London City Airport has changed?!Back to Forum
Anonymous15 Oct 2014
I travelled through LCY this afternoon to take a Flight to Rotterdam to attend a meeting tomorrow morning.
I was quite shocked at the changes i encountered there, where-as i think i last flew via there a year ago, having flown out weekly using Cityjet to Amsterdam previously.
I thought a 14.55hrs flight would see it mostly empty, but i felt quite confronted with major changes that have clearly taken place there.
The demise of Cityjet is very apparent, and the majorityof aircraft in and out were now BA. Check in desks for Cityjet were down to one, with queuing lanes massed in front of BA desks, curling round the departure hall. Self service baggage tagging, and weighing, not just boarding pass machines. It was cramped, and no space anymore left to walk.Though not too many people in there at that time around 1.30pm.
Up to the gates for entering Security and it was backed up right to the gates. I think All six lanes were open, with one person shouting out everything we all know to do if you have flown in the last 10 years! It took 25 minutes to get through and that was with no stopping for extra checks or forgetful items.
There is no way these days, that you can expect to arrive with a 30 minute check in at LCY, Today, middle of the day you would not have made it!
CityJet had a few flights it seemed with the Paris Orly flight delayed by 3 hrs, the next one boarding, then that closed, and a minute after, the earlier delayed one was cancelled. People were visibly very annoyed as their next option flight was not given to them. It really appears that BA have as some of us predicted, taken many of the routes and slots, especially with the demise of the Cityjet flights for AF / KLM codeshares.
Airside, it was tightly packed, with many queues for coffee shops, no one in the restaurant towards the no 20’s and domestic gates, and quite uncomfortable. Much has been divided off into zones, and Tech areas a plenty, but loud bright green divided areas, and a very mixed area with far too many people in such a small space. I had seen less at peak hours a year ago, with better space at least not all zoned off.
Travelex said they were no longer the real Company and rude and unhelpful, in not putting miles onto my Flying Blue account also. “It isn’t possible here anymore we are not part of Travelex” i was told, for a pre-order where you cannot enter the details on line. Well they are outside at check in, and despite wearing travelex badges, utter nonsense. So i would advise anyone that collects any mileage from travelex not to use them at LCY!
What are other BT travellers experiences or perhaps what have you noticed at LCY through the last year?
I see massive changes, slots of aircraft landing and taking off very crowded and the main airport areas packed, and not even at a peak time. It is very apparent, of a clear shift of BA taking much more of the custom and routes, as well as much space dominating the check in areas, and their planes at the gates. the service desk had been squashed out and a Boots on the corner now to the gates.
It was quite a shock, but the reputed quick check in, I thought no way could you have completed this if your aircraft left within an hour of arriving today, and that maybe a gamble.
I deliberately chose to take a BA flight back, and my experience on Cityjet on a 1/3rd full flight today was no better than a year ago, with the deteriorating standards, left me with a “Use KLM from LHR in future”. It will be interesting to compare the two Airlines on the same route again.
I really found LCY unpleasant, and many stressed business traveller mainly, grossly overcrowded today.
Has anyone else noticed such changes in their trips Ex LCY in the last year?
I would be very interested to see others perceptions, and time it takes departing these days from this once, very handy, quick, local airport.15 Oct 2014
Clearly, LCY is no longer a secret, but then you’d expect that in ‘one of the world’s greatest cities’.
CityJet are past their ‘sell by date’ having operated ageing aircraft for far too long. It’s no surprise that an airline investing in new aircraft and new routes from London’s ‘real’ airport deserves to do well.
LCY is clearly running to capacity.15 Oct 2014
Interesting Marcus. Very interesting in fact. I was going to make a similar post following my trip to IoM last week.
I thought the place was a total dump. Long queues for security back out to the top of the escalator (only 3 of 6 machines were working). The departure lounge is a mish mash of things – why does so much space need to be taken up with Bloomberg terminals, surely people can survive a short trip without? Dirty toilets with graffiti scratched on the back of the door.
