I am the stupidest person on the planet! Arrive 2.5 hours early. I shoo everyone to the flight, but pack up my computer and lose track of my mates. I ask what gate and the person says 10C. I see the sign that says B and C gates transit and there is another sign saying 20 minutes to C gates. I take the elevator down.

See a BA person and say I’m going to C gates and ask how long it will take to get there, he says, “well about two years I think!” I think he is joking, but am confused why all the signs say B and C gates and then on the train it says just B gates. Go to the B gates and there is no C gate sign. Wander upstairs to look at the departure board. BA in its incredible wisdom only puts B gate departures there so it is unclear what is going on. I hear, “Shanghai passengers, final call.” I go to the CSR at a gate and say i want the Shanghai flight. She say, “It is at 10C.” I say, “well where is C terminal then?” She says we don’t have a C terminal.

I now feel like I’m in an Abbott and Costello skit. “Who is on the First?”

Run back down to the train. Ask yet another BA person, I need to get to C10. She says, there is no C. She uses her radio to call. Says, oh, you mean 10C. I say that is what I said. She says, no C10 doesn’t exist, but 10C is of course in A.

Also says, when coming back from B gates, you have to reclear passport control and also go through the whole security thing because even though international flights leave from B, to get to A, you need to reclear.

Buddies start calling at me. They try to hold the plane. I’ve run like a mile now. Go through security. Cut lines. It is now 5 minutes. The BA person won’t let me go through passport control even though the bus  is still there. Insists it is too late. He rebooks me typing at 1 word a minute. OK, got boarding pass. All clothes comes off, pat down search of course.

Make it out, but of course passport control has no direct escalators to the terminals because they want you to go past all the stores. Work way through two escalators, run over a few people.

Make it. It is right at departure and watch the last bus to the flight leave.


Lesson here is now the difference between 10c and C10. Talked with the BA rep. She says, “oh, our slang is when we say gate 10C, we assume you know it is A10C. And if we say 20, you are supposed to know it is B. And of course we’ve put all the signs for C but you should just ignore those for the next two years. So gate 10 means A10 and 10d means a10d. You were unlucky in that 10C is the only one that can confuse you.

I thank her and go take a shower. hoping no one will notice. Get a call from my “friend” John. He is laughing.

3 responses to “Dumbest person in the world”

  1. tallmike Avatar

    Hi Rich
    Although you don’t explicitly say so, you have to be talking about the poorly designed Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Once you’ve enjoyed the travesty that is the gate naming, you can always marvel at vertical gain that you make in pretty much any action through the airport, and then wonder at the distances in general you have to walk to get from anywhere to anywhere there. It may look pretty from the outside, but wow is it badly designed for passengers.

    1. rich Avatar

      Yup should have been more explicit. Terminal 5. How could anyone get the signage so wrong. But my other buddies got there. They just need to say A10 instead of gate 10. Or gate B23 instead of gate 23. It is sooo confusing. And the B satellite is the worse. There should be gigantic signs at the train saying, do not go to B unless you don’t want to come back. I’ve never heard of an airport where the satellite required customs reentry.

    2. rich Avatar

      That’s right Mike, should have said so, beware of Terminal 5%

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