The widely hated British Airports Authority has, today at least, stopped trying to force its customers to walk shoeless on its dirty floors.
We just flew back to the Southern Med through Heathrow Terminal 4. BAA has reorganized its security area, improving the flow a bit, and removing the dirty carpet. To expose dirty concrete.
The terminal was lightly loaded.
Overall time from entry to having restowed our laptops and put jackets and belts back on was 25 minutes.
The security is lousy – they route your laptop through the X-Ray while holding you behind the metal detector. That makes it easy for thieves to walk off with your property, since there’s no CCTV surveillance of the output area from the X-ray machine.
A recording announced that passengers should not remove their shoes unless asked to, and they did not so ask. So we did not have to invoke our Plan B to fly from London City Airport to Amsterdam and thence to the Southern Med.
BAA has probably dropped its bare feet policy because of the foot and mouth outbreak. There’s not much point in other nations walking arrivals from the UK through disinfectant footbaths if, courtesy BAA, they actually carry the virus inside their shoes.
If that’s the case they’ll be back to their shoeless policy as soon as the outbreak is declared over (we hope soon).
So we’ve crossed Heathrow off our list, and will report on alternatives.