London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 1 was for the longest time the mainstay of domestic and european flights for my travels. Going back to my early days of flying in the 1980’s, British Midland used to fly from there when they were new and trying to break BA’s monopoly. Check-in was great – there was a board of boarding passes behind the desk and you selected your seat by choosing what was available, and the agent would literally take the card from the card rack and write your name on it. Of course, in those days you used to get a proper meal when flying even on short trips.
Later British Airways had a large lounge, one for the first using the idea they had of the Terraces lounges, at Gate 5. Too many hours spent there when travelling. That area is an ops area for the Airport now but the doors are the same and when I left for Dublin brought back memories.
Fast forward several years, and bmi is no longer, and BA is running down its services at Terminal 1. Their Dublin and Belfast services will be gone very soon and so my recent return from Dublin gave me a chance for one more look at the terminal. The bmi lounge is now a BA Domestic Lounge – soon to be closing. In the days of bmi this was a two level lounge with the Gold Card holders allowed ‘upstairs’ for a slightly better experience. Of course Aer Lingus has been gone to T2 for some weeks now. In the departure lounge shops are closing. In the UK/Ireland area there are no retail outlets except one lonely Costa coffee.
The following pictures follow the ten minute walk through the Foster-designed extension.
On landing we still have to be separated from departing passengers by the complex solution of a Heathrow employee moving the doors around.
The long walk starts
There are some moving walkways, but not for the full duration of the trip
You get a view of the outside world after time spent in the tunnels
But then you have to re-enter the tunnel system – feeling like a hamster yet?
You are finally rewarded with the baggage belts, and a loo, if you need one:
Through the unmanned Customs post and you are in the disused domestic baggage claims:
Through the double doors and you re-enter the world of Terminal 1
So, a fond farewell to Terminal 1 for me, but it’s worth remembering how innovative this all was when it opened, long before A380’s and 777’s ever caused the world’s airports to start to think about change and space. Farewell T1, and thanks.