Posts Tagged ‘Terminal 5’

Today, JetBlue welcomed its new home at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport. The airline moved from the old Terminal 6 to the new $743 million Terminal ($663 of which is covered by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), Terminal 5.  The first flight into the terminal arrived at 5:05 am which was greeted by “balloons and cheering JetBlue staff members“. Yesterday night the airline sent an update on Twitter – “Flt 194 LAS-JFK taxis to its gate: Our last flight into JFK’s T6. ”
(Translated, that was Flight 194, from Las Vegas to J.F.K., arriving at
Terminal 6.)

Highlights of the new terminal –

  • 26 Gates (can handle 500 daily flights)
  • 20-Lane security checkpoint
  • Free Wireless Internet Access
  • Children’s Play Area
  • 1,500 space Parking Garage

For Architectural Details please read the Bloomberg Article. Some excerpts –

JetBlue Airways has invented a loyalty-inspiring bargain brand with smart customer service and meaningful design touches — like bigger seats — that actually improve today’s degraded flying experience. A few of those touches still can be found within Terminal 5, but that savvy goes missing in the architecture of the building itself by New York-based Gensler, one of the largest architecture firms in the U.S.


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Naomi Cambell has been charged on the incidence assaulting two police officers during a luggage incidence at Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport. The incidence happened during the infamous chaotic opening week of Terminal 5.

From Associated Press

The Crown Prosecution Service said Campbell faced six charges — three
counts of assaulting a constable, two counts of using threatening,
abusive words or behavior to the cabin crew and one count of disorderly
conduct. Police said the assault charges related to two officers.”

“She arrived at the police station Thursday in a chauffeur-driven
Mercedes. She left without speaking, but her lawyer said the supermodel
was “bitterly disappointed” that she had been charged.”

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Terminal 5 has taken new victim or should I say guilty as charged. Mark Butler, Managing Director of London’s Heathrow Airport, has resigned from the position at BAA. He is supposed to have left due to “change to management roles” after the introduction of new group chief executive Colin Matthews.

Mark Bullock was charged with “the successful opening of T5” and before being director, he was “responsible for integrating T5 into the rest of the Heathrow operation”.

More on Terminal 5 – click here

From BBC article

Mark Bullock had “chosen to leave” his job as the airport’s managing
director because of a change to management roles, according to
Spanish-owned BAA

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Events in order –

  • Terminal 5 Opening day (/week/month) Chaos with bags misplaced/mislaid, passengers mis-connected and a lot of delays. Since January 2008, BA has mislaid 28.9 bags per 1,000 passengers.
  • American Airlines’ Head of Customer Services (Europe) Don Langford slamming the airport as “bit of a dump” and “worst among major European hubs”

Now it is British Airways’ Chief Wille Walsh’s turn. He told at an Annual Conference at at the Royal Albert Hall that Heathrow, “state of London’s Heathrow Airport was damaging the country’s reputation and economy“. “I believe it is in the interest of the country that the reputation of
Heathrow is restored on a lasting basis as quickly as possible
“.“For the sake of the UK economy and London’s place as a business capital, Heathrow has to catch up”.”If things continue to decline, UK businesses will lose competitiveness and might be forced to consider relocating abroad”. “Businesses will also find it difficult to attract inward investment.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t he also involved in the current state of events? Is there a big disjoint between the dominant carrier (BA) and Airport Authority (BAA)?

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Terminal 5: My Story

Finally, I made it to the famous (read notorious) Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport.

Entrance to the Terminal – If you are transiting, you take the Heathrow Express (from Terminal 1,2,3). Once you arrive to the terminal, you can take the big elevators to the Ticketing Level. The ticketing has alphabetical zones from A to H (or more) and for every flight you can only check-in from some zones. Behind the ticketing counters/desks there are stores and restaurants (BOOTS is always my favourite at Heathrow). Above the ticketing area there are two huge screens for video advertisements, mostly showcasing new Nokia phones with slick advertisements.

There are people wearing t-shirts with “I” that can help you with your questions.

British Airways everywhere has signs saying “Welcome to our new home


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BAA (British Airport Authority Ltd), the owner and operator of seven British Airports (2nd largest transport company in the world), is preparing the divest some of its airport.
On April 22nd, the competition commission started an investigation to see if the airlines and passengers are being served well. Commission said that “BAA had been slow to build new terminals and runways”. The commission may force BAA to sell London’s Gatwick and Stansted Airports.

Facts about BAA (from here) –

I think after Terminal 5 fiasco, there is a big need for a shake up!

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During a March 8th dry run for testing the new facility, out of 100 transfer passengers (using volunteers who acted as transfer passengers) only 2 made their connecting flights. That is a 98% fail rate, so using a scale if there were 10,000 connecting passengers 9800 would miss their connections!

Airport Staff Issues

Staff had parking and security checkpoint issues (from here) – “One baggage handler said it took him 2 1/2 hours to reach
his work station because he couldn’t find a parking space and was
held up at security. When he finally got there, the handheld
device that connects each employee to the luggage system directed
him to the wrong side of the terminal, a 20-minute walk from
where he should have been.”

Baggage Issues

  • Baggage system shuts down when there is a backlog. Though, it is supposed to shut down for minutes, it did overwhelm itself on the opening day. Who designed this system? What about capacity? Did they have to cut costs (out of $8.5 billion)?
  • There is no storage space to accommodate backlogs

Cost of the Terminal – $8.5 billion
Fixing the facility cost – around $299 million (according to some analyst)

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