Lonely Planet Writer

Passenger strike at Heathrow Airport

tarmac2

London's central airport, notorious for its delays and recently hit by a British Airways strike, has ground to a halt for a whole new reason: a passenger strike. As officials struggled to contain the mass movement, started seemingly by a single act of recalcitrance at a baggage checkpoint, the entire airport became choked by passengers refusing to open laptops for inspection, taking off only one shoe, loading their pockets with change, and dancing backwards and forwards over security lines.

'We'd been in the line for two hours,' said Velma Wheelycase of Basingstoke, who had intended to fly to Thailand for a resort holiday. 'My husband and I saw a young man who insisted on going through the x-ray machine with his baggage. He just lay down on the conveyer belt and went right through. There was a bit of an uproar, a bit of a kerfuffle, then all the people in the queue behind him followed suit. Then we saw the line next to us seize the stick detectory thing they run over your body. And they started frisking the guards.'

With a single 'Wheeeeeeeee!', Mrs Wheelycase took her turn on the x-ray conveyer belt and disappeared into the interior of the machine.

The strike spread in a wave-like movement throughout the airport. Passengers laid down on travellators and in jetways and flooded the food halls, where there was mockery of serving sizes and sharp criticism of the coffee.

In an age where the airline queue has become akin to the breadlines of Soviet Russia, it would appear there is a new revolution in town. Heathrow officials were unavailable for comment.