some time. Unusually we were on the left of the airport, a part of the airport the Captain didn’t know as he’d never been there before that snow clad day.
Landing just after 3pm, we were met with news that the airport was full. London Heathrow is the third largest airport in the world with planes landing or taking off every 45 seconds and serving over 70 million passengers a year, with Atlanta and Beijing being first a second largest respectively.
|Passengers from many destinations painfully watching the bags from previous flights get dizzy on the carousel, still no sign of their own bags after hours of waiting|
Hour after hour passed, with the Captain occasionally saying he wasn't able to give us any further information but was trying to pull in all favours and even took to the gang plank aisle despite being asked pretty much the same question by everyone who stopped him. Credit to the Pilots who did make appearances, who did share what little knowledge they knew, unfortunately one member of the crew was less helpful, as she rudely brushed past passengers stretching their legs during that arduous wait at Heathrow. A passengers asked how much longer, her curt and unnecessary reply was ‘we’ve been on the plane longer than you have’ We had been on that plane since 1020 that morning, we had been given half a glass of water and that was all, grumbling were being made by passengers by about 7pm, some 4 hours after we had landed. I noticed the front of the cabin had been given drinks, with some left over for passengers in the cheap seats immediately behind the business travellers. But they ran out and the rest of us were left gagging. So I asked for some drinks and they eventually bought us 150ml mini cans some just after 7pm. The first bus arrived 715pm, taking less than half of the passengers to the correct terminal by bus to collect their luggage. The rest were left standing, literally, until we were also transferred some 35 minutes later along with the crew in their own bus and taken back to Terminal 3.
|Bags stacked for hours with no on to claim them|
At 930pm I left the terminal, very tired and without my bag. There are in excess of 70,000 people working at Heathrow, but that night, they must have all been on holiday; bags were strewn all over with none being taken off the belts and with no floor space to put the bags if they had been. I had a 2 plus hour drive on top of my journey, I was getting tired, and I just wanted to go home, I wanted to sleep!
I filed a report for a missing bag, and my messages back it is on it was to my destination airport, Newark…..