Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prisoner of T5 ...

On average, I find myself on a plane at least twenty times in a year. There's a lot I dislike about flying. In no particular order my pet dislikes are: flying coach, British Airways and airport queues at customs (especially NYC & SFO where it is particularly abysmal).

I don't suffer from jet lag (I use the starvation trick when needed) and I generally find airport security pretty quick and responsive. Though I'm a smoker, I've always gone outside the building to smoke, so the movement of airports to non-smoking has been no skin of my nose.

Well, that was until today.

I arrived early at Heathrow Terminal 5 (an airport I rarely use as it's mainly BA), sat down for a quick bite to eat and then decided to go out for a smoke - obviously you can't smoke in the airport.

So I went to security who said I had to be escorted through. Kidding? I have been through every one of the world's busiest airports plus a whole host of smaller airports and I've never once needed to be escorted from departures to outside the airport. I was then told by security that I had to get permission from the British Airways customer support person - damn.

Being incredibly polite I asked the lady from BA whether I could be escorted outside to have a cigarette. "No" was the reply because there was less than three hours until my flight.

So, let us be clear ... I'm currently a "captive" inside T5 departures lounge unable to leave until I get on my flight? I'm held against my will, a prisoner of BA!!! I feel a protest song coming on ...

"Free, Free, Free Simon Wardley ..."

Joking aside, my dislike of British Airways has hit an all time low.

[Addition]

Well, it's BA so what do you think happened. Yes, my flight has been delayed close to departure by just under two hours. Still not allowed out to have a smoke - a cruel and unusual punishment.

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