View Full Version : Ba Longhaul Yesterday Ex-t4

28th Oct 2002, 08:09
I know this has been mentioned in a previous amalgamation regarding coverage of the high wind frolics of yesterday, but has anyone got an absolute reason for why all BA long hauls got cancelled ex-T4 yesterday.

Why were they ALL cancelled?
Just about every other carrier were flying Long Haul & the USA, with a few delays of course but services WERE operating.

I am curious to know what the official reason was, other than high winds and other carriers maintained service?

You are right, T4 was a zoo around 13/14z yesterday, just nowhere for folks to sit, lines and lines of people.

As for parking, there were B747s and B777s parked all over the place yersterday. 3xBA B744s on Cargo apron at EGLL never moved.

I even saw a B777 being pushed backwards up the taxiway for 09R hold last night with all interior lights on.

A BMED A321 was also observed doing low speed taxi runs, assume it was waiting for a gate in T4, thought they would keep pax amused by low speed taxi runs on and off 09R.

Some interesting arrivals & departures from 27L and 27R respectively, well done all !!
Highlight of the day was BA001 departed almost 1hr late at 1145z, up like a rocket as usual - no problem!


Nigel PAX
28th Oct 2002, 08:29
When I eventually got through to the BA Executive Club and complained, they first tried the usual "no planes could take off or land". When I said that a steady stream of planes were landing, I got, "Ah, we have to give priority to landing aircraft for safety reasons".

Far enough, said I, but you do realise Heathrow has two available runways, don't you? It's just that I couldn't see the take-off runway from the road.

The flustered ticket agent had said "only UK" flights were coming in, despite my seeing a 744 from another airline (looked like VS, but I was too far from the airport to be certain) landing.

28th Oct 2002, 08:35
Yes, this was my point, VS,UA,AA,CX all maintaining usual service.
OK some delays yes but services continued despite weather.
Wind died right down to 13kts by 22z last night.

28th Oct 2002, 09:16
The message that reached us at London ACC yesterday was that the baggage handlers at T4 had withdrawn their services as they felt it was too dangerous to continue working in the prevailing winds. Quite why it was windier at T4 than at T1/T2/T3 I don't know - further south perhaps?

28th Oct 2002, 13:12
Came back from JFK in the back of probably one of the last BA longhauls into LHR. Capt told us reason for having to wait for an hour for a remote T4 stand was because they couldn't use all of T4 stands if they thought they might need R23. Presumably they thought that the wind was going to back and give an unacceptable Xwind for 27. Don't know if thats true but thats what we were told.

As for bags, still waiting for ours.

28th Oct 2002, 15:01
Was it, possibly, related to the following? It would explain the staff being bolshie and working to rule - in particular the comment about aircraft seeming stranded on stands.

The Times - Monday:

“It was just a cold, greasy sausage,” The Mail on Sunday reported, “but it sparked a walkout that threw British Airways flights from Heathrow into chaos. And all because a kindly cabin steward offered it to an airport driver for his breakfast.

“According to BA management that philanthropic act constituted theft. The driver, who hauls planes into position at Heathrow, was immediately suspended. But the driver’s colleagues were furious . . . Dozens of flights were delayed as BA’s first sausage strike left 12 drivers on duty.”

Ananova - Sunday:

Staff at British Airways have threatened to walk out in a row over a sausage. The row was sparked by a member of the cabin staff offering the left over sausage to one of BA's drivers. The driver was suspended because according to BA removing the sausage from the plane constituted "theft".

A spokeswoman told The Mail On Sunday: "Our clear policy is that we have a zero-tolerance approach to anyone caught taking any items from our aircraft".

The driver's colleagues refused to work following his suspension. He was eventually reinstated and given a written warning.

"What one staff member may see as acceptable, another staff member may decide to take further and make off with a couple of miniatures of spirits," said the BA spokeswoman.

Tom the Tenor
28th Oct 2002, 15:12
Re the above - pray, what has happened to the Empire, you know, the Empire in which the sun never sets? Gone for a Burton, maybe?

28th Oct 2002, 18:24
I'm confused [admittedly not unusual] :D

why did the driver get the rap?

surely the crew member concerned was solely liable. How was the driver to know what is and isn't ok to take off flights?

the sausage was perishable and at least wasn't wasted. Minatures are different, but if they had been opened I would also prefer them to be used up - although not by crew on the ramp :D :D

28th Oct 2002, 19:13
Check your FCOM's for max wind door operation.

Also have a peek at the equipment being attached to an a/c !!
A waving jetty will do quite a bit of damge to an a/c and flying containers have been known to kill people.

