Here's a satellite picture showing why I spent 48 hours stranded in London Heathrow's Terminal 5 last Thursday. I witnessed about 3000 passengers fighting for luggage, another 3000 waiting for hotel coupons. I left before the food riots.
This is Britain covered under the snow, from top to bottom.
I was lucky. I got the last seat on flight BA177 on Thursday. It was the last flight that left to New York that day, after an extra six hour delay (apparently, there's only one defrosting machine in Heathrow) on top of the two days. The previous day, they canceled two of my flights. The next day, they cancelled all flights again.
While the weather was bad, there was no excuse to what happened at Terminal 5 those days. British Airways and the people at the airport were nowhere to be found after 6pm. Before that, there weren't helpful, offering no directions except "we don't know" and "they haven't told us anything." They were the most incompetent, most idiotic people I've ever found anywhere in the planet, leaving all their customers unattended on the evening, and treating everyone like cattle the rest of the time. There was a point in which passengers had to step in and organize the baggage belts, because the machines were overflowing and jamming. At another point, there were passengers fighting for food in the departures area. Sad.
When the guy at JFK's customs asked me if I had anything to declare, I quoted Dennis Farina in Snatch, from the very deep bottom of my heart and soul: "Don't go to England." And don't ever fly British Airways. [NASA]
[A lot of you have written to me in protest of Jesús's post, claiming prejudice towards the British. I think the spirit of the post is Jesús expressing his frustration at BA, and his quote at the end of the post is from a movie, and a joke. Don't take it too seriously. Have a good weekend. —Blam]