updated 3/28/2008 5:33:34 PM ET 2008-03-28T21:33:34

The new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport started out with high expectations.

The $8.6 billion addition, which opened to the public on March 27, was meant to correct a design mistake made in the 1970s that cleaved British Airways into two separate terminals, creating what is known as the “Heathrow Hassle.”

The lost luggage and long waits at one of the world's busiest international airports had prompted some travelers to avoid Heathrow, says British Airways spokesman John Lample.

Unfortunately, its debut has been chaotic. Between lost bags and delayed and canceled flights, the opening did little to revamp the airport's image.

“A number of issues led to the events we saw [Thursday],” said British Airways CEO Willie Walsh in a statement posted on the airline's Web site. “There were problems in the car parks, airport areas, computer glitches and the baggage system. In isolation, they would not have had the impact they did, but in combination they led to a level of disruption we never took control of during the day ...

“Our performance was not good enough. We did not deliver for our customers and we should have.”

Should order be restored — and maintained — we've listed 10 excellent reasons why you should fly through Terminal 5. After all, the six-story behemoth features spa treatments, a private cinema and gourmet food — perks not to be missed, provided passengers eventually get on their planes.

© 2012


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