✅ Trip Verified
| I agree with all the comments about overcrowding and no seats. This has been going on for years now. There are no staff in the entire passenger waiting area there, so you are right to be worried, only the two guys at the cafe counter and perhaps staff in the shop. No airport personnel whatsoever. The 'gates' get only staffed when there is a plane leaving, ie with border control and airline ground staff. They seem to run the airport as if nothing had changed in the last 40 years. This is how long I have been using this airport. Today, however, we had the most awful experience with the security staff. While they have always been laid back, approachable and amenable so far, today they had just set up a new electronic scanning area for the boarding passes guarded by a rather unpleasant woman. I was there with my (clearly visibly) elderly mother and this 'Rottweiler' barked at her that 'she' needs her boarding pass now. When my mother started fidgeting and complained that she could not set down her handbag/luggage anywhere and it took all a bit long - note that were absolutely no other passengers around that we would be holding up - that woman just kept barking at her can she get herself through the (very narrow) barriers now which she was holding open for her but not telling her, letting her try another one. So, my mother did in fact rush, got angry, nearly fell, nearly damaged that wrapped picture that she was carrying - I could not believe it. This would not happen at Heathrow or anywhere else I go. Staff would be there to help, not to commandeer. The woman kept on mumbling loudly to herself while I was standing there a few meters away observing how my mother got through security. (because there was nobody else around and nothing for her to do) 'what awful passengers there are sometimes and how people can possibly behave like that'. After my mother had cleared security I asked her - she had still nothing to do, no more passengers - why she had done that. She barked "this is an airport. Move along now, go away." I then observed how they went on to be very unpleasant at the actual conveyor belt/x-ray, (eg only gesturing at people instead of talking, not answering questions) as if they were totally overworked which they clearly were not in the absence of any crowds. A total absence of civility, training and professionalism. There was only one metal detector in operation, the usual crowds piling up in front of it even though there was very low passenger numbers, ie total inefficiency. I myself went through the little extra tucked away business class security thing because I was flying to a different destination. That was deserted, ie I could have gone through unseen if I had not said loudly 'where are the boarding pass scanners here?' At that point, another woman security chief jumped out of a back room and barked 'it is with me!' (and it was a little hand operated one). That obviously meant in clear text 'you answer to me'. They could hardly bring themselves to use a half way civil tone, the three of them. I was and still am really upset about the whole thing. The airport is just a big anonymous money making machine for them now, they have a new management, they don't give a toss anymore about their paying customers. Yes, it is a very poor impression you take with you. I have rarely been so relieved to get back to Heathrow.