View Full Version : B.A. security cancellations again!

12th Feb 2004, 18:13
Just watching on CNN, and the good old BAW223 to Washington has been cancelled on Sunday and BAW263 to Riyadh is cancelled on Monday, both on the "advice" of the UK government.

*Sigh* He we go again!

Report on CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/02/12/flights.canceled/index.html)

12th Feb 2004, 18:18
Apparently BA have two other flights per day on the same route. Since BA223 is obviously being targeted by terrorists i for one would not take that flight on any day - just switch to one of the others. Also, i wonder how much this is costing BA in lost revenue?

Electric Sky
12th Feb 2004, 18:21
This time we have been given 3-4 days notice and still it seems that our aviation security is unable to ensure the safety of these flights. I can understand a cancellation on the day when a threat is made but this far in advance just seems absurd.

ES ;)

12th Feb 2004, 18:24
sounds like its time for BAW to bin 223 as a callsign and pick a new one not related to some UN middle east resolution number.

12th Feb 2004, 18:25
Do we actually know that the reason for disruptions to the 223 is that it may be a target for terrorists? Why only that flight?
There are loads and loads of other flights to IAD and indeed to the USA by other carriers as well.

It would seem that Terrorists are generally not stupid and I am sure that god forbid if they wanted to try something, considering the high focus and profile of the 223 in recent weeks they would just try another flight. It would be foolish to keep harboring on the BA223.

It was suggested in similar threads a while back that there were other "behind the scences" reasons of paperwork, procedures and compliance that might have been the issue, not to mention the sky marshalls can of worms.

12th Feb 2004, 18:30
It does seem very strange it's always that flight!!! Maybe Hammy is on to something ;)

12th Feb 2004, 19:23
Making the assumption that the threat to the aircraft would come from one or more of the pax boarded, why not continue to act as if the flights are on schedule. Board the pax on the day, load up with plain clothes cops, stay at gate, declare "technical failure" and then disembark everyone and "interview" any suspects as they come off the plane. Wouldn't it be valuable to catch these folks? Of course this is not without risks (assumes security checks catch weapons on any pax) - and won't work if the aircraft is under threat from missile etc. Just a thought.


12th Feb 2004, 19:33
I agree but if it is under threat from a missile.....then even if the Wahington flight does't appear on the horizon for the would be missile launcher.......he/she won't stop at that point. It would be like shooting ducks........it isn't a duck but we may as well take a pheasant while we are this far.

The whole approach to this baffles me. As someone said....why not board and arrrest these guys.......surely there are provisions in English law to deal with terrorist suspect aequately i.e. arrest on the slightest suspicion and lengthy interview periods.

Only thing is though.........we don't know any details and lets face it, I am sure if it was as simple as we think....then it would be have been done long ago.


12th Feb 2004, 19:47
Bailey We should think ourselves very lucky that the authorities cannot arrest/detain on the "slightest suspicion". I, for one do not trust the idiots running the U.K with that kind of power. If anything, it goes to show what a complete farce the aviation security situation is in the UK , if they cannot guarantee the safety of a flight with 3 or 4 days prior notice.
Does this mean that all the security at LHR is useless? Or that the hassle that the pax go through is only for show? Surely it can´t be the staff, now that we all have our Basic Disclosure certificates? ( Although I fail to see why a conviction for driving off without paying for petrol makes you more likely to be a security risk) Or maybe, it has all been a knee jerk reaction from an increasingly panicked and immoral government? If the flight isn´t cancelled, does that mean it is a safe flight to operate? Do we need to lock the flight deck door? Can we allow flight deck visits?
Or do we just sit there like idiots, keeping our fingers crossed that the "authorities" do actually know what they are doing? ( Rhetorical question because I think we all know the answer to that one)

A and C
12th Feb 2004, 21:45
How meny of these flights have been stopped now ? and no one arrested , no traps sprung by the authoritys.

It would seem to me that the terrorists are engaging in a very low risk form of electronic warfare using the internet.

After all the disruption that has followed the stopping of these flight the loss of revinue to B A must be substantal both directly and indirectly.

This is just another way of undermining the western economy and ramping up the fear of terrorist attacks by a group who have no clear objectives apart from the destruction of western civiliasation.
The most inportant thing is not to be paranoid and treat these people as something special to be feared , they are just criminal low life and should be treated as such.
The real danger to the western way of life is from the way that the western goverments are likely to react or to be more correct over react to the actions of these criminals.

12th Feb 2004, 23:54
Actually I suspect that BA might actually be making money on this deal, atleast right now.

