advice on london airport

  1. don't know if anyone has already posted about this but this was my experience a couple of weeks ago: - couldn't find anything on it

    I checked in with BA and when I was about to go to the duty free/gate zone I was told that we could take only ONE bag - I had only my handbag and my laptop but no matter, it had to be just one!

    now the annoying thing is that I had a spare bag in my checked in luggage..... so I ended up buying another bag to put the other two in... I asked at the BA counter and they gave me such a ridiculously tiny plastic bag and the guy had the cheek to tell me that they come up BIG???? also, it annoyed me that they didn't tell you at the check in but this has been the case since last summer so... I just came all spoiled from continential Europe hahahaa

    so be advised to have only one bag for hand luggage!!!!
  2. that's so completely ridiculous. this airport security stuff has gotten out of hand. it's bordering on irrational!
  3. Wow. Thanks for the advice. We're going to London in June. Never heard that before. Sorry for your experience. :sad:
  4. I believe it's a British Airways policy, and not a security issue.
  5. Unfortunately, it isn't just BA here in the UK.

    I had an horrendous experience last September going on holiday from a regional airport in the UK.

    Without going into too much detail, I have a chronic incurable disease, and I am on a lot of prescribed medication from pain management. Because of it, I NEVER put any of my drugs in my luggage which is going in the hold. If I were to lose my luggage, it would be fatal. as most of the drugs I take are only hospital or hospice issued.

    As it was only a couple of weeks after the liquid scare incident, I decided to tell the customs staff about them. I also have other equipment, which is life saving and that also was in hand luggage.

    After ringing the airport prior to going about their policies, I was told due to medical circumstances, no problem.

    When we checked in, we had to have a hand luggage weighed, which had coats in folded up, we would normally be wearing, and we were charged £65.00 excess baggage.

    If that wasn't enough I was totally humiliated by the security staff, who emptied the entire contents of my hand luggage onto the counter, for all to see. It was all additional stress I could really have done without.

    To cut a long story short, they refused to let me take my hand luggage onto the plane. They sent us all the way back down to check it back in again. I then spent the whole of the flight wondering whether I would see that bag again, as it had gone on so late. They had told us not to go back and wait in the line, go straight to the front, as the flight was waiting to board. They wouldn't let us back to the front, and we had to go through the whole thing again, and be searched again, because we had gone out of the security section, even though it was via a staff door.

    I was going to complain, but I don't want anyone putting any note on any related information against my passport. (I don't know if such things happen).

    If I was a criminal, smuggling drugs in, I would be taken into a private room, and treated with some dignity, instead I felt totally humiliated.

    I personally hate London airports, and all the guys I worked with in the 90's who travelled from the US via London, all complained about immigration being there.

    Also, just one other point, some airports have made a type of mock up, which you try to put your hand luggage in to make sure it fits. It is out of some cheap crate, but still if the bag doesn't fit. You guessed it, you can't take it. Only problem is, security who are refusing the bag, and check in who say fine ~ no problem you can take it through, do not communicate with each other. Check in, just want to get you thru, if security then send you back, and they were sending almost everyone back.

    Even though my hand luggage, was specifically made for hand luggage several years ago, has never been an issue. Now, it won't fit. So, it looks like they have changed the goalposts. Also, there is a weight limit on hand luggage. The bag has been round the world without a problem up until now.

    So, just be prepared and dont put anything in your hand luggage which you may be wanting to keep as discreet.
  6. I am sorry you have had trouble at London airports. My daughter works for BAA and these measures were bought in after it was found a group of people were meant to blow up aircraft. I for one would much rather have these things in place and know aircraft is safe to travel on. The BAA staff work very hard they are understaffed and are dealing with thousands of passengers a day. It is exhausting having to check everyone hand luggage. The trouble is liquids where meant to be how the bombers where going to get the stuff on board this is why everything has to go in the hold. These restrictions have now been lifted somewhat. The best thing todo when you arrive at London airport is read all the signs or go to the website before travel so you know exactly what you can and what you cannot take on board in hand luggage.
  7. I stand corrected. :smile:

  8. :yes: yup. it's still a huge pain in the arse though. i flew very early when the one bag rule was introduced and didn't know (i for some reason figured some liquids allowed = normal rules) and i had to do some very creative squishing. this isn't *that* new though, you haven't been allowed more than one bag in the uk since liquid explosives scare in mid-august and i know it sounds harsh but you really should have checked. especially these days, the rules change all the time. there are signs EVERYWHERE at heathrow (and stansted, i haven't been to any other uk airports since the new rules were introduced) saying one bag only, and the little plastic bags with liquids rule has been applied (or should have been) throughout the EU.

    hand luggage was always liable to be weighed, that's not news :confused1: luckily enough that's only happened to me once and i said it was my laptop making it so heavy and they let me have it even though it was 15kg (my laptop was a powerbook) :roflmfao: this was in amsterdam though.

    london is bad, but going into the US as a foreigner is so much worse. it's as if being rude is a pre-requisite for working in immigration in the US.
  9. God you are so right - I had a horrendous experience at San Fran where they almost sent my other half back to the UK leaving me stranded on my own.

    There has been a really strict policy on only one piece of hand luggage for ages now, all UK airports have big signs to that effect. I was shocked by how much hand I flew from NY to Miami last year - people were bringing on small caravans and squishing them into the overhead lockers even if they didn't fit - I had to get up and remove my one tiny bit of hand luggage - my Marc Jacobs Blake bag or it would have been ruined by people ramming in their huge bags!!
  10. SollyTia, that's a horrible experience to endure!! Who can keep up with the different requirements for travel security?? And when you think you're following the rules, at some checkpoints they seem to be making up their own rules as they go along. It's the most frustrating thing and makes travel an ordeal.
  11. see, I don't mind the one hand luggage part - I get it but it is not helpful to travellers (and we all know that heathrow is at the moment one of the if not THE busiest airports in europe) if you find out when you want to go through to the gate....!

    either BA should let you know, your travel agent or anyone else - I wasn't the only one who was surprised. I understand why they do it but the organisation of it sucks, and the guy who told us about it was PRETTY RUDE. I understand that you are annoyed with 10000s of people giving you grief but that is your job. I can't be rude at my job when I answer the same question over and over and over again (I work with undergrad students so you can imagine.....). and you could only find a sign on the way into the gate... how is that going to help? I think the airlines should tell you when you check in.

    solly tia: I am sorry for your trouble. it is such a minefield these days....

    as for UK immigration: my husband never said a thing. but I have heard about US immigration the most horrendous stories (sorry if anyone works there - I am sure you are super lovely).
  12. annanas you are not harsh, no prob - but I only saw one sign and not one of the foreign travellers there knew - so I think it is the airlines responsibility. I know about the liquid bit - but that is universal.
  13. Airline security is much tighter in the UK now, thank god.
    There are signs everywhere at all airports so there is no reason for people not to know about the restrictions. It's been one piece of hand luggage for some time and quite right too - I got so sick of people bringing ridiculously huge bags on board which should have been in the hold.
    I would much rather be restricted on what I can or cannot carry and have my bag searched several times if it makes air travel safer.
    I recently flew back to the UK from JFK in New York and security was shambolic. It certainly didn't inspire confidence!
  14. when and how did you book your BA ticket? if you have an e-ticket there is a link to current policies (but nobody ever bothers clicking on them):

    and every time i fly to london i get asked if i'm changing planes there because if i am then i can only have one bag. it might actually become an eu wide rule :cursing: i hate the rule but what's even worse is people in front of you at the security check who seem to think that because they haven't heard about the rule it doesn't apply to them and slow the whole process down.
  15. I agree with everyone that this is good - but I saw only one sign and if you leave signs they should be not at the gate but at the check-in. no, I didn't get an e-ticket - btw this info is not for frequent travellers but for those that go to the UK very rarely. surely, you can't expect others to know what is going in UK if they only come there once - so yes I agree with air security but I don't like the way they go about it. that was teh point of my post.

    I wasn't told anywhere - surely my agent's mistake, they probably don't know either, and it is really annoying when people in front of you don't think it applies to them. I don't agree with a major discussion but I understand that they r surprised. I still think that the airline that got paid for the ticket has the responsibility to tell people.