Welcoming Tourists at Heathrow

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Returning to an old hobby horse of mine, I had to change terminals at Heathrow so I caught the Heathrow Connect service to get me from terminals 4 to 3. In the old days before terminal 5, you caught the Heathrow Express service which linked the terminals at no cost to you. (You pay only if you went on in to Paddington) Now the Heathrow Express doesn’t stop at 4 only the stop for 1 and 3 and then 5. (For those of you who weren’t aware terminal 2 doesn’t exist as BAA rebuilds it)
An American had caught the Connect service at 1 & 3 instead of the Express service and wound up at % instead of 4. Now he speaks English and could understand where he had gone wrong but some Japanese tourists were a bit more unlucky. It come down to the same old thing. Heathrow (and BAA in general) treat tourists as though they have fluent English and understand all the nuances of the way BAA does things.
There are still no signs that I can see in any language other than English in the main part of the airport. The announcements on the Heathrow Connect and the digital display are solely in English so despite the fact that the transport system has got more complicated for travellers, nothing hs been done to help them. Yet judging by just being at the station for 20 minutes there was enough confusion from travellers, both English and foreign speaking to have better help than they are getting.
The sole change that I have seen is that Heathrow Express has printed leaflets in a number of different languages which is more than Heathrow Connect, BAA or Transport for London
has done.

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