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Terminal 4 Fiasco!!!

Old 31st Jan 2003, 19:41
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Terminal 4 Fiasco!!!

Sorry for posting this in Reporting Points to those of you that think it should be elsewhere, but I want you all to know what a disgrace BA is when things go wrong...

Five friends of mine arrived at LHR yesterday afternoon at 1700 for 1910 dep BA59 to Cape Town. They finally board at 2330, and are then told that they will be leaving without luggage as the crew will go out of hours if they have to wait for it to be loaded. We have now established that the hold was full of bags, but bags that should have gone to Toronto before that flight was cancelled!!! Now going to Cape Town?? Nice!

At 0100, still on the plane, Mr Bransons crew make an arse of it and thats it. They are told to get off and reclaim bags before being taken to local hotel. They get to baggage hall, which is total chaos! Old ladies in tears, families with kids who haven't been anywhere still waiting to get their bags back and... NO BA STAFF ANYWHERE TO BE SEEN!!!!! All offices closed, place like a ghost town. Lots of policeman yes, but no BA staff!!!!

After 1 hour they go home, minus baggage- fortunately they live locally so had a few hours kip.

Unable to get through to BA this morning, they finally give up and have bookedtickets on South African leaving Tuesday. Tehn they get through to BA to be told that they can go on Wednesday on Standby. No thanks, they say, we want our bags back. They are told to go and collect them from Terminal 4.

They trudge wearily back to Terminal 4, and find the 'customer services' queue stretches from one end of T4 to the other and out the door. They queue for 6 hours, to be told by a totally out of order ground staff person ''Havent you been listening to the ****ing announcements??''.

Still bagless, they are given bull**** that bags have already gone to Cape Town... hmmm interesting that as no flights have left for CPT since yesterday evening. They are told they will have to come and collect in 24hours from T4.

Come on somebody, Bealine etc, where are you??? Why are you giving passengers this bull*****?? The bags are in a pallett in Terminal 4 and you know it, so why lie?

BA have just abandoned these passengers, and hundreds others and are hiding behind the '' bad wx not our fault mate''. Erm, how does snow yesterday preclude a pallett being unloaded today??? Somebody care to explain why thes five, and i'm sure countless more, are now saying why they will no fly BA again?
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 20:18
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Quote: At 0100, still on the plane, Mr Bransons crew make an arse of it and thats it.

I may be niagA dessiP, but....... What is Mr. Branson's role in all this?

Regards,

ND
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 20:19
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So lets get this right.......total chaos at LHR because HAL can't keep the runways open or provide proper remote de-icing facilities like most other places in Western Europe. Tens of thousands of passengers disrupted, probably upwards of 50000 bags being stacked up everywhere and anywhere there's space, all the baggage handling equipment out of position because the schedules gone to cock and at 2am you expect an army of BA staff to magically appear from somewhere? Well pardon my cynicism but where exactly do you expect these staff to come from? There's no night shift for these staff, we can't get any more into LHR because (as you obviously haven't noticed) half the bleedin roads in the South East are closed and the staff who'd extended their shifts for so long already are busy trying to find gates and handling for the numerous aircraft still stuck off stand, and booking hotels and transfers for the thousands of stranded passengers (of course you wouldn't appreciate that practically every hotel in the LHR area was filling up very nicely by 12 noon).

Then of course 10000 people arrive today wanting their bags back, leading to enormous queues and a total swamping of the phone system. The bags are almost certainly sitting around in an pallet somewhere in the T4 area, but all the pallets are throughly covered in snow, which means it takes ten times as long to locate and identify each one and ten times as long to move it from A to B, but we don't have access to ten times as many staff to deal with that, so its an unfortunate fact of life that people are going to have to wait. Unpleasant, but unavoidable.

To suggest that passengers have just been abandoned is, frankly, stretching credulity. Abandoned is when you get off the aircraft, are told that you've got to arrange your own hotel and transport at your own expense, told you may get your bags back or not, but it will be sometime in the next two weeks and when you turn up the next day there's nobody to speak to, not even an overwhelmed Customer Services desk.

