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Chaos at Terminal 5

Old 30th Mar 2008, 16:47
  #641 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Esher, Surrey
Posts: 465
And if you missed the door slamming excercise it's here in all it's gory glory on you guessed it you tube

Oh all links work from where i'm sitting, in engineering eastbase at Heathrow
But it fails were I am sitting just 8 miles from Hatton Cross

Perhaps it can be found on the BBC somewhere.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 16:50
  #642 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: not a million miles from old BKK
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Is it possible that, at last, it’s all finally come home to roost?
It has taken an enormous and very public corporate management failure to finally expose it.
This week British Airways, a major British corporation where one would expect the cream of management talent to reside was brutally exposed as a totally inadequate organization completely lacking in any kind of management expertise at the highest levels.
Alongside it is an equally large and allied organization (BAA) that has also been tried, tested and found to be completely wanting.
How is it that Britain, once the centre of the industrial revolution and the leader in world industry has declined to such a pitiful state?
Several reasons but let us concentrate on the demise of the apprenticeship system caused mainly by corporate greed and government inadequacy.
For many years boys and girls, fresh from school, were given a thorough training in every aspect of their chosen industry. This was paid for by industry itself. Not that it actually cost industry a great deal. Many parents supported their children during the apprenticeship process, wages paid to apprentices were minimal and for the most part the ‘book learning’ was provided as a cost sharing exercise between the companies themselves.
I went through such a process. When I left school I initially worked for an insurance company as a junior clerk. The first thing the company arranged was day release to attend classes that would eventually lead to me obtaining the necessary qualifications to continue a career in insurance.
As it turned out I chose an alternate career path and went to sea with the Orient Line – a forerunner of today’s airlines carrying passengers to Australia. I was just 17 when I left the UK on my first 6 month voyage to Australia and back. Over the next two years, as a Cadet, I worked in every department on the ship – the laundry and linen room, printers shop, storerooms, butchers shop and galley. I washed dishes in the plate house, I served tables in the dining room, I made up passenger cabins, I stood watches in the engine room and on the ships bridge.
After 2 years in a boiler suit I was promoted to a (very) junior officer.
Colin Marshall of British Airways was also an Orient Line Cadet and underwent exactly the same training.
I later put my training to good use in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. Colin Marshall went on to do great things for British Airways. Such a pity that all the good he was able to do along with Lord King has gone to waste.
Compare that to Willie Walsh and his like. Sure, he was a pilot which means that he was capable of accepting ultimate responsibility (I assume he did make it to the left hand seat). But being a pilot does not mean that you actually know what goes into the day to day running of an airline.
Did he spend a couple of months (each) working on check-in, humping baggage, dealing with passenger complaints, storing, provisioning and cleaning aircraft? Did he actually spend time as a member of the cabin crew? Did he spend time in Operations learning the complexities of scheduling and routing, fuelling and clearances?
I think not and in that massive, missing level of hands dirty experience he will probably be joined by the majority of the people he surrounds himself with as ‘managers’.
This is a norm and it is little wonder that the people at the front-end of many industries despise management so much.
Little wonder that Terminal 5 happened.

Last edited by Xeque; 30th Mar 2008 at 17:20.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:13
  #643 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Edinburgh
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BA Website - T5 Baggage System

Baggage has never moved so fast

The baggage system can deal with 12,000 bags per hour. It will move your baggage as fast as 30mph on a total of 18km of belts. The long conveyer belts and intelligent baggage carts running on miles of rails mean that your bag can reach Baggage Reclaim in around 15 minutes

Road tested to perfection

We took the best baggage systems from airports such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. We combined them in one design and road tested it to perfection. The result is a fast, safe, reliable system you can have confidence in.

Talk about misleading your poor old customers! This is still on the BA website if you care to look. I suppose it should not come of much surprise that the claim about road testing to perfection is still there.

The baggage system may well be owned by BAA, but it looks like BA also appear to have taken an active part in selecting and specifying the system.

Last edited by ramphawk; 31st Mar 2008 at 05:10.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:21
  #644 (permalink)  
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Fwiw, arrived yesterday from MIA at terminal 5 and actually had my bags delivered within 20min of landing which surprised me as from the reports I had heard I thought we would never see them again. The place iteself is a shambles though, toilets not working/unfinished,broken panels,(mind you they are the cleanest toilets in Baa) unfinished fittings and walls (did the opening date come as a surprise) rubbish strewn about as they have no bins. The stupid shuttle with all those escalators to use.
The bus terminal is unfinished with the staff having no idea where the stops are and the drivers even less so, no passenger information at all.

