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Were you crew on BA 064 (B777) NBO-LHR, dep Wed 14th June arr 15th approx 0700L

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Were you crew on BA 064 (B777) NBO-LHR, dep Wed 14th June arr 15th approx 0700L

Old 18th Jun 2006, 11:33
  #1 (permalink)  
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Were you crew on BA 064 (B777) NBO-LHR, dep Wed 14th June arr 15th approx 0700L

A (non-aviation) friend was on this flight and reports as follows:

Shambles boarding because economy passengers brought to aircraft half-an-hour too early because plane wasn't ready. Stampede when it was ready. Club class passengers brought too late so they were jeered at.

Aircraft found to be overweight for takeoff, hence 45 minutes extra delay to offload freight.

Missed slot so had to cruise to FL280 for hours. Therefore short of fuel so had to cruise at Long Range Cruise which took forever.

20 minutes to cross the runways after landing at LHR.

Waited 15 minutes for pier which never materialised, parked on remotest of remote stands.

Terminal 4 arrivals worse than a zoo, hopelessly congested.

Could all of this possibly correct? Were the problems at NBO simply an Africa thing rather than of BA's own making? Was BA trying to be greedy with the freight and got caught out by a temperature/wind/pressure change? Is LHR always like this?

Bearing in mind that most of the plane seemed to be given over to Club Class, just how long will high-revenue passengers put up with this sort of treatment before they fly with someone else through somewhere other than LHR?

This is not a jibe at BA, simply a request for an explanation because I'm hoping that my friend has got the wrong end of the stick.
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 11:46
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Couldonlyaffordafiver
 
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20 minutes to cross the runways after landing at LHR.

Waited 15 minutes for pier which never materialised, parked on remotest of remote stands.

Terminal 4 arrivals worse than a zoo, hopelessly congested.
I wasn't involved with this flight but I can assure you that the three examples above are part of a normal day at LHR.

As for the rest, there may be some sort of Africa factor involved although I've operated out of NBO several times with no real problems.
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 12:01
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the lunatic fringe
 
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Club class passengers brought too late so they were jeered at.
Who jeered at at the Club Passengers? The crew or other passengers! Sounds a little far fetched either way.
Missed slot
I go to NBO every other month or so. Never ever had a slot out of NBO. Ever, not never. But if your friend said so, then it must be true.
so had to cruise to FL280 for hours. Therefore short of fuel so had to cruise at Long Range Cruise which took forever.
How does the non aviation person know what the fuel state was, and how was he/ she able to get into the flight deck and look in the FMC and see they were cruising at Long Range Cruise speed. Never mind the assumption thet LRC is slower than "normal".
20 minutes to cross the runways after landing at LHR.
Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more runways.
Waited 15 minutes for pier which never materialised, parked on remotest of remote stands.
Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more stands.
Terminal 4 arrivals worse than a zoo, hopelessly congested.
Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs terminal 5 now.
Were the problems at NBO simply an Africa thing rather than of BA's own making? Was BA trying to be greedy with the freight and got caught out by a temperature/wind/pressure change?
Impossible to know without asking the Captain of the day.
Is LHR always like this?
No. Normally worse.
ong will high-revenue passengers put up with this sort of treatment before they fly with someone else through somewhere other than LHR?
Not long I suspect.
This is not a jibe at BA,
Sure looks like another pop at BA to me
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 12:12
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Bigbusdriver

I don't work for BA, but you describe what typically happens when one thing goes wrong and leads to a load of other problems.

Agent brings pax at wrong time; doubt that was at the request of the operating crew.

A/c found to be overweight. Well I doubt the crew planned it that way. It may have been tight on that particular day and they would have planned with the figures they had at the planning stage. To find that the real figures on the loadsheet are different is not something the crew had any control over until the loadsheet arrived.

A/c then found to be overweight so crew did the only thing they could do; offload something, in this case the freight. Once again, you can't necessarily blame the crew who would not have intentionally planned to be overweight requiring a delay to offload weight.

Getting someone to offload the freight doesn't happen instantaneously. Depending on what you are offloading, it may not be just inside the cargo hold either, requiring a bit more 'rooting' to get it out. This all takes time, especially if another piece of freight needs re-securing afterwards.

Missed slot. Well that's what I mean by a knock-on effect when one thing goes wrong. Crew would have maneged this with their operations as expeditiously as they could and the option to cruise at a lower level obviously meant minimising the delay.

Another example of a knock-on effect is the low level cruise leading to a long range cruise due limitations on fuel, again a curve ball thrown at the crew who obviously did everything they could to minimize the dealy.

20 minutes to cross the runways at Heathrow? Perfectly normal and I don't see how your friend can complain about this, especially as it is not down to the carrier! Completely unrelated issue.