The whole situation is lamentable, but theres only so much you can do with a finite number of staff when your operation is virtually shut down due to the inability of the airport operator to keep their show on the road.
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 20:31
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Just one point guys


HEATHROW DID NOT CLOSE

unlike other airports . oh by the way it didnt close last time either !! in fact there were 1022 movements that day. not bad me thinks

Last edited by southern duel; 31st Jan 2003 at 21:24.
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 20:47
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atco-matic
You just havn't got a clue have you.I take it your not
in aviation or maybe you drive a council gritting lorry?
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 21:13
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Stormin Norman, I am with you on that one.
Some people just haven't got a clue of what goes on behind closed doors. Lets just blame the first person that apears in uniform.
Atco matic speak to the BAA, That is the Britsh Airports Authority to you, instead of slagging ground staff.
Nice day
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 22:24
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Thumbs down

Atco-Matic....

Mate, I am sorry for your friends who had a bad experience, but so did just about everybody else, not only at LHR (That's Heathrow to you) and Stansted (Which closed) and not to forget the poor sods who were stuck on the M11 and other Motorways around the traps. Why not put the blame on BA for that as well.
I'am with Niaga Dessip on this..... First you say it is a BA flight and then you claim that Mr. Branson's crew made a pig's ear of it, and then you show your age by making reference to Bealine etc.??!!! Bealine eh.??
It wasn't a Trident they were on was it.?
This all points to somebody who is not involved in Aviation at all and who has no idea what happens, or what the priorities are in a situation like this. It is rambling. not factual, and, if you REALLY are an Atco unbelievably naive.
Rant over.
PS..... Bealine eh.?? Ahhhhhhhh de Haviland.
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 22:41
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Taildragger,

Bealine is a BA employee who can usually be found in the Pax/SLF forum.

Gonzo.
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 22:56
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I am sure, by now, we are all curious to know how Mr Branson came into this unfortunate story. Please do explain, atco-matic.
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 22:59
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ground staff

before posting a comment against any LHR ground staff , please try to work with them for only one day and you will easily understand they do one of the more difficult jobs on earth!
Any airline ground staff at LHR is a small hero!

more=most.............
20 words minimum
ksddddddddddd
dddkkd
dklnd
dkdnd
dklniosdfnsf
dkndioasd
djkbiasda
done
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Old 31st Jan 2003, 23:10
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The reference to Branson's lot relates to the fact that one of Virgin's A340s skidded off 27R around 1 AM effectively closing the only useable runway at the time.

Bealine is a BA employee who regularly posts on these forums.
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 00:34
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Is it true there is a baggage handlers dispute at T4 that BA are keeping quiet about? Apparantly there are weeks worth of lost bags piled up all over the reclaim hall. Anyone in the know (ie not twatcomatic) care to comment on the veracity or otherwise of this story?
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 01:28
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Ok, before everyone has a collective coronary..........

This is obviously a passenger complaint that would be more suited to flyertalk.com or airliners.net........

however it is indicative of the fact that when there is a small dusting of what is essentially water, the south east of England seems to be totally unable to cope with the conditions. Without putting the blame on any party, does it not show that there should be investment in facilities that can deal with what is becoming a more frequent occurence?
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 07:34
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Wubble U said:

''To suggest that passengers have just been abandoned is, frankly, stretching credulity. Abandoned is when you get off the aircraft, are told that you've got to arrange your own hotel and transport at your own expense, told you may get your bags back or not, but it will be sometime in the next two weeks and when you turn up the next day there's nobody to speak to, not even an overwhelmed Customer Services desk. ''

Obviously you were there wubble u cos that is EXACTLY what happened except there was nobody to tell them when they would get their bags back

And all that snow on those pallets makes them so difficult to locate, what with the label being on the top of the pallett.... not!

Honestly the attitude of some of you in here (who obviously dont even know half the story or you would have known what the reference to Mr Bransons crew was about) just beggars belief... are you all ground staff that go around swearing at passengers who ask perfectly civil questions?

Don't you understand? They have now cancelled their tickets and rebooked with South African... hey that means BA have just lost 5000 in World Traveller Plus revenue instantly! Obviously BA's in such good shape now that anybody who moans when things go wrong can like it or take their money elsewhere.

I know how difficult things have been this week cos i've been in the thick of it myself- how else do you think you were able to wake Windsor up at 3am in the morning? I am complaining about the utter contempt with the way my friends have been treated... I am complaining about the fact that one moment they were being told the bags were enroute CPT, the next they're sitting airside! I am complaining about the fact that nobody from BA wanted to help, when people from BMI were going out of their way to try and sort something out from the mess. So you had a hard time! That's what you're paid and trained for. I get a hard time at work sometimes, but I don't go around swearing at pilots.

Then again you lot can just go and bury your heads in the sand while your pax run off to other airlines... who cares- they're only paying your wages.