Right now is a VERY slow travel season and when you have multiple flights between cities and cancel one, you can just roll the pax over to a different flight and push up your load factors, while still having the marketing presence of having "frequent" flights in the reservation system.

American was famous for this in times past of having "mechanical" cancelations that were really done for commercial reasons before the government cracked down on that sort of behavior...

During the high travel periods this is a loser for them though...


13th Feb 2004, 00:08

Your suggestion makes too much sense to be taken seriously.

13th Feb 2004, 00:13
Wino, I can see your argument but I think you're way off with this one for 2 reasons:

(a) The constant security scares are putting off some pax with elective travel plans and that's scaring investors and putting pressure on the share price (ie the last thing BA wants!)

(b) It would be far easier to declare a "technical failure" and cnx the flight rather than say it's for "security concerns". The former would achieve the same result and nobody would bat an eyelid.

Agree though with maxy101 - this is just getting ridiculous now. I heard one security expert say that this pattern will only occur between now and Feb 22. Why? Because they're not even sure if 223 is the flight number or a date!..


gas path
13th Feb 2004, 00:16
Surely it can´t be the staff, now that we all have our Basic Disclosure certificates?
Except that if your a foreign passport holder you are exempt from the criminal rcord check!!!!!
FWIW I flew on the 223 just after the last er.....'scare' and the a/c was almost full, didn't seem to put folks off.

13th Feb 2004, 00:17
Small problem if that's a date. 223 would be 22 March.

13th Feb 2004, 02:33
Unless it's a US terrorist, in which case it would be Feb 23...


13th Feb 2004, 03:07
or 23 feb ? oops sorry, didnt see your reply

13th Feb 2004, 03:29
Terrorists are preparing their misdeeds in hiding.

Governments and Administrations reacting without revealing their reasons.

It's a corruption of democracy when you can't examine the way people are governed, and check how far our elected bodies are right or wrong.

They can do anything with that pretext: "counter-terrorism"

Toward which kind of society are we going?

13th Feb 2004, 03:42
Hell in an hand-basket, Grampa.

C'mon. You knew that!

13th Feb 2004, 13:09
JEDDAH, 13 February 2004 — British Airways has canceled next Monday’s flight from London to Riyadh, for “security reasons.” The airline has also canceled Sunday’s flight 223 from Heathrow to Washington’s Dulles Airport.

The airline said that it had done so on “government advice”. It said that the 184 people booked on the Washington flight and the 149 to Riyadh would be re-booked on other flights or given a refund. The airline would no elaborate as to why those particular flights were canceled.

“We are aware of the disruption these cancellations cause to our customers and we would like to keep that to a minimum” Chris Phipps, BA’s commercial manager in the Kingdom, told Arab News.

“That is why we have agreed that the return flight from Riyadh to London Heathrow flight BA262 on Monday Feb. 16 will operate as scheduled.”

BA officials in Britain have refused to say what intelligence information prompted them to advise cancellation of the flights. However, US authorities have in the past spoken of a “specific and credible” terrorist threat to international flights.

It is reported that US intelligence sources believe that terrorists are targeting particular flight numbers.

BA’s Riyadh flight 263 was canceled on Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 because of security fears and delayed on other occasions.

British airline pilots have urged the UK government to examine such intelligence.

Last August, BA suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia because of British government warnings of “a continuing threat of terrorism” after the Saudi authorities uncovered a cell that reportedly was plotting an attack on a British plane. Flights were resumed in September.


13th Feb 2004, 18:24
Only thing I can see is that BA223 is a 747 and all three other BA flights from London to Washington are 777 or 767.

Maybe the terrorists want a big aircraft, but I suspect that all the 'chatter' is a diversion and they are really planning something else when everyone's backs are turned :{

13th Feb 2004, 20:22
Unless you're an American and - er- backward - in which case its 23rd February! 2/23/04 .......instead of 22/3/04??:hmm:

13th Feb 2004, 20:35
Cejkovice - If you're right then that sheds a whole new light on things. Changing flight numbers or time of day wouldn't be the issue.

15th Feb 2004, 14:12
Strange that despite al Qaeda's avowed hatred of the USA, these recent American "intelligence" reports have only highlighted threats to NON-US air carriers

15th Feb 2004, 20:29
As i mentioned above, BA have cancelled tomorrows flight from LHR-RUH, however newspaper reports state that they have positioned an aircraft into RUH to operate the outbound RUH-LHR sector on Tuesday.

Strange :confused:


15th Feb 2004, 23:20
Shot one.
Continental had a flight canceled recently and so has AA I think. However, that isn't big news over here...