Flying’s not been getting good press lately what with us all worrying about our carbon footprints and the end of the world being nigh. With summer holiday season approaching, then, and with us having quashed our environmental guilt and said, ‘Dammit, I deserve my cheap, Mediterranean jaunt in the sun’ it is rather disheartening to learn that the big boss of Heathrow has openly admitted his airport makes him cringe and we’re all in for a nightmare even getting off the ground.
Heathrow was designed to handle 45 million passengers a year but is currently bursting at the seams with an additional 13 million. Mr Douglas, thankfully talking about his terminal and its services rather than any aircraft, said despairingly,
Quite frankly at times it is held together by sticking plaster
One of the big problems is the clampdown on immigration security with passport control checks taking twice as long as usual.
BAA is pinning its hopes on Terminal 5 to ease passenger congestion and a wholesale refurbishment of the existing facilities, in order to create what they’re aspirationally calling “a new airport for London” by the golden gong date of 2012. Can’t wait for the inevitable rebrand.
Meanwhile, if you’re still prepared to fly, brace yourselves for pre-jolly queues, delays and constant tannoy apologies. Alternatively, save yourself the environmental guilt and the headaches, ditch flying this year and keep up with Londonist for loads of cool ways to spend time this summer.
Image of Heathrow delays on 10 June courtesy of heather's flickrstream.