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.


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.