Wednesday, November 19, 2003

What a rubbish airport is Heathrow. In the last few years I have flown via Schiphol a lot and got used to its well-signed layout, egalitarian shops (named only after what they sell - "Books", "Cameras", "Dutch Hardcore" etc.) and best of all - simple and reasonably-priced Internet access.

Heathrow, by contrast, where I had to spend 5 delightful hours on the way back to Moz, has more or less the same shops you'd see on any British high street - except with special "high prices" which make a mockery of Duty-Free - and no Internet access. Despite being the busiest passenger airport in the universe, or something, Heathrow Terminal 1 has only some measly stand-up internet booths at 4 squid an hour (6 if you use the BT ones). I couldn't believe this at first so asked in a Dixons. The guy said that there were some dialup ports in the Business Lounges, and promptly offered to sell me a laptop seeing as I didn't have one. I admired his enterprising spirit, but bit my tongue rather than point out that I would never buy a computer from a bunch of ignorant rip-off merchants like Dixons (or any of their extended-warranty-flogging kindred: Curries, PC World, Comet etc).

I therefore went to the BMI desk and blagged my way into the business lounge, where apparently had computers. Appearances aren't always reality though, and no sooner had I been welcomed by Sonia at reception than I discovered that they too only had phone jack sockets. Sonia very kindly offered me a drink but I declined as there didn't actually seem to be any food in this lounge.

At this point I discovered that to get back into the main concourse required a half-mile trek round through security again, as the lounge was just beyond the "point of no return".

After this I gave up and paid my pieces of eight (well, pound coins are the closest we have to gold money) into the dilapidated Internet kiosk. With only a Master in IT to help me it took a while to figure out - but the browsing experience was decidedly unpleasant, given the heavy metal keyboard which missed out the useful buttons and required 5 BHP to press a key, rendering typing impossible. Next time I am definitely going to try Air France, which means only one stop in Paris, a city both cooler and with nicer restaurants.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?