07 September 2008
Terminal Five is quite good
Rob Fisher

I travelled to Rome on BA, and got to try out Heathrow Terminal 5.  Would my luggage travel with me?  Well, that story has long disappeared from the news so I could only assume so.

These modern steel and glass buildings look so much nicer than 60s and 70s concrete.

Arriving at T5
Arriving at T5

The large halls can handle large numbers of people without seeming crowded and stressful.  The check-in experience was pleasant and there was no queueing.

Checking in
Checking in

Security seemed as good as you could expect security to be: there are seats for putting your shoes and belt back on and putting all your gadgets and documents back in their correct pockets.  The departures area has plenty of shops, even a PC World to buy the gadgets you forgot to pack.  You can have coffee at Starbucks while watching the planes out of the window.  The walk to the gate is short.

Departures area and gates
Departures area and gates

Returning to the UK, you get to ride a little train.  Baggage carousels are nice and long, although there still seems to be no way of stopping people from crowding around the place where bags first appear.  For all the talk of the amazing luggage handling system, luggage takes about the same time to appear as at any other airport.

But it’s a pleasant place to arrive into.  It looks how a modern airport should look.  Visitors to London are likely to be impressed.

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