Heathrow T2 departures, originally uploaded by Life at Luthien. The picture above I found on Flickr. It must be one of the rare pictures of the security area at London Heathrow Terminal 2 without the line that goes 400 yards through the terminal before you get to this point!
In a recent posting I spoke about why getting the train to Paris is far preferable to flying. One added piece of advice is that you should never fly out of Heathrow on a carrier that uses Terminal 2!!
Today I was reminded at what a disaster Ferrovial (the Spanish company that bought BAA) are at managing Heathrow. From the passenger experience in Terminal 2 you would think they are trying to destroy the airline business, starting with all of the European airlines that use T2 (BA uses T1 and T4, and from March 2008 moves to the new T5).
I was flying out of Terminal 2 Heathrow to Dusseldorf (Germany) today. What a nightmare. The queue to get into the security area stretches the full length of the terminal (about 400 yards). That takes 10 to 15 minutes to get to the roped off area where you then wind round for another 10 to 15 minutes before getting to a short area with the scanning machines in.
It took me 30 minutes exactly from time of joining the queue to getting through the checks and putting my laptop back in my bag, my small clear plastic bag with toiletries of under 100ml and jacket and coat back on. Once they allow 2 check-in bags again (from 7 January) I can only imagine this taking even longer.
Last time I went through this terminal it was the same as today. The facilities are not big enough, nor organized enough. After T5 opens the next step is to demolish both T1 and T2. Hope that will help – though while they build can you begin to imagine the chaos for travellers?