The much awaited and hyped opening of the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow has come and gone, and not a single passenger has boarded a flight from the terminal. The terminal was officially opened to the public last Friday, with the Queen on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour. So it is now “open” but still not really. It turns out that British Airways isn’t actually going to be operating any flights from the new terminal for a couple weeks yet, and even then the migration will be somewhat slow and deliberate, giving BA a chance to avoid complete disaster, though Heathrow seems to invite that anyways.
As part of the new terminal opening, the majority of the airlines operating from Heathrow will be moving around. The Cranky Flier blog has a great post about who is moving where and when. It is pretty intensive. The nice thing will be that the alliances will be more allied, making transiting Heathrow easier. The down side will be the inevitable confusion that comes from such moves.
In addition to the Heathrow shuffle, there’s another shuffle happening on this side of the pond. Continental is moving around some of the service in their Newark hub. Right now they operate from all of Terminal C and part of Terminal A. They are keeping the same set of gate space, but actually moving some of the jetways around so that all the dual jetways in the C terminal that they use for the regional jets are actually going to be detatched from the terminal, trucked over to A and conneccted back up over there. The eventual plan is to have all the ERJ traffic running from the gates in A and all the big planes operating from C. Most cities either get mainline or ERJ service, so there shouldn’t be too much confusion there. But there are a few airports, including Washington’s National (DCA), that have both ERJs and 737s serving it. Under the new plan some flights will depart from A and some from C. Hopefully it isn’t too confusing for people. Continental has managed to pull it off in their Houston hub, so it can’t be that hard, right??
Oh, and Lufthansa has opened up a two-tier boarding approach in their Frankfurt terminal, allowing for two different gate areas for premium cabin and coach passengers. No more having to share space with the plebians at all, it would seem.
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