But then went to the glories of Gatwick South Terminal. Just think Terminal 5 will be as good as that when BAA get the problems sorted
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:24
  #645 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
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T5 - Single User Terminal

Perhaps much of the flack heading BA's way is down to the fact that T5 is a single user terminal. In a multi user terminal the terminal owner BAA would get much more criticism, but in this case BA has had a a unique opportunity (at least in the UK) to influence everything about the experience their passengers are exposed to.

Last edited by ramphawk; 31st Mar 2008 at 05:21.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:25
  #646 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Age: 54
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I'm impressed with the BA staff that 400 people have volunteered to help sort things out today. If my management had mucked things up so badly as BA's has I'm not sure I'd be rushing to save their skins/bonuses.

It's quite telling though that four days on, BA management still seem to be blaming the complexities of the baggage system for the continuing delays; at the end of the day it's baggage, how hard can it be to learn? Note - I'm not intending to say there that the baggage handlers are stupid - what I mean is how insanely complex have they made this baggage system, for something which, really, is quite a simple concept - place labelled bags in the right box - even if there are several hundred boxes. After all thousands of airports all over the world mostly manage to do it every single day, including at airport terminals which are way busier than T5 currently is. Why do seemingly hundreds of baggage handlers need to "log on" to the baggage system anyway? I'd love to know what that's all about. Basically it seems to me that if the baggage system is so complicated that it takes 4+ days for everyone to learn it then they probably should have just spent the same money on a small army of people to staff a large room the length of the terminal and manually carry/trolley bags from piles on the "check in" side to piles on the "planes" side. And the arrivals baggage should be even easier - carry by hand or truck/trolley from "planes" side to an appropriately selected passenger pickup belt.

Anyway for all my criticism of BA(A) the last few days I think we should cut them some slack from tomorrow. It's clear that the idiot executives still aren't planning to fall on their swords despite their ridiculous performances like running away from the press, so no point in going on about it. The company staff as a whole seems to be trying to recover and get the terminal working so I think it is time to see if they can do it. If it's all still broken next weekend then we can point and laugh at the terminal building as clearly being unfit for purpose.

As for the people on TV etc saying "I'm never travelling BA ever again!!" I think, for most of the ordinary "consumer" customer paying for their own tickets they'll stick to their self-imposed exile until BA's next big flight sale. The business customers are going to be incredibly hard to tempt back though - they just can't be risking arriving without their business luggage/equipment or arriving late for meetings. Whether BA can survive without so many business customers and the entire business relegated back to the "Go" model it'll be interesting to watch.

What I'd like to know is if BAA are brave enough to put the fingerprint thing back on the agenda or is that well and truly buried now!

Last edited by derekvader; 30th Mar 2008 at 17:36.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:35
  #647 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: cork
Posts: 73
Flight information - BAA website

It is interesting to note that once BA cancel a flight e.g. BA1404 to Manchester this evening at 1940hrs it is wiped completely from the BAA flt info on their website instead of appearing as cancelled. So if you look at T5 flt departure info it looks like all flts are operating albeit with delays which is not really the true scenario.

Last edited by CorkEICK; 30th Mar 2008 at 17:52. Reason: spelling
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:36
  #648 (permalink)  

Pilots' Pal
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The place iteself is a shambles though, toilets not working/unfinished,broken panels,(mind you they are the cleanest toilets in Baa) unfinished fittings and walls (did the opening date come as a surprise) rubbish strewn about as they have no bins. The stupid shuttle with all those escalators to use.
Well, at least T5 will be as consistently poor as all the other BAA terminals. Have BAA managers not visited AMS, Changi or other airports to see how it can be done? I'm not suggesting these airports approach perfection but I know that AMS' toilets are cleaned regularly and thoroughly. BAA managers: WHY IS IT SO FING DIFFICULT FOR YOU? ARE YOU SO OBSESSED WITH TARGETS, BONUSES OR WHATEVER OTHER MANAGEMENT INCENTIVES YOU GET THAT YOU COULDN'T CARE LESS FOR THE CUSTOMERS (BY WHICH I MEAN PASSENGERS, NOT SODDING BA!). WHAT A BUNCH OF TTS!

BTW, do any any BA or BAA managers contribute to PPRuNe? We'd love your input.

Last edited by Bus429; 30th Mar 2008 at 17:46.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 17:41
  #649 (permalink)  
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400 Extra Staff to sort out the problems in T5 !!!

Just to mention that these staff are getting double the normal Over Time rate, no surprise when you see all the new cars in the staff car parks at T5, good luck to the staff I say.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:01
  #650 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
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... it was middle- and upper-management in both companies who failed. And that’s mainly due to a malady that has been sweeping the world for twenty years or more – the awful, abysmal, MBA.
If they recruited MBAs, they might have some motivated, sensible people who could get things done. Unfortunately I am not aware that BA recruit any MBAs at all - possibly symptomatic of an arrogant internal attitude to people not "made at BA"?