Maybe T4 was more open to the wind, as was terminal C in DUS.
One of our ramp agents was feeling rather seasick after 8 Hrs on a/c that were behaving more like boats at sea.

There is a remedy for that though....

A double Whisky.

The Sweeney
28th Oct 2002, 19:28
Superb. I wonder what would have happened if the coach driver had a piece of bacon?, or the pier driver had some egg?, I can see the headlines now "Bacon, Sausage and Egg cause a total stoppage at Heathrow"

28th Oct 2002, 20:26
As usual there is more to the story than meets the eye.

It has been common for many and varied groundstaff to board an aircraft usually after the crew have departed and then pilfer whatever can be found.

It is arguable that food destined for the bin could be eaten but the pilfering has been costing the airline a great deal of money for years.

It should also be noted that facilities exist for all ground staff to eat during their breaks so quite why aeroplane breakfast should be so desirable is beyond me.

A line has to be drawn somewhere, the rules are crystal clear but when they are enforced everybody cries foul!

28th Oct 2002, 21:13
BA managers have been costing the airline a fortune over the last few years.

When is something going to be done about them?

28th Oct 2002, 23:50
Irrelevant to what is under discussion.

29th Oct 2002, 09:14
M.Mouse, I hear what you say. I myself have been guilty of pilfering the food that is going to be thrown away myself. And one of the things I was told the first day in the hangar was , don't take anything off of the planes. So they did a bit of creative twisting of the words and basically said that eating it on the plane doesnt consititute taking it off the plane. Thing is the caterers themselves don't seem to mind either. Never ate anything when the orange overalls were in abundance though.

But M.Mouse, please explain to me two things.

1) If the cabin staff gave it to the ground crew member, why discipline the ground crew and not the cabin staff?

2) How is pilfering this food, that is going to be thrown away, costing the airline money? Do the waster companies pay BA per ton of food?

Unless of course you are mentioning duty frees etc, which happen to be locked, or things found in seats (such as cameras etc).

29th Oct 2002, 09:35
It is common to see ground staff such as dispatchers being offered coffee by cabin crew. Surely this small gesture is good for morale. The penny pinching attitude of accountants in big companies has done more to destroy staff morale and therefby reduce efficiency to an extent that could never be compensated by the paltry savings achieved.

That being said day three and still waiting for bags.

29th Oct 2002, 09:37
Where do we draw the line?

How many times have I given the dispatcher or a loader or an engineer a tea or coffee?

If I choose to give away the crisps from my crew snack to ground staff is that wrong?

If we have club meals left over and we eat them or give them to the pilots is that wrong?

I agree the stealing off of thee aircraft is wrong but come on!! No one will argue that food is perrishable and that it gets thrown away after a flight so there is actually no harm in eating a left over breakfast. I know you can't implement a rule to this effect which I'm sure both BA and the unions would spend many a happy hour arguing over, but surely common sense should pervail in a situation like this?

The thought that crosses my mind is who actually reported this event? They need to look at themselves and get a life and concentrate on how they can save the ccompany some money in their job role and not how they can get collegues into trouble and breed anti-trust and bad feeling throughout the company as well as giving the press more ammunition to shoot us with!!!!

29th Oct 2002, 10:40
We could all probably help by not downing tools everytime something doesn't go our way.

Both the cabin crew and driver involved should have been disciplined but as has already been posted morale is low enough as it is without department managers spending time and money enforcing this kind of rubbish. You could argue where do we draw the line but why does a line have to be drawn can we not see that a sausage from a breakfast which hadn't been eaten is not exactly the same as removing dutyfree items or alcohol from the bars. Have our superiors lost the power of judgement to such an extent that the rules are followed blindly and as a consequence the whole company gets f****d and loses more than a sausage worth of money.

29th Oct 2002, 12:43

I agree that there is a case that food that would ordinarily go to waste is not costing the company money and I also would say that choosing such a comparitively weak issue of surplus food the whole exercise has been counter productive.

Looking at the wider issue where is the line drawn? E.g. We have a rather unseemly rooting amongst the trolleys and ovens for unused food, then how about opening a carton of orange juice to go with it? Or taking some teabags to make a cup of tea, oh, and we need some milk for the tea. A paper to read would be good too.

Impossible to police.

It would have been a fairly easy task to reprimand any number of ground staff leaving the aircraft armed with milk, teabags, cups etc. For that matter search any crew leaving an aircraft and see what you find especially downroute.

The perception is that it is only a teabag or carton of milk but multiply that across the airline and 365 days per year it is a significant loss through theft.

As usual we have the traditional management style of going of half cocked and hitting somebody hard for a relatively minor offence and we now suffer the inevitable backlash.

