I was connecting recently from Copenhagen, through Heathrow to New York. Changing from British Airways terminal at T5 to T3, where American leaves is horrible. Bus, walk, security, walk and probably represents Heathrow at its worst. With BA having moved a good number of their long haul destinations to T3, more passengers are going to have to take this route.
At Heathrow T5, you have to get to one of the bussing gates for transfers. There are gates in the main terminal as well as at the B gates. By the time the bus gets to the B gates it’s packed and you will have to stand. The bus snakes its way to Terminal 3, with the drivers using their brakes excessively and throwing passengers around the bus. On arrival at T3, you have to go up to Arrivals where you mix with other arriving passengers before going back down to Connections and snaking through a long corridor.
American operates a re-check facility off the corridor where their passengers are sent to have their passports checked and to receive new boarding passes. On the day I travelled there was a long line, even in their Premium queue as a flight had been cancelled and they were trying to rebook passengers. After 20 minutes in line we were sent away to the lounges.
This mean that security had to be done at the gate. I left the lounge early in order to make sure I was through security in time for boarding.
Arriving at the gate the security agent started the usual range of questions:
- Where are you going?
- How long are you staying for?
- What is the purpose of the visit?
- Where are you staying?
Fine in truth. Until she started on part 2:
- You say you going for shopping, which stores will you be visiting?
- Can you tell me their addresses?
Um, excuse me, it’s now a requirement to know the address of Macy’s to travel? When was that a rule?
- Can you tell me what you do for work?
- How long have you been there?
- What sort of work do you do?
- How long did you say you had been there?
So, clearly they are now repeating questions in the hope that they can catch you out with a different answer the second time. She stuck the sticker on my passport, and let me through.
I was surprised how rigorous this was bearing in mind that BA simply doesn’t do it this way.