What time does Heathrow open and become fully functional for PASSENGERS?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  BPP 6 Nov 2019
at 13:02
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Another sub 5 am arrival from HKG (4.37 am) with an onward to Europe. Arrived at C gates and my 6.50 am departure was also from C gates. As usual, all transit points into C / B area fully boarded up, locked, lifeless. I was not going to wait as I did on the 24th December 2017, when the transit points only opened at 5.25 am…

    So back to the main terminal, cleared immigration (all egates shut, told it was too early for the extra immigration staff needed to open just 1 egate).. I no longer risk flight connections in T5, prefer to exit and use the First class area to go back airside (the only example of a polite and efficient security point seen at LHR) and surprise surprise, for the first time, there was a Q, until the magic hour of 5 am when HAL staff gave the nod and the Q started to move. In a BA shower facility by 5.10 am (which wasn’t bad considering the 4.37 arrival time). But it would have been far easier if I could have accessed B Gates…

    So, if BA have arriving longhaul flights before 5 am and also have the staff on hand to assist (where they can), why on earth are there no staff present or available from HAL to allow the airport to become fully functional, when the first aircraft arrives…?

    When I asked the above question to a BA agent in the lounge, standard answer, please write in, you and many others say the same thing and HAL don’t listen to us either…

    Welcome back to the UK after the wonderful Asian airport efficiencies…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Customers, let alone customer service, is a foreign language to senior management. It´s as simple or as frustrating as that. HKG (CLK) and Singapore (Changi) set the bar and keep raising. The times I have been through Narita and a queue forms hey presto staff appear and counters are opened.


    ontherunhome
    Participant

    I was recently on that early flight from HKG, but without a connection. Arrived at C gates, and by the time I arrived in baggage hall, bags were ready.I can’t say there was a big issue with immigration, this time, but it is annoying that egates are not working, or only a fraction of them are working. Annoying HAL staff telling you which line to go to. Will often ignore and used manned gates if small line, as quicker sometimes.
    Arrivals lounge was open, so popped in for quick shower to feel human again. Then a cold breakfast, had to ask for a fresh one as buffet had clearly been out ages in BA Lounge.
    Then public transport onwards, all seemed to work this time.
    In regards HAL staff, they have not a care about passenger/customer service, its a monopoly.
    The government should split the terminals into separate operators, create competition.
    Security staff need a sense of humour pill each day as well.
    It makes me laugh these TV programmes on LHR, making out they care, its just not true.Its all about the money.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Heathrow opens at 5am, but never becomes fully functional for pax 😉

    Welcome home, Martyn.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    BrotherJim
    Participant

    Customers, let alone customer service, is a foreign language to senior management. It´s as simple or as frustrating as that. HKG (CLK) and Singapore (Changi) set the bar and keep raising. The times I have been through Narita and a queue forms hey presto staff appear and counters are opened.

    I had a very similar experience to the OP in HKG in Feb. Flight from Sydney arrived 420am, yes there was one transit security open but once into departures nothing including the lounges until if I recall 530am. Starbucks open at 5 though so could get a coffee to wake up.


    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    “Global Britain” open for business Martyn….!


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Martyn, I sympathise, but at least you had the opportunity to go to a different part of the terminal and transit there. Some years ago I arrived into T3 on Cathay, and we all ended up stuck in the terminal.

    Now I admit that I probably can’t blame HAL for this one, as they don’t have control over Customs and Immigration, but all the same – the idea that they could allow a planeful of passengers to land and disembark when there was nobody to process us was astonishing. It would certainly have been a damn sight more comfortable to wait on the plane (even in economy) than to stand around an otherwise deserted terminal waiting for staff to turn up.


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    As a british citizen one is allowed to enter the UK regardless…so pointed out Malcombe Mugaredge many years back (and with or without a passport apparently)….a pity some of us don’t insist when there are these silly burocracies…would be fun if you had the time to waste..(not difficult at some of the entry points where time wasting is the norm)


    ASK1945
    Participant

    “Global Britain” open for business Martyn….!

    I know this is a bit off-topic (belonging elsewhere) but I was talking to a group of Americans yesterday, who took a day flight from NYC to LHR on Tuesday night (landing at 1900) – and waited with hundreds more at Immigration for more than 4 hours. Miami, LAX and JFK can be bad – but not that bad.

    They won’t be coming back on another trip.

    “Global Britain” open for business.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Another disgraceful ‘Welcome to London C gates’ this morning.

    Arrived on BA 28 ca. 04.51h. Arrived C gates – connecting flight C gates..

    A largish Q had formed at flight connections C gate security. Security staff were sat in full view of passengers sipping coffee.. The British Airways rep, was trying to hide in the far corner, instead sitting at his allocated space by the door. As usual, the closed go to B gates sign was up.

    The fact all staff were visible, indicated things were going to happen. At 5.30am the BA guy came over to the door, just pointed to the closed sign, would not make any eye contact – there were a lot of confused overseas passengers… he then turn to the security staff and just raised his arms as if to say – ‘stupid passengers’ – all the T / coffee drinkers found the whole thing very amusing.

    Once again, the first view overseas passengers see of our ‘world class airport’.

    1. It would be helpful if there was a sign to say what time the security point opened. After all, flights arrive from 4.35 am.
    2. Why couldn’t someone at least explain why the checkpoint was shut with all the staff seemingly sitting around. If it was down to faulty equipment, then that’s would be a perfectly understandable reason
    3. If it is now standard practice not to open the security point in time for the morning rush, at least have some seats for the elderly to sit down rather than having to stand around.

    I know Tom (BT) on another thread, mentioned you were going to ask Heathrow about this – wonder if you did and what the response was…

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    Once again, the first view overseas passengers see of our ‘world class airport’.

    An embarrassment of an airport , compounded by people who seem to have no real pride in their job , and worse how their actions , or rather inactions reflect badly , not just on themselves but on us all.

    Query the individuals , and I’m sure you’d get the following justifications……

    “ I’m not paid enough to start early”
    “I’m entitled to a break”
    *It’s above my pay grade to open”

    Ultimately, it comes down to the management team at LHR, who by now must realise that aircraft can make up time dependant on weather conditions.

    However, LHR isn’t the only airport I’ve frequented that resembled a ghost town, including the much lauded HKG

    I know Tom (BT) on another thread, mentioned you were going to ask Heathrow about this – wonder if you did and what the response was…

    Suspect it’ll be a pap answer —– ” mumble, mumble mumble, NIGHT CURFEW, jibber jabber, staff life balance, yikkety yak, keeping costs down to help us have cheap flights and mumble, mumble , it’s not us, it’s them “

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    EU_Flyer
    Participant

    To Fly. To Wait.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Luckily I never use LHR unless desperate.

    Dump of an airport, staffed by jobsworth types and managed by bean counters.


    woodyhoo
    Participant

    Spot on….i havnt used LHR or BA for years.

    I was unfortunate to have a QR flight issue and was routed thru MAN….same staff attitudes…welcome to UK.


    BPP
    Participant

    BHX is little different early morning. Sometimes huge Q’s and doors shut to security!
    BPP

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