Shame the management haven't heard of communication and education alongside Captains, FOs and CSDs setting a good example.

Ever wondered why your choice of newspaper isn't available in Club? Well on a 767 probably at least 12 newspapers have been taken by the crew.

Before anybody asks I usually buy my own on the way in or find a used one during the turnaround. I have stopped taking one off the aircraft as there is a strong rumour that the barcode can identify a paper as one of BAs. My job is worth more than 55p.

29th Oct 2002, 12:53
<<or find a used one during the turnaround. I have stopped taking one off the aircraft as there is a strong rumour that the barcode can identify a paper as one of BAs>>

I'm the same - or if offered a "new" paper by the CC , make the point that if a PAX wishes it, come and get it back.

Thanks for the tip about the barcode - I has thought there might be away they can identify but, but didn't know how. Solution - if you're going to take a paper off the aircraft - remove the bar code!


29th Oct 2002, 13:26
M. Mouse,

you feel slightly superior because you read only used newspapers but you seem to have slightly missed your own point which is 'where do you draw the line?' I also read only used newspapers, but regardless of whether it has been discarded or not, the newspaper was not put on for my use. The most ridiculous thing I have heard of late is the tale of two engineers, who, on arrival at the aircraft early one morning were offered a cup of tea, since the brewer was on for the rest of the crew. They were caught drinking BA tea on the aircraft and suspended. This was at the same station where we used to be met by the police looking for any left over baguettes for their own breakfast.

Only an idiot would take an item of value off the aircraft, and I don't believe rubbish is of any value to BA. Morale is low enough as it is and we don't need office wallahs reducing it further by denying hardworking staff a cup off tea, or something to relieve the boredom on a long flight. you can't even buy a drinkable cup of tea these days before 6am at Compass Centre. A little humanity and respect by our employers would go a long way towards improving to morale of front line staff.

I know that there will always be the odd person who will completely abuse their position, and anyone causght wil miniatures, items from the duty free trolley, etc deserves what they get. But rubbish and cups of tea on the aircraft are an entirely different matter.

PS On my BA CRM training the training captain actually told us that generosity and respect toward the people we work with is rewarded by those people wanting to acheive the best they can at work. 'So if eng is out in the cold and dark, offer him a cup of tea when he gets up to sign the paperwork, and he will go away inclined to help you out next time.'

29th Oct 2002, 13:56

I'm not trying to sound or be superior but cover my back.

I generally agree with your post.

The wider issue has been trivialised by the sledgehammer management approach.

29th Oct 2002, 14:31
The food destined for the bin is of little consequence, in all likelihood, however the china/glassware/cutlery/trays accompanying it very often end up discarded, never to be used again and do cost money, when added up over a year, and over the airlines many stations.

Minhaj Atwah
29th Oct 2002, 14:59
This could well be because I understand now that unused food from one flight is now given to the poor unsuspecting punters on the next one.

I should think this is saving £14.37 a year!

Row 12F
29th Oct 2002, 16:35
And there was me looking at the headlines thinking that a strike occured because he was asked to eat a used BA sausage.

29th Oct 2002, 17:02
Sweeny wrote:

> I can see the headlines now "Bacon, Sausage and Egg cause a total stoppage at Heathrow"

Eat airline food and it's not a "stoppage" you risk. More likely it will be a "one out, all out" situation :-)

29th Oct 2002, 18:31
A tip for anyone with cans from the bars from aircraft - they are dotted on the underside to show they are company stock. Also as has already been stated - worried about barcodes?...remove em!!

29th Oct 2002, 18:48
This is generating an immense amount of negativity in the frontline community. Common sense dictates that making off with half the duty free trolly and a couple of B.C.F.s is clearly theft. But where exactly does one draw the technical line. You could argue, successfully it would seem that a used newspaper and a sausage are still company property ....but what about brewing up a cup of nescafe on the turnaround. Crew can't just jump off and trot over to the nearest Starbucks. Doesn't a duty of care by the employer enter into the equation? What if we brought in our own coffee but still used the company hot water?...am I still allowed to drink a glass of O.J on a 12 hour LAX or do I have to stick religiously to crew water...

Self Loading Freight
29th Oct 2002, 19:05
I don't know about this barcode business; I've never heard about anything like that -- and I've worked for various publishing companies and know plenty more.

From the point of view of production, printing and distribution, it would be a considerable expense -- especially if more than one company wanted the option. Modifying the front page for a very short run, even in these digital days, is not something you want to do. You'd charge a lot for it, certainly more than the company could hope to get back by spotting employee theft... it'd be cheaper, easier and less hassle for the airlines to employ a minimum-wage teenager with a "Compliments of..." rubber stamp!

