I’ve been saying it for years

from Sunday, March30th of the year2008.

I’ve been saying it for years, Heathrow is a big fat nightmare. One time I ended up waiting for two hours in a line with a screaming family consisting of what, in my memory, were nine teething Sri Lankan harelips, and missed four connecting flights to the States. About the experience, I wrote:

…try to convince British Air to put you on a clearly undersold flight two hours earlier than your own; the last time I tried that, I reached “write your name on the wall in your own fæces”-levels of frustration; visit the BA check-in desks at Heathrow if you have yet to discover this particular pitch on your emotional gamut.

Anyway, now it seems as if more of the world is coming to this realization. Of course, English people are “very sorry” about the whole situation:

Somewhat belatedly Willie Walsh, British Airways chief executive decided to face the music after the image of the airline had taken yet another battering. It was not, he admitted, BA’s “finest hour” and, he added, “the buck stops with me”.

inside_products_kale.jpgPoor things! I was so excited about Terminal 5, too, but, there you go. Actually, I have to fly there in exactly 1 week’s time, so, let’s hope they’ve sorted things out. I have an unofficial ban on Whole Foods (too bougie) and Heathrow (pain in my ass) in my life, but sometimes you have to suck it up and buy Whole Foods’ overpriced-ass kale and fly through Heathrow with those screaming kids.

An English fiacso, an English fiasco. I have a theory, which is unproven, which is that English people don’t think that they deserve any better than the inconvenience to which they are accustomed. Even people who complain about the railway system very merrily trot off the train and onto the insane “rail replacement service queue” in the rain outside of Nottingham like I had to one time. If the subway so much as slows down in New York, the chorus of “oh hell no” and “I know they’re not trying to make me late this morning” is almost immediate. I’m not sure that anybody gets to work any faster in either case, but it’s just a theory I’m floating.

7 Comments

  • All airports were designed by Monsieur Hulot.

  • “English people don’t think that they deserve any better than the inconvenience to which they are accustomed.”

    I can corroborate this theory with a fair bit of empirical evidence I have collected myself on the matter. It really is awe-inspiring when you think about it. A whole trainload of people seething with rage at the inconvenience of yet another delay but all they can muster is “Ah well, mustn’t grumble.”

    The problem is, when you don’t grumble, things never get better. Best of luck in Heathrow.

  • I love this side of you.
    I was in Denver when they first installed the new automated luggage delivery system that started hurling people’s bags against the wall really fast and hard.
    And once an airline lost my bag and a week later they delivered it to my NYC apartment sopping wet, literally absorbed in water.
    Bring back the MGM Grand.

  • Sorry, off-topic, but Jeremy Blatter’s “Saro” video, a montage of archival film footage, is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Rw7pZvQPvcg

    Of course, “Saro” itself is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • “I have a theory, which is unproven, which is that English people don’t think that they deserve any better than the inconvenience to which they are accustomed.”

    It’s their repressed-style apology for the Empire, don’t you think?

    PS Thank you for playing Our tune in Brussels. It was great fun to see you!

    PPS MFA style dictatrices instituted PSonespace to replace P.S.twospaces about two years ago. What do you think?

  • Ooooo, so funny. I live in Chicago, home of O’Hare airport, nightmare amongst nightmare airports. If there is a drop of rain in Pennsylvania, O’Hare (specifically United Airlines) starts canceling flights.

    That said, I have only been to Heathrow a few times and thought it was a slice of hell.

    Especially since 9/11, the airlines treat the general public like crap and pretend it’s all in the name of “security.”

    But really it was comparing it to buying kale at Whole Foods that really cracked me up.

  • http://www.artsjournal.com/rockwell/2008/03/muhly-and-more.html#more