Work in progress: The tunnel has been dug underneath the airfield of Terminal 5

Work in progress: The tunnel has been dug underneath the airfield of Terminal 5

As part of Heathrow’s £900m (roughly $1.5 billion) overhaul of their luggage system, The British Airports Authority (BAA) is building a massive underground tunnel to transport bags between two terminals. The tunnel will run for over a mile, evading subway lines and underground fuel tanks.

Currently luggage transfer between Terminals 3 and 5 can take over an hour – the new tunnel will save about 20 minutes.

You may remember Heathrow had major luggage problems last year with the opening of Terminal 5, but this very public upset did not prompt the tunnel plans, supposedly, nor will it entirely prevent lost luggage in the future. A BAA spokesperson said, “There are so many different reasons why bags can go missing…. Baggage is a very complex world.”

Construction is happening 24 hours a day, with the hope of opening the tunnel by the end of 2011.

I don’t know, but spending multi-million dollars to shave an hour-long baggage wait down to 40 minutes seems a bit wasteful to me, especially in these harsh economic times.  And people don’t even get to go down into the tunnel which seems like the coolest part!

                                                                                                                                 Source: The Guardian Image: MailOnline

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

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3 Comments
Dorothy

I agree, this seems like a waste of money. I will be flying through Heathrow this month, transferring from a European flight to a flight to the U.S. Fortunately, I have about a 3 hour layover so my luggage should make it with me! People with quick transfers must have trouble though. I agree that tunnels would be fun to explore. Love that quote from BAA “luggage is a very complex world.”

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