Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Gotta love 'em.

I had a tour of Heathrow Terminal 5 back in October last year. At the time, it was awesome. They showed us the RFID tracking of baggage (so it could never be lost) and the 96 automated checkin desks, along with the 96 bag drop areas too.
Combined with 60-odd security gates, it seemed like we would never have to wait again.
Jump forward a few months, and the T5 opens to baggage-handling horrors.
How does something like this happen? I don't know.

Well, anyway, today I'm in T5, and I realise its shortcomings more and more.
I arrived at 7.00 for a 7.45 flight. I hit the machine at 7.05, to be told that I was too late for automatic checkin, and needed to speak to a person.
10 minutes of wandering around looking for someone, and then another 10 minutes of queuing meant that at 7.25, I was definitely too late to get on board. Had this been any other terminal, it would have taken only a couple of minutes to get this done.
Anyway, the 8.40 was totally full, so here I am in Heathrow waiting for the 1135.

It wouldn't be such a problem, but they've got a fried food embargo going on. Only food which has actually been cooked can be served, so there's a Caviar House, a Gordon Ramsey, and a few others. All eye-gougingly expensive.

It's my own fault, I suppose, for not checking in online yesterday. I just didn't get around to it, and now I'm paying.

Anyway, in other, more important news, the Webmaster Tools now have an API

Right now, it's just account management (add/edit/delete account, and add/edit/delete sitemap), but as they say, this is just the beginning.

I think that if and when the reporting API launches, an enterprising soul might build something to integrate Analytics and Webmaster Tools to give end-to-end reporting.
If this person were really smart, they'd tie it in with the Adwords API as well, to create an automated, self-maximising system.

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