Taking a cue from Matt's complaints about his bank
, let's make this a Complaint Day, shall we? Or, I'll just use that as justification for this bit of self-indulgent whinging:
I had to go to Heathrow this morning to pick up a friend. It's been a few years since I've been there - the only flights I've made recently have been from Stansted or Gatwick - and I'd forgotten just how terrible the whole place is. A horrible maze of roads with confusing signs and then when you get to the terminal itself (Terminal 4 in this case) you're in a horribly dingy, dark, low-ceilinged building that feels like it's just escaped from a BBC Four documentary on 'bad ideas of the 1970s'.
There was one thing, though, that really seemed like some kind of gratuitous bad planning - the way passengers come out of arrivals. Now, at any other airport, it's usually quite simple - passengers come out of a door and then all walk down past the waiting crowds so people can see them easily. Not at Heathrow (or T4 anyway) where there is a walkway for arriving passengers, but it runs perpendicular to the doorway, meaning arriving passengers have to decide whether to turn left or right and people waiting for them have to choose which side to wait on. Of course, what it actually means is everyone stands and waits right in the front of the door, causing a big crush and passengers coming out of the doors instantly freeze thinking 'which way should I go?' and big jams form.
OK, it's a rather pointless complaint, but when you've been through an airport that's as well-designed and planned as Stansted, you really notice just how user-unfriendly Heathrow actually is.
Oh well, complaining over, time to go and play tour guide now.