web Musings of The Global Traveller

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Updates on travel, Qantas lounge and proposed new (worse!) UK security rules

Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I'm fine but have been much busier than expected. Whenever I thought I'd have some spare time to blog something else would crop up.

Naturally I haven't stopped travelling. Mainly in the Asia-Pacific region, and on several different airlines. Since my last entry I've visited the Qantas first lounges in Sydney again and some of the service kinks I initially reported have been ironed out. However, I almost missed my flight last time I was there - they forgot to call it (all the other flights were announced) and I lost track of the time. Fortunately I realised the time and rushed to the gate just before I would have been offloaded, and I did not delay the on-time departure of the flight.

I have a crazy schedule in the coming months, which I'm trying to piece together at the moment. On current plans I'll average more than a flight a day for the next 4 months. I'm not flying every day, but some places I visit require multiple transfers to get to.

Proposed change to UK security rules

The new British Airways terminal T5 at London Heathrow, which is due to open early 2008, will apparently not have segregated domestic and international passengers. Supposedly this is for flexibility and to assist with access for BA's 5 T5 lounges, but I suspect the real reason is to maximise the number of shops that travellers must pass (and thus increase BAA profits).

As a result domestic passengers will need not only the usual photo ID but will also get fingerprinted and have their photo taken (source Times Online). Non US citizens already face this on international flights arriving to USA, but this would seem to be a first for domestic passengers.

Be prepared for longer queues. It's a shame that a brand new terminal is set up in such a way as to require additional security rules - as if there aren't plenty already.

Photos by Heathrow Airport and Wikipedia.

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