All you BA staff who can't handle criticism, maybe you should have a look at this...

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=80081

Last edited by atco-matic; 1st Feb 2003 at 07:52.
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 10:58
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Small point - atco-matic's profile says he/she is in ATC, not BA.

I would agree with a-m inasmuch as lack of or misleading info is totally infuriating. Just keeping pax in the picture helps a lot. Professionals amongst you will be aware of 'Service Recovery' & 'The Halo Effect' - perhaps it wasn't being practised on a-m's friends.

I flew pax into LHR on the 31st on GB Air BA6983. We boarded, disembarked and boarded again but were kept informed of the reasons. Result - no worries - (except for a rather irritating 'Jack-the-lad' steward - yes, son, it was ole Basil in 25C )
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 11:05
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"atco,
if you really don't like working for BA as much as it would appear, then why don't you retire/resign and let those who truly have a desire to help the company's passengers get on with their job without your bickering resounding in their ears. "

ratarsedagain pay attention before you post!! atco never implied he worked for BA. Yet again a prime example of someone posting on pprune who hasn't got a clue, atco stands for AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL OFFICER. So i guess he proberbly has a better understanding for the "wider picture" than most of the idiots that have posts here.
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 11:24
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Airline Tycoon,
I admit, I misread one of the previous posts with regard to who works where, but please don't come Mr High and Mighty and post with such an arrogant attitude. I'm well aware what ATCO stands for, I encounter these people every day at work. As for the wider picture you say some people who post don't have, don't tag other people with your own shortcomings.
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 11:42
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I can see atco's frustration here, how could bags have gone to Capetown ahead of their owners? (I thought they couldn't do that for security reasons) If they had gone why weren't the passengers sent with them?

This seems to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the rights doing, or the right hand not having a clue in the first place. Lack of communication between departments, once again mismanagement. T4 overloaded again so it would seem.

Who is responsible for providing the de-icing facilities? If it is BAA then maybe they ought to think about providing a proper service before they start increasing fees to airlines.
 
Old 1st Feb 2003, 13:00
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It seems to me, from your post, that the whole of Heathrow just upped and abandoned their posts that day and left everybody to fend for themselves on a hugely difficult day. I am certain that South African Airways would have handled it all differently with only a handful of flights a day.
Atco-matic .... you denigrate all the fine work done by BA staff that day. You of all people should realise the total disruption that can happen on a day like that, but I don't see the industry shouting at ATC for stacking them and denying them their requested FL with all the fuel problems that can cause.
Oh, and of course, Mr. Bransons crew deliberately slid off the runway to further screw things up. I bet they had a good laugh about it in the Crew room later.
And before you accuse me of being BA Ground Staff - I am not, but I have spent a lifetime in the airline industry, both at LHR and overseas, and guess what..... when there is disruption at JED, DHA, POM, CNS, SYD or ATH, the same problems occur and ground staff are overwhelmed at the sheer volume of what hits them. They take a lot of stick from passengers who don't know, what the problems are. Why should they.?? As far as they are concerned all the resources that are stretched beyond limits should be allocated to them alone. If you dont like this attitude, then I am sorry. It comes of more than 35 years of dealing with the sort of problems you describe. I sympathise....I care....and I just do the best I can, which is what the vast majority of people at LHR did that day. I have faced far far worse. I have offloaded baggage due strikes, I have cleaned aircraft, I have checked pax in, I have ramp ratted and much more, and I do NOT consider the staff at BA today to be any different. So, Atco, to end my rant, I said, and I mean it, that I am sorry your friends had a bad experience, but so did thousands and thousands of people that day, on the roads, in the air and on the ground. It was bad, frustrating, and worse, but please don't take it out on the Ground staff who simply do their best.
If you want to discuss it, send me a private Email and I will give you my phone number....as long as you promise to be calm about it, otherwise, try and understand, as you, an Industry professional, should.
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Old 1st Feb 2003, 14:25
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T4 fiasco

My other half reported to T4 at 1105 for a 1235 dep for YYZ....he arrived back home last nite at 2000 after a day spent sitting around waiting for info. He was reduced to calling ops via his mobile phone from the flt deck as there was just no reply to his radio calls....sorry story of no de icing avbl, followed by cabin crew going out of hours. This was the second day the YYZ had been scrubbed too! Apparently the police were called to gate when pax were told of furthur delay! Flt eventually left at 2343.....
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