Passengers ‘avoid transferring at Heathrow’

Passengers are avoiding connecting flights at London Heathrow because of the time and effort it takes to travel between terminals, it was claimed today.

Speaking at the Business Travel Show in London, Star Alliance executive Horst Findeisen said transfer times of up to 90 minutes have resulted in some travellers avoiding the hub altogether. 

“If you try something once and you don’t like it, you find somewhere else to connect,” Findeisen said, adding that when the airport’s Terminal 2 opens in June (see news, June 2013), he believed this would change as passengers will be able to transfer “under one roof”.

Heathrow T2

Findeisen, vice president commercial and business development at Star Alliance, said: “Passengers will no longer avoid Heathrow – the experience of people flying in and out and having to spend 90 minutes connecting to another terminal [will no longer be an issue].

“Now it’s all under one roof.”

The £2.5 billion facility, which is scheduled to open its doors on June 4, will be called Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.

The monarch opened the original Terminal 2 in 1955, almost 60 years ago and two years after her coronation.

The terminal will be home to 25,000 staff and 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings.

Graham Smith

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  • Connecting at LHR is never pleasant at best and ugly most of the time.
    Even if T2 is refurbished, that will not change the hussle going from an incoming Star to T5! The worst is the slow moving security checkpoints and the attitude of the screeners. I never had a good experience connecting at LHR.

    It starts with the unpredicability of ATC inflicted delays, that often grounds your incoming flight at its departing airport after pushback but before take-off! That makes you a sitting duck whilst you see your transfer time buffer tick away.

    Then most of the time even priority lanes are slow as they are notoriusly understaffed, worst case is when they randomly pick you for a carry-on bag inspection (time this might take is everyone’s guess). Ways within the terminals are much too long and if you have to take the bus or the train at T5 you never know how long it will take. Even with 90 min transfer time I have been unable to connect and missed flights. 60 min is legal transfer, but it is a stressful and upleasant event if you try and you have to keep your fingers crossed to make it.

    If you have to go to T5 someimes they won’t even let you get upstairs although the flight is still there! LHR in a nutshell, only if I have to and cannot avoid it!

  • Lhr is expensive and dysfunctional – the moment Heathrow start to lose revenue they might understand this but I avoid it if I can. London city, now that’s the way forward

  • I think the main issue for me is the cost. Connecting through Amsterdam is so much cheaper – LHR is daylight robbery. I have used MAN a few times – when it fits the itinerary it is a good hub.

  • I don’t know why security has to be such an awful experience. Why does it have to take me twenty minutes to get through security at T5? Every flight operating there is daily so they know the schedule, they know demand, why can’t they open enough lanes to get me through in ninety seconds?

    Transit pax would be mad to go through LHR when there are much better options such as AMS and FRA (not CDG!).

    Given that it’s pure theatre – as soon as you’re finally done, the airport is falling over itself to sell you flammable liquid in glass bottles, not only a potential weapon but very dangerous in an evacuation – the time it takes is utterly unjustified and Boris, BA et al who insist LHR must be a viable connecting point are clearly unserious as, in reality, the operation falls on the first hurdle every day because no-one in their right mind who’s done it once would ever choose to repeat the experience.

  • I I travelled through Heathrow at one of the busiest (if not the busiest!) time of the year recently and found the transfer between Terminal Five and Terminal Three (and vice versa) extremely smooth. The ‘Purple Pathway’ provides clear instructions for passengers transferring between terminals and buses run between 6-10 minutes.

    The only small hold up was in security at Terminal Five and there really didn’t seem to be any reason for it. The holding pool at the bottom of the escalator seemed rather unnecessary!

    It will be interesting to observe how Terminal Two resolves some of the issues that others have experienced and whether some of those passengers who avoided Heathrow might be persuaded back. I will be watching their marketing campaign with interest!

    Twitter: @49digital

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