We were herded into a small gate area (2B) where we had to stand off about 10 mins as the bus hadn’t appeared. Then it took another 15 mins to get about 300m down the service road due to passengers going to and fro to planes. In fact as we stood waiting I could hear the purser from the flight asking on the radio what was happening as the flight was already overdue.
I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t have to go there very often.15 Oct 2014
My last time through LCY from DLR to gate took about 5 minutes. No queue at security and I already had my boarding passes.
The time before that, for the same 1245 flight, it took 20 minutes, of which 15 were for security with us being held up by a lady who had packed her toiletries in a plastic bag. The official insisted she separate the liquid from the non liquids and further split the liquids over 2 bags! I felt sorry for her as she did this task despite her protests she’d always done this and the official replied, “well not anymore”!
On both occasions though it was down to the small holding area where you’re packed in worse than the Tokyo subway at rush hour! Even worse, is the queue down the stairs where you advance one step at a time as they check BP’s etc. This is really annoying especially if you have hand baggage.
At least Swiss have a separate roped off area where Business Class and Gold Cards can wait and who then board first before everyone else is allowed through. I don’t know if other airlines do this?
All in all, and by no means perfect, I still prefer LCY to LHR anyday.16 Oct 2014
Yes, have experienced this shambles. And BA has the excuse for there being no Exec Lounge at LCY, saying that “premium passengers arrive at the airport 30 minutes before departure and don’t need a lounge”. What a load of rubbish…there must be a lot of missed flights, with these lengthy delays through security. A farce!
Let’s say it again…listen to us BA…we want, and need, a lounge at LCY, your third busiest airport in your operation.16 Oct 2014
I’ve just seen that Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, is giving a lunchtime talk to members of the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Geneva on November 5th. If anyone’s interested and BT agree I’ll post a link here.16 Oct 2014
Interestingly, I was through LCY myself yesterday morning; normally I don’t make a point of taking the BA dept to ZRH from there in the morning (I’m equidistant to LHR, and for me, a lounge, slightly longer flight time and same departure time from home mean that is the way for me); anyhow went to LCY and was surprised at how empty it was at just before 0600hrs – in theory the build up to the rush hour of the morning departure bank.
What frustrates me with LCY is two fold:
(1) the lack of proper, varied food and beverage choices post security (or even before it, now that the pub has gone). I ended up taking breakfast at Pret pre-security (which meant I had to finish my cold drink first), as I knew the offerings inside were over priced and limited in quality/quantity.
(2) If you’re going to “Final Call” a flight, let it not be when I can see it isn’t boarding and can see you’ve not processed half the passengers for it. As the airport operate the screen systems rather than the airline, I’m squaring the blame at them on this.16 Oct 2014
My mother was once a regular user of the LCY to Antwerp service when she visited us in Belgium but now prefers the Eurostar. Her complaints echo those of other posters here. The appalling security delays (“we don’t tolerate abuse” madam when asked why the wait was so long) the lack of quality food choices and the general shabbiness of the departure area with a decor which she claims brings on a headache !
It’s all a terrible shame really.16 Oct 2014
I changed planes at LCY last night en route from Stockholm to Edinburgh. The change itself was pretty swift and security was fine. Bit once through the atmosphere was pretty vile – hot, claustrophobic and absolutely nowhere to sit – let alone a lounge.
Problem with BA and a lounge would be that such a high proportion of their passengers using LCY would presumably qualify to use it. I noticed that on boarding the Edinburgh flight they offered pre-boarding to Gold card holders only and wonder whether any lounge would carry that kind of restriction. Not good.16 Oct 2014
There have never been any CIP lounges at LCY, BA or otherwise, as there is simply no space available for them.
If ever the terminal footprint is expanded, this may change, but until then it will not.16 Oct 2014
“There have never been any CIP lounges at LCY, BA or otherwise, as there is simply no space available for them.”
Unless of course you’re flying on BA001 or BA003 to JFK via SNN when Gate 24 is your lounge.16 Oct 2014