And has anyone heard of anyone being nabbed this way, or seen a barcode reader sitting around in a managerial office?

Sorry -- sounds like an urban legend to me. But if anyone wants to know for sure, just buy a paper from Smiths on the same day, and compare barcodes...

As for the general ethos of handing out spare sausages to cold and hungry drivers... I would hope that any company that respected its employees, especially those in positions of responsibility such as cabin or flight crew, would let them make such decisions.


Captain Airclues
29th Oct 2002, 19:41
Well at least BRISTOLRE now has the answer to his question about the delays.
Regarding the newspapers, yes they are marked, but not by the barcode. However, this is to prevent them being diverted to the local newsagents before ever reaching the aircraft, rather than to prevent their individual theft.


29th Oct 2002, 19:48
An eternal issue, impossible to get right in big companies I think.
In ours we've recently had a crackdown on the customary "drink in the crewbus if the bus ride's a long one". Debatable certainly. Some Captains enforce the rule, some ignore it. Same with pursers; the whole thing now requires a lot of tact from all concerned and leaves the FA's pretty confused and more likely to hide a few beers in their bag, rather than bring the 1 can to enjoy openly.

SOP with us is the FEs raiding the crew food trolley as soon as they get on board after the pax have left. No one bats an eyelid, why should we? The guys run from AC to AC all day and if they want something to eat, be our guest. SOP as well to offer all and sundry coming aboard before take-off a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Never known a GE, a Policeman or a ground staffer to refuse one yet.
Baggage handlers do me the favour of handing up baby strollers through the catering door so I can make the pax happy. They don't need to go out of their way to do that, but they always cheerfully oblige. Should I refuse them a few cokes on a hot day? No way!
Arguably it's all theft. Equally arguably it greases the wheels of the whole operation as Pandora states, and consequently saves the company money in the end.

SLF has it as far as I'm concerned. If the captain of the AC is trusted with all the hardware, he can be trusted to have enough judgement for this. Same goes for the Purser; the decisions we make as a matter off course during a normal day's work are a lot bigger and far reaching than coffee and sausages........:rolleyes:
And if and when we abuse the system by not exercising good judgement, throw the book at us!

Jet II
30th Oct 2002, 06:46
Well said Flaps - I agree with everything you say. You obviuosly have far too much common sense and intelligence to be a manager.

I think that the main problem is this management style that comes from the top - from what I have read, Skippy's past sucesses(?) have relied on bully-boy management and this is now seeping down through the ranks.

With all the new graduates in management positions, who have never worked in an operational enviroment, I fear that there will be many more 'Battles over sausages'.


30th Oct 2002, 15:39
Jet II - don't be so quick to slag off 'graduate' managers with 'no operational experience'. The whole point of bringing in such people (of which I'm one) into all industries is that we're supposed to inject a bit of energy and new ideas into fat inefficient companies like a certain UK airline.

The 'operation' isn't rocket science (which incidently I did study a bit of at Uni) and believe it or not we generally do have some pretty good common sense. The problems begin when we have to try and change sloppy work practices and obvious inefficiencies but find that decades of errosion of management power has led to changes being impossible - because the people who are supposed to be paid to do a job don't want to change. Everyone knows who runs the airline, at least at operational level, and that's the Unions. In the past they protected workers rights and ensured safety wasn't compromised - now they protect the fiddles, early traps, excessive wages and expenses and workers who've misbehaved.

Perhaps Jet II doesn't like these types of new people because they highlight these issues - I always like to ask people to think about things as if they owned the company themselves and how they would deal with these situations.

Incidently, on the sausage story, I agree it's rediculous to suspend someone for having one off an aircraft, equally rediculous to stop people having a cup of tea at what is afterall their office. I think you'll find though that the managers involved in most of these individual cases are time-served and not graduates. You may also be interested to know that those over in Waterworld are actually now less fortunate than our humble loader/dispatcher/engineer in those stakes, with no free teas...in fact should a purchasing manager have Mr. Airbus over for negotiations to try and squeeze even more millions of Euros out of him, he has to dip into his own pocket to pay for the Lattés.

My ramblings above probably haven't helped the them'n'us situation but it really frustrates me to hear people constantly having a go at the ones who actually have the guts to stick their heads up and try and sort things out.

G.R. Admanager
"Failed pilot, now trying to make things better on the ground, but probably going to give up soon and go work for a bank to try and make pilot wages."

