First up the Hertz Express drop-off took 10-minutes to get to me. Packed? Busy? No, I was the only person waiting apart from the guy she was dealing with. She was being ever so helpful, more like full service than Express. She went and got a luggage cart for him, despite the fact in was further for her to walk to get the cart than it was for him to walk to the transfer bus. Then she waited while he emptied the car, going back to make sure he'd picked up the umbrella from the back seat, at which point he binned it. Oh well.
The T3 external is just a mess. You'll never see so many people standing around with fluorescent safety and security vests, but none of them seem to be doing much, apart from that is talking on their cell phones or staring blankly at the traffic, lost for ideas on what to do. The traffic is backed-up and chaotic. Still the Hertz bus driver gave up trying to get to the kerb and opened the bus doors.
Inside I headed straight for 1st Class check-in, one of the privileges of AA Executive Platinum. No one in line, I checked in and was bouncing up the stairs to security in no more than a couple of minutes. On the way into security now they have a group of checkers. Their job it seems is to make sure you don't take anything into the security zone you shouldn't, two bags, coffee, bottled water etc. Despite the fact the lines can sometimes be very long, and finishing a cofffee in the line, or slowly consuming that last 1/4 of your bottled water wouldn't do any harm while waiting.
One female attendant barked at me to stop and put my small padded laptop cover inside my leather carpet bag, she said "you can take it out once you get through" - yeah, like I didn't already know that. I've probably been through airport security more times in a year than she has in a lifetime. But she made me stop there along with a bunch of other people and try to re-organise our bags, normally I can do this while walking or waiting in line, but this time all we did was cause a back-up.
She said as I started to leave, "Some people think we are mad" - I said "no, we don't think you are mad, we just hate being treated like children" and kept walking(ACL, Long way down anyone??)
Inside it was more chaos. They were handing out the trays that you have to put your laptop, shoes, phones, "wallet, watch, spectacles and testicles" in, one at a time, like it was war time rationing. So now the hold-up in the line I assume they were trying to avoid outside, was happening right at the x-ray machine. Sigh.
Through and out the other side, I'm pretty good at using bag pockets to load up my stuff so that when I collect my bag, I can put my shoes on and walk away from the area, and put everything back in its rightful place in the lounge. This time as I go to exit, I'm directed into another security area, remove your shoes they need to be re-scanned. So I did.
It was only when I was putting my shoes on for the 2nd time that I realized I hadn't taken out my clear plastic bag contain my fluids, pardon the expression, when I went through the first security checkpoint. SO I can only conclude the 1st x-ray checkpoint is a spoof, they are not really looking for anything, its only at the 2nd scan where they find out if you are the next shoe bomber!
Yes, my friends Heathow sux.