Journal: December 2005 Archives

When you land at most airports, being early is generally a good thing. That does not seem to be the case at Heathrow where it seems to lead to instant banishment to one of the few remote stands that the airport has. You would think, given the amount of time most aircraft have to stack over London to get close to the airport, ticker tape and bunting would drop out of the overhead bins at touchdown any time the pilot managed to sneak in early.

However, even on a Saturday morning, Terminal 4 is busy, busy, busy. So, after a long wait on the taxiway, the pilot announced that BA292 from Washington Dulles had drawn the short straw and was to be parked somewhere close to the perimeter fence and not very close to Terminal 4. The problem is that, even at the best of times, Heathrow is not good at dealing with remote stands. It's not like Frankfurt, or indeed Dulles, where you can expect a convoy of buses to be parked alongside pretty soon after you get there. At Heathrow, you can wait a long, long time for anybody to notice that somebody has parked a plane.