If you had ever met an MBA, you would generally realise how bright and intelligent they are, and what a huge ability they have to achieve. I don't see that in the current operation...
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:03
  #651 (permalink)  
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Flew back from MAD last night with BA.
I never thought I 'd say this (having suffered with the place over the years) but was mighty relieved to be told that we were heading for T1.
It all ran v smoothly - we arrived in baggage reclaim at the same time as the bags. Brill.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:15
  #652 (permalink)  
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45378 - what were you flying into T1 LHR when you live in congleton?

Sorry to pry, you should stick to the nice MAN regional you have, your lucky BA pulled out of there years ago, cut a swathe of jobs and run.

Probably in the longrun MAN better without BA
Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:21
  #653 (permalink)  
Oops pardon me
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Manchester England
Posts: 369
BA take the blame but.....

It amazes me how much of the blame has been put on BA. Although they must take some of it on the chin, the BAA seems to have escaped quite lightly.

BAA's track record in doing anything right must have lead to expectation of disaster.

So who is mainly to blame?

The building is BAA,s responsibility.

The security is BAA,s responsibility.

Accepting the building and all its systems from the construction contractors is BAA's responsibility.

The building was completed on time and on budget is the claim but it is only completed when everything has been tested and all the troubleshooting has been carried out.

Whoever was responsible for the handover must be made accountable and made to pay with resignation without the usual six figure payoff.

What do you think????!!!

Coop & Bear
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:22
  #654 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Re-Heat, there is some truth in the whole MBA thing. BA actively recruits MBAs/Grads of all sorts and fast-tracks them way beyond their experiential levels with alarming speed. You therefore get fresh-faced know-it-alls in positions of responsibility making stupid decisions based on text book case studies completely ignoring experienced (but non-MBA) members of staff.
The result is invariably the type of shambles you see at T5 while the wunderkind who caused the cock-up in the first place will undoubtedly be promoted even further, until they decide there's a chance they might get rumbled, at which time they will jump ship with a glowing CV to some Middle-Eastern airline where they will apply what they have learned to the benefit of their new carrier leaving the previous one with the mess to sort out while making a tax-free mint at the same time!!
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 18:28
  #655 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Reply to BA engineering.

We were coming back from Jerez - XRY - now that is a lovely airport - think 70s EDI.

So that gave us a routing via MAD, and daft old fool that I am , I still fondly believe that real airlines (like BA?) might look after you when things go wrong.

Actually Manchester's network feels as though it's getting less and less useful as the place gets more and more LCC - OK for point to point but not for anything more adventurous.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 19:20
  #656 (permalink)  
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Location: Esher, Surrey
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Well stated. Unfortunately quite a few stay on and cause a lot of problems. It is easy to identify those that have come up the hard way because they have "nous" and does it show.
Trying to convince snr "managers" that their wonder recruit is talking out of their rear is difficult. Trying to stop the promotion of some of these people is even more difficult. Who is brave enough to say that you do not agree with all those previous glowing reports and this individual has reached or gone beyond their skills so park them in a corner out of harms way ?
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 19:20
  #657 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
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We all know LHR is a shithole,period , and the BAA go out of their way to keep it that way. For example,walking down the finger to an aircraft at T4 there is usually a pile of rubbish strewn along the jetty as the swine at BAA dont bother to clean the bloody things. Glad to see they are keeping up the same appearance at T5.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 19:40
  #658 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Dubai
Posts: 141

yes but who puts the rubbish there in the first place. I think you will find its BA cabin crew abd BA's own contracted cleaners because they cant be bothered to walk 50 feet and put them in the bins that are supplied by BAA on the ramp.

why should BAA clear up after BA's mess ???????

Answer that one and think about your posting before you go into one.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 19:46
  #659 (permalink)  
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I think you'll find BAs cabin crew don't dump the rubbish as they don't clean the aircraft. Nor do the cleaners dump the rubbish as that comes off in sacks and goes down the engineering steps or rear steps to be disposed of at ground level, not on the jetty. I think frangatang refers to the general filth of discarded newspapers, food, boarding cards and all the other detritus Joe Pax discards. But thanks for the slating anyway.
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Old 30th Mar 2008, 20:01
  #660 (permalink)  
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BAA - Outsource the cleaning to another company - It would appear that nobody actually checks if that other company gets round to carrying out such a task.

At LGW - I've noticed that various airlines & their cleaning companies regularly dump all sorts of rubbish on the Jet-ways. It is often unidentifiable; where such detritus has originated, and consequently is left until someone reports it. BAA - say contact the airline concerned - but, without CID and forensic investigation - Nobody knows anything.

Perhaps, they should return the skips to every stand; which were withdrawn some years ago!

BAA - as the airport operator/owner should not abrogate responsibility for the cleanliness of all areas and should check several times a day that all is well. - However, we're talking about BAA here. Enough said!
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