Ricky Butcher
31st Oct 2002, 02:09
Well I don't know which redbrick university/polytechnic/'college of further education' you graduated from BAB2B but you ought to know how to spell ridiculous. I note with interest your quote about the failed pilot because I suspect he would also have to be a significant failure in the banking industry in order to earn pilot wages. All of my friends who went into banking have been earning much more than me for much longer, and enjoy bonuses of at least twice my annual salary.

31st Oct 2002, 03:34
Excellent post BAB2B. You've done a particularly fine job of unveiling the wooly theoretical approach generally found among new 'graduate managers with no operational experience'. A few years in the field ought to be obligatory before callow youths are let lose at the managing business; thats how you learn that there's more to any organization than just financial data and job descriptions. Grey haired old doozers like me know how easy it is to cost the company tens of thousands of pounds with a wrong word, but young fools have to learn the hard way I suppose.

Through difficulties to the cinema

Jet II
31st Oct 2002, 07:23
Aha - a Waterworld Graduate sticks his head above the parapet


The whole point of bringing in such people (of which I'm one) into all industries is that we're supposed to inject a bit of energy and new ideas

Well, if you got out a bit more from all your 'meetings' at Waterworld and actually found out how the operation worked you may have some better 'new ideas' - The company policy of moving managers around every couple of years means that we see these new managers come and go, all with their 'new ideas' and if you stay in the same department long enough you eventually get the same 'new ideas' come along as we had about 10 years ago.

I totally agree that the 'operation' is not rocket science - however there is no point blaming the unions for c**p management - management gets the union response it deserves.

I also don't know where you get the idea of
decades of errosion of management power
Were you still in school when we had Thatchers employment restructuring in the 80's?

I am perfectly happy to put forward ideas about how I would run things - however management are not interested if it doesn't agree with their own ideas. As an example, my department is overmanned in management grades by 100% - I would pay the surplus off and get rid of them. Mismanagements answer is to put them on 'projects' and keep them on the payrole.

The latest 'new idea' that we have concerns the way that mismanagement are now concerned at the low morale at some stations - rather than look at the causes (mismanagement?) we now have a proposal to give staff 'motivational' training.

I give up.

31st Oct 2002, 07:56
Interesting to see what we have now arrived at from my original posting being that of the flights all getting cut ex-T4 last Sunday.

We've had high winds, baggage containers blowing around, steps shuddering in the breeze, unions getting hot under the collar, sausages getting stolen, crew bus drivers in hot water, mis management, bad management, undergraguates, post graduates the reasons go on...

Interesting to see how my original post got this far!

To top it all, we've got a mixed bag of unsettled weather headed our way AGAIN this weekend with 60mph winds forecast and driving rain for sure to but the mockers on any Guy Fawkes party we were hoping to attend. Watch out all at T4!

Watch out for the stange old ladies with funny hats and black cats showing up on your TCAS tonight,,,,,,

Happy Halloween
Have a safe guy fawkes night as well


31st Oct 2002, 10:41
Right, here goes but I fully expect this to be fruitless as I expect grey haired old doozers never change their spots.

Ricky - I'm really sorry about that spelling mistake, obviously that was the most significant part of the post and you identified it really quickly...well done. For your info I went to the 4th oldest University in Britain and gained a First in Aero Engineering.

Blacksheep - I am in the 'field' and seeing first hand the problems. Granted I'm not shifting bags and stealing sausages personally but I'm in and around it daily. I don't believe in management theory I believe in common sense and a bit of logic. Is it logical to have a crew bus drop off a crew but it can't pick up the offgoing crew because the driver has to sit there on the ramp for 30 mins because it's break time? No it's not but the union agreement demands it. Does theory tell you that if you're trying to turn an aircraft around quicker it would be best to keep the crew with it? No, logic does - but can you? No - the union agreement demands 75 mins and £50 per person.

JetII - Sadly I'm not one of the Waterworlders either. I agree with you the 2 year rotations aren't good when it comes to duplicating effort, and moreover, that policy has caused the imbalance of power between the company and unions with union reps staying in positions for way longer than their management counterparts. I also agree about the 'project' managers, the soft approach to redundancy is the cause and that will stop should there be further cuts required next year. My idea of decades of errosion of management power come from the situations I see in areas like baggage where a manager can't go on to the ramp to see what the teams are doing without asking permission from the union rep. And new managers being warned by the reps that they will have them moved on in 2 weeks if they so wish. You're right I was at school thoughout Thatcher's reign (incidently I'm a few years older than a lot of those in the RHS of our Airbuses!) but I spent those years helping out in our family business, a successful small manufacturing business where you worked hard and did what you were told. My old man would have a fit if he saw what goes on in this company.

