Quick Thought on London/Heathrow T5

BA moved in to the brand-spanking new Terminal 5 at Heathrow today, and it didn’t take long for the baggage system to fail. Looks like they stopped accepting checked bags and won’t start again until Friday morning.

I guess they didn’t want to shock travelers by having a baggage system that actually worked right away. That would have been too big of a change from the previous setup, so they must be easing people into it. Hopefully that’ll happen soon, but if you can avoid checking bags for the next few days, do it.

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20 Comments on "Quick Thought on London/Heathrow T5"

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J. McCarthy
Guest

Another quick thought: next time you’re flying transatlantic fly Silverjet from Luton or Eos from Stansted or anyone from anywhere except Heathrow.

Nick Barnard
Member

Cranky, either your sarcasm is rubbing off on me or it is just the cycle of the moon?

Alex C
Guest

Cranky, I share your hatred of everything about Heathrow.

Money quote (bolding mine):
“We always knew the first day would represent a unique challenge because of the size and complexity of the move into Terminal 5. We are working extremely hard on solutions to these short term difficulties.”

Clearly moving BA alone from one end of LHR to the other was much more complicated than, say, moving every Star Alliance carrier at NRT into a newly renovated terminal. A unique challenge indeed.

Greg Royal
Guest

For all it’s faults Heathrow is an iconic airport. It is like it’s own world. I travel 8-9 times a year through Heathrow and I always enjoy passing through. It’s like that strange quirky uncle that everybody tolerates.

Thank God we don’t have uniformly bland airports like DFW et al but there are airports like LHR to visit.

Jeremy Head
Guest

Personally I blame BAA – useless money-focussed and about as un-customer centred as yo could get…
http://www.travelblather.com/2008/03/chaos-at-heathr.html

kt74
Guest
Hmmm… My hypothesis (not proven, pure speculation) is that the current fiasco has got nothing to do with BAA or T5 infrastructure or BA’s “systems” or training per se… Hear my theory… It’s a well known fact that BA’s Heathrow baggage handlers are a bunch so militant that they make US airline pilots look like free market concessionists. They have been on strike every other year since time in memoriam for whatever reason (generally to protect their travel perks, which of course would disappear if the whole lot of them were outsourced, as I’m sure every BA management team has… Read more »
Brandon
Guest

Yesterday there were a few posts on airliners.net about the chaos at T5, the reports also indicated that parts of the terminal are still a little rough around the edges.

Back when YYZ opened T1New and shifted Star Alliance and several other carriers around they has extensive testing done. I took part in all of the trial runs whre every facet of the terminal was tested and neumerous tests of the baggage handeling system were conducted.

kt74
Guest
Thanks CF. Now, I hate to be a cynic, but the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail (from which ThisisLondon sources its news) have not always been known to place substantiated facts in the way of a sensational story. And the current, more conciliatory BA management may just be being cautious before aportioning blame to baggage handlers… plus the fact that BA’s PR agency needs firing Look, the blame probably sits a bit with each of BA, BAA and the handlers, but there’s teething problems, and there’s trying to muck in and do the job. Ergo, if baggage needs moving,… Read more »
Claire Walter
Guest

For more info on the mexx, see my oist at http://travel-babel.blogspot.com/2008/03/heathrows-erminal.html FWIW, lct74, the ‘Telegraph’ reported that the computer system was at fault for the fiasco.

Rory
Guest
It seems BA, rather than BAA, is continuing to dig itself deeper and deepeer into a hole over Heathrow. We’ve been covering this fairly indepthly over on Lost Weekend, being UK based, and BA’s PR blunders seem to know no bounds. I’ve just read that the airline has lost the Serbian foreign ministers bags, oops, while telling him, and passengers, that it might take weeks to find them. Meanwhile, the UK transport minister is MIA. While there is plenty of comic value to this debacle, for us in the UK it’s rapidly turning into a matter of waking up at… Read more »
Rory
Guest

Thanks CF. Although I don’t think I can face anymore Heathrow posts. Apparently they’ve packed all that luggage off to Milan. I mean, for the love of god.

Simon
Guest
I took part in some of the trials for LHR (they had about 10000 “passengers” over the 4 months before opening. I also have a friend who works for BA who knew this would happen. I think it’s a combination of the baggage handler issue identified here, BA senior management relying too much on crossed fingers, and BAA abusing its position over BA by not making some design changes that were needed. (As an aside, where have BAA been this week? Willie W has taken all the flack, but I have not heard a peep out of BAA who must… Read more »
Mike
Guest
God, Heathrow is the most awful airport in the developed world. BA and BAA should hang their heads in shame. I hate having to travel through the place and am dreading my first trip through T5. One of the worst things about the place is the cabbies who do anything to put you off getting in their cab unless you are going all the way into town so they get a big fare. I had one swear at me once when i told him I wanted to go to BAA HQ on Bath Road. When is a government going to… Read more »
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[…] of checked baggage for all departures. Further flights on day 2 have already been cancelled. As Cranky Flier suggests, if you have to fly from T5 in the next few days try to do so with carry-on luggage […]

lukebrown
Guest

Heathrow is the most awful airport in the developed world.
About 100 million passengers went through Heathrow, Gatwick, or Stansted through October. That’s more than half of the entire country’s air traffic.
A full 20 percent of the traffic at Gatwick is charter. That’s the largest charter airport in the UK.

lukebrown
Guest

Heathrow is the most awful airport in the developed world.
About 100 million passengers went through Heathrow, Gatwick, or Stansted through October. That’s more than half of the entire country’s air traffic.
A full 20 percent of the traffic at Gatwick is charter. That’s the largest charter airport in the UK.visit crystaltravel.co.uk for Cheap Flights

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