Thursday, March 27, 2008

New T5 A Resounding Success .. Unless You Have These

Yup, the first full day of service at the newly opened T5 was, predictably, a disaster. I say predictably because it happens at pretty well every new airport (Hong Kong and Denver, to name but two) pretty well every time. And interestingly, it always seems to be the baggage system that blows up.

In classic "I'm All Right Jack" fashion, British Airports Authority is blaming British Airways, and vice-versa. One runs the baggage system, and one is responsible for handling the bags ... cue finger pointing, left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, everyone shrugging and saying "not my fault guv", etc.

By mid-afternoon, BA was refusing to check anyone's bags, and by days-end they had cancelled 34 flights on top of it all.

All I can say is I'm glad I wasn't there, and that I have no plans to be going through there any time soon! From watching the BBC news tonight, the queues were long and fractious. One passenger was complaining that he waited in one queue for 3 hours only to have the desk close as he got close to the head of the line. Surprisingly, he wasn't being interviewed whilst throttling some hapless BA employee, but only because they a) appeared to be in short supply and b) travelling in packs for safety.

Worst. Terminal. Ever. At least, until the next one opens somewhere.


I said...

oh groan...i have a flight out to zurich next thursday...if it leaves. good news is i am coming back the next day so hpefully can take carry on....wonder if the flight gets cancelled though?

20% of all inbound/outbound short haul flights got cancelled on day 2! Not a great start.

Also, avoid T5 in april, for thats when they transfer the BA flights from t4 -> t5....yes at the moment the chaos is due to t1 flights just being transferred to t5!!!! its not even close to 50% capacity at moment

J said...

Carry-on is right, in all senses of the phrase! And I think I'll try and take your advice and stay away from LHR for a while. I know I'll be there in June so by then even BA and BAA should have been able to sort themselves out, right ...???

I said...

june 2008...i hope it's fixed by then, but don't hold your breath!