Anwyay, that's enough from me, sorry to those who still think us young bucks should just do our time like everyone else did, and apologies again to Ricky for the offensive spelling, I'll run the spell checker over this one.


31st Oct 2002, 11:11
BAB2B - looking through a lot of your postings, they seem to be made between the hours of 9am and 5pm, usually on weekdays...as a shareholder in your company, I'm glad to see you're using your "management" time wisely (NOT).

31st Oct 2002, 11:54
Wow donddoit, 4 out of BAB2Bs 6 posts made since 23/08/2001 have been made during normal work hours. I'm shocked at his profligacy. Have him fired forthwith!:D

As far as my experience with ground crews goes, (10 years with what was Europe's largest independent ground handler), the issue of whar constitutes theft from an aircraft tends to be nearly impossible to solve. The only way that I can see is to have a blanket ban on all employees taking anything (offered or otherwise) from an aircraft. But we all know that most of us will accept a cup of tea, sausage, sarnie etc when we're bl00dy freezing on the ramp waiting to push back or waiting for the bags to arrive, and I include management in that. What irritates me though is how did this guy at LHR get reported? What sort of person would do that? (maybe he or she wanted a sausage and didnt get one)

Jet II
31st Oct 2002, 14:31
We all shouldn't be too hard on BAB2B and his using work time to post on this site - if he is 'surfing the web' at least he isn't coming up with more ways to screw the operation, perhaps all managers should take note?

As for the delays due to the weather, I was caught up in the fiasco at Eurotunnel on Monday when the tunnel was closed due to the weather and all the punters were being put on the ferries. Eurotunnel actually sent me a leaflet out with their tickets boasting about how they are immune to bad weather, unlike the ferries! So its not only BA that are prone to problems with a bit of wind.

BAB2B - I am glad that you know what it takes to run a successful business, please take some advice from someone a lot older than you - you will not get far in BA with that attitude.


brain fade
31st Oct 2002, 17:54
This incident illustrates BA's 'management' style perfectly.
'Penny wise, Pound Foolish' as my old gran used to say:rolleyes:

1st Nov 2002, 04:04
BAB2B, read my post again and you may notice that not once did I suggest you were one of the 'graduate managers with little or no operational experience'. Your response indicates that you do however, consider yourself to be one of them anyway. I once worked for Big Airways and my memories are that management regarded the 'workers' as a sub-human species to be beaten into compliance at every opportunity. It wasn't accidental heavy handedness either; these guys didn't just read 'Theory X' - they adopted it in its entirety, as official Personnel Policy.

The point is, 'workers' are really people. Ordinary, intelligent, thinking people, who are quite capable of getting things done by themselves as long as they are treated with respect. Disrespect them, as Big Airways management did (or still seems to do) and you see the consequences for yourself. Work is as much about social relationships as selling your time to an employer for money. Now, I don't buy 'Theory Y' any more than 'Theory X' but I still reckon scientific management as practiced at Waterworld stinks.

The gales will blow, the sausages will disappear and the crew bus drivers will continue to take their infuriating breaks, until management finally stop trying to exercise 'managerial authority' and respect their employees as human beings.

Through difficulties to the cinema

1st Nov 2002, 09:32
Once again this is yet another trip down memory lane the outcome of which will amount to nothing positive.i.e. there is a long history of stoppages for any number of reasons of which the root cause is the often posturing Management v Union, the passengers lose again and many surely do not come back. It is about time that BA sorted out one or two things, 'Do managers want to run the company' or ' Do the union reps run it'. Does anyone including many BA staff care less, because if they do not resolve these diferences eventually BA will go down the tubes, a direction it appears to be on course for regardless. No doubt its demise is greeted with glee by many others in the business.

1st Nov 2002, 13:36
Jet 11 'BAB2B - I am glad that you know what it takes to run a successful business, please take some advice from someone a lot older than you - you will not get far in BA with that attitude'.

What's your age got to do with anything? Just because B2B may be young, so what, perhaps his ideas are capable of making BA more successful. Certainly the rantings against him, rather than constructive debate only enhances the 'them n us' attitude.

Harry Wragg
1st Nov 2002, 22:05
"We know you had a choice of airline, so we thank you for choosing British Airways to leave you grounded. We look forward to your repeat custom where we will attempt to give you an even lower standard of service. British Airways, it's quicker to walk".



p.s. I stole some of British Airways air from the aircraft today. Breathed it right in whilst on the aircraft and refused to exhale until I was sure no graduate management types were watching!

2nd Nov 2002, 12:22
So, moving back to the original thread...

Can anyone explain why I went to LHR to collect someone last Sunday from BA274 SAN-LHR. While waiting for the flight to arrive I saw numerous BA 777, 767 and 747 aircraft landing, just not the 777 I wanted to see. Turns out it diverted to Prestwick, arriving just 35mins after its ETA at LHR. Captain explained on board it was due to the winds he had diverted. Seems odd when UA, AA, Kuwait B777 all landed, plus all the BA traffic. I could not see what was happening at the terminals (I was at the Green Man :) )

Then the soup thickens further... The same crew then operated the flight back from PIK to London ... Gatwick. According to the Skipper this was because there was no parking available at T4. The passengers were all offered National Express tickets to LHR on arrival but told that the coaches were "in chaos" because of the winds... Great customer care. No letter explaining the diversion(s), just a cheery wave at LGW.

Any ideas?

2nd Nov 2002, 14:28
Interesting reading for rotary chappie who only travels plank wing as SLF. I was on my way back from an overseas tour and at my departure airport told that neither BA nor KLM were flying as their flights had been cancelled due to the 'tail end of a hurricane' passing through Europe. No problem with that if the weather's bad. Then had a wait of more than 7 hours at Frankfurt with no explanations forthcoming from any of the (very few) BA staff available at T2. The Securicor? staff at the check-in desks were, however, doing their best and BA should be thankful to them for doing a good job. Eventually arrived at BHX which was about the worst place to arrive in UK (and not where I had been trying to get). The flightdeck/cabin crew were doing their best with apologies, but according to them the delayed departure was due to ATC delays at BHX! Not impressed at all with lack of any credible explanations from BA, but looking through this thread, it seems the company has a lot of other problems which is a shame as I always try and fly British if I can. Makes one think though....

Jet II
2nd Nov 2002, 14:39
About 5 BA flights form LHR and 1 from LGW also diverted to STN -as everyone else was getting in to LGW at the time I have no idea why they all went to STN and not LGW (I believe that 1 flight from LHR diverted into LGW)

The reason that I heard that BA were diverting flights away from LHR was that LHR was using the crosswind runway 23 and this cuts down on the amount of ramp parking at T4 - can anyone confirm this?

Notso Fantastic
2nd Nov 2002, 14:46
Chaps, I'm one of 'them'. Believe me, they don't pay us enough to lie! We are really not in the business of telling whoppers not because they 'want' us not to (which they don't-is that clear?), but we , the crew, will not do it ! We are not liars. You can believe the explanations you were given because they are true. You have to remember that when disruptions happen, airline lines of communication are very long and thin. There is no strange agenda, people are doing their best to get things back on track. It takes only one little thing- a crewmember running out of hours, weather, technical problems, strikes, security alerts, and it's all derailed. You are in aeroplanes with a very limited endurance and minimal time to make decisions. Sometimes it sounds as if we are really deceiving everybody whenever we can because there is a 'master plan' we don't want to let onto you, and we really deep down know all about flying saucers and Area 51 and whether the Americans really landed on the moon. Can't you just believe what the crew say? There is actually an instruction not to lie, believe it or not ! Where you get different stories is when different departments have different stories themselves. In any disruption, it is hell, and the staff are going at it 110%- so busy they don't have time or anybody to tell them the story. By all accounts it was pretty awful last week- I didn't see it. But when you have people asking you "when is the fog going to lift?", "when will the winds go?", how are the staff to know? They are just going at it for all they are worth, and they don't have any better answer than yourselves half the time. Let's leave the conspiracy, master plan theories behind!

southern duel
2nd Nov 2002, 15:10
Just to get the picture right lads regarding the high winds experienced at LHR last week

HAL were definatly getting the blame on 131.9. The 6 stands they lost due to 23 in use were given back to them at 10:00 so why they were in such a mess who knows, especially as all the other terminals were basically operating normally bar one or 2 delays. in fact terminal 3 only had 2 flights canx.

There was space at lGW to divert the 11 aircraft we had on the ground at one stage, Some of these were actually on the ground more then 4 hours !!!.
2 medical emergencies were also declared by BA036 and BA038 at nearly the same time and BA still could not find stands. The good old ops boys came to the rescue again even talking the flight crews on 131.9 to keep them informed of the impending arrivals of the ambulances.

A total fiasco from start to finish by T4 and they were even asked if they would like assistance in deplaning the pax from the airfield with coaches. This was deemed as bad customer service for the pax. I suppose sitting on the ground for 5 hours isnt !!.

Perhaps its about time BA took responsiblity for there downfalls and not blame everyone else.


3rd Nov 2002, 14:25
Last Monday I dropped a friend off at T4 for a BA flight to Tokyo. When she phoned from Japan, after the flight she said that T4 was a nightmare, with passengers everywhere and chaos reigned. Her own flight had started off quite well, but once on board they then had a 4 hour delay before take-off, which the crew said was due to a fuel problem that needed technical assisstance for rectification. So, it seems that a small part, at least, of the congestion on the ground at LHR was not due to the wind.

Notso Fantastic
3rd Nov 2002, 15:33
Let's see.....one flight had a 'fuel problem' during a day when many other flights were disrupted for weather reasons.......is there a point in this I'm missing?

3rd Nov 2002, 21:00
When unexpected s**t happens, it seems something like Kamm's theory applies: for every doubling of the s**t content you have to square the effort to resolve it.

It happens in any situation where you have people and stress involved, and particularly when the freight happens to be articulate.

BA as the supposed epitome of efficiency and as a provider of service passengers expect to be impeccable, may be particularly prone to virulent criticism when the fertilizer hits the ventilator. In many other places the discomfort and doubt as to what was likely to happen in the next fifteen minutes or three hours would be met by resigned shrugs.

Airlines and many other industries have crisis centres for dealing with disasters and abnormal incidents - oilspills in my field for instance. I'm wondering (just a mental excercise, not suggesting) how airlines could best attempt to deal with passenger angst. Could schedule disruption not be treated as a crisis in something like the same way an accident is?

I'm not suggesting spin-doctoring. But inevitably, in the stress of events, line people under stress develop their own answer formula - I mean ground staff, not flight crew, NSF) or they just keep quiet and let the passengers stew (could there possibly be a standard sort of way to announce "your baggage hasn't been delivered because a) aircraft are all over the place out of sequence and b) when we tried bringing your bags from the aircraft the luggage trolleys were all blown over by the wind"). Surely there must be a way to help the people at the front line get appropriate messages across to the customers.

I don't think the size of the airline makes a blind bit of difference.

4th Nov 2002, 21:43
So what exactly are the wind limits for such items as Elevators, Jetties, steps etc. Obviously, if T1/2/3 and LGW operated with the same equipment then the problem lies with T4 Management/Unions. Sadly, lots of good BA people who tried valiently to keep the operation going were caught up in the crossfire. The problems lie squarely within the confines of T4. However, no one need ask why BA turned a blind eye to the alledged Cabin Crew involvement.....

5th Nov 2002, 22:11
it seems that T4 is struggling to cope with all the traffic generated by BA, its no wonder when most of the LGW routes have or are being tranferred to LHR.

12th Nov 2002, 16:36

'the more meanial the job'.

We all have a job to do but why should the job of baggage handler/loader be described as 'meanial'.

You get the passengers from a to b as quickly and safely as possible,we the cabin crew attempt to deliver the best possible
service be it with a sub-standard product.......... but the loaders just do the bags and cargo!!.

They are an equally important part of the customer service chain
as we are,because no matter what we do well if the punter does not get their bag quickly or not at all thats what they remember.

If their union decides that due to the fact that T4 is more open to the winds (and I don't know if this is true) and it is unsafe then so be it.

In my three years on the ramp at Heathrow I knew two people who died at work in accidents and at least six serious injuries,
including severed fingers due to an aircraft door.

BALPA make decisions on your behalf and the T4 union made this decision for the safety of their members.I fully understand the chaos this caused and would not believe the union would have
wanted it this to happen for fun.

I end by saying BALPA may shortly have to fight for your pay claim and your future(I wish them success) and it will not be for I ,my union or any other union to get involved in your politics however I do wish my flight crew colleagues good luck in the coming months.

Bye from a 'meanial' member of cabin crew!!! :D :D


13th Nov 2002, 11:34
I was in Nice. Easyjet running with about 30 minutes delay. BMI (my flight) departed 1.25 hours late, finally deplaned 3.5 hours late (an an hour on the ground at LHR waiting for a gate), but they got us home. BA cancelled (quote from board behind BA desk at Nice) "because of 100 kmh winds!!!!" (they were down to 25 kmh by that time). And your on your own because it's not our fault.

Great publicity for BA: people so glad they paid more to travel with a full service carrier.

13th Nov 2002, 14:13
Just wondering, did the wind rised after the driver consumed the sausage? There must be a connection, I usually refuse airline sausages because they give me a terrible gas.

Millions of pounds lost over a sausage, can't believe my eyes, only in the Blighty.

A Sausage! A Sausage! My Kingdom for a Sausage!



13th Nov 2002, 14:24
If all this is true, the airline must of lost over a million pounds
and all over a sausage that was going to be thrown, or do we recycle food now!!!
The person that should have been fired should be the person that fired the driver for not using his disretion.
Instead BA and associated companies now have Egg over their face!!!