15 minutes for a gate? Well, Heathrow is overcrowded and if a spanner goes in the works anywhere it can quickly lead to chaos. Perhaps the carrier could be blamed for this though, but certainly not the crew. Parked on a remote stand? So what? Would your friend rather have sat on the aircraft for longer waiting for a gate? Again, the crew were just making decisions based on what happened.

T4 a zoo? Yep, agree. Answer? T5.

So I think perhaps your friend should complain to the carrier about the level of service, but should also commend the actions of the crew on the day who (by the sounds of it) did a great job dealing with the various problems.

PP

p.s. I know you never pointed a finger at the crew in question, but the title of the thread seems to ask about who operated it.....
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 14:52
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Having operated out of NBO recently, and had problems with freight and pax, the problems we had were with the resident Swissport station staff who seemed to be doing their utmost to sabotage the BA operatiopn there. The only sensible voice was to be found at the end of a mobile fone sat in Jo'burg.. Apparently the local operation has been hived oss to Swissport and so the ex BA staff seem keen on getting their own back by sabotaging the BA operation where they can. One particular "dispatcher" springs to mind....
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 16:11
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Pilot Pete,

You are right, the title does seem to imply a criticism, but absolutely none intended. My request for "who operated?" was simply to get hold of the facts first hand. I'm sure the whole crew did the best they could under the circumstances. Apologies if I was misleading.

L337, thanks for your extremely helpful reply, we are now all the wiser for it.
Re "slot", the PA may have been to the effect that because of the delay, the optimum level had been given to someone else. The Club passengers were jeered at by some economy passengers, fact.

I repeat, not a jibe at BA. But interesting that Swissport are shown up as their usual appalling norm. That would explain most of it.

Will Terminal 5 really cure most of BA's LR headaches? I sincerely hope so. Whatever your views about BA, it is essential for Britain that the main airport functions as well as its competitors.


(Edited for stupid typo)

Last edited by bigbusdriver06; 18th Jun 2006 at 17:32.
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 17:00
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I dont think BA are at fault here!!

Working in the described scenario day in day out, I watch airlines trying their very best to get the services correct.
However, it doesn't always go as planned. Particularly when you have a pile of completely under motivated, low paid staff looking after flights, who couldn't give a monkeys whether club class are sat at the front or in the hold!! That is the reality of nearly every airport I have worked at!

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Old 18th Jun 2006, 19:02
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Swissport were never any good at STN , quite why anybody should think they would be any better in NBO ( or anywhere else in mid africa ) beggars belief
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 20:00
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"20 minutes to cross the runways after landing at LHR.
Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more runways."

"Waited 15 minutes for pier which never materialised, parked on remotest of remote stands."
Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more stands.

Actually BAA are trying to get the 3rd runway, try the government or the Keens (MP Couple opposed to LHR Growth). I hope that the friend on board or some other pax on board was a part of the Anti LHR brigade. This would directly show them the consequences of preventing further expansion.
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Old 18th Jun 2006, 20:34
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Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more runways.
Actually I would send the letter to one Mr T. Blair, 10 Downing St., London. LHR desperately needs a 3rd runway and that is NOT BA's fault. The government needs to pull their finger out and get the shambles that is LHR sorted out.
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 06:37
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Well said!!!


We are all doing our best to cut down on fuel consumption, cutting down costs and global impact etc; but holding for 20 mins around London with 4 RB211's burning away seems to be un-looked at !!!

Welcome to the UK, sorry about the 30 minute hold and the 40 minute taxi in.......
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 10:16
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Long taxi and holding at LHR normal...won't really change with extra runways, terminals etc, more capacity will mean more passengers can be pushed through the airport. When T5 opens and gets over its inevitable teething problems, it will be lovely to pass through, out to the still congested taxiways and runways! After a little while, more and more passengers will be travelling through T5 and it will be as congested as T4 and T3 is now. There probabaly will still be a shortage of BAA security staff so will still be long delays for that.!!!
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 12:26
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Having flown from NBO last week (Sun 11th) on the 767 flight, let me tell you, if anything is to go by the Swissport staff were utterly useless.

Rude at checkin, told us to get to the deptarture gate extra early (1.5hrs before take-off - we ignored them, and went to the lounge) due to security checks, which we compeleted when in 5 minutes when we arrived. We then had to sit for 30minutes in the holding pen before boarding. Push back was late, due to cargo being loaded late.

The crew I spoke to, were less than happy - although some were unhappy at having to work at 767 longhaul, which I understand (from them) is less comfortable that a 747 or 777.

Overall, Swissport can take the blame.

Jordan

PS - even at 1645L when we arrived at LHR onto the Northern runway, we had a long taxi, and it took forever to get a chance to cross the southern runway, and then forever to get a jetway in the cul-de-sac. Oh and we had to cruise at 31000ft until crossing into the Med. I think its all quite normal.
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 12:50
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What Heathrow needs is BAA to stop deliberately allowing far more planes than the airport can handle. Heathrow will never ever get another runway (even if they did BAA would still just allow too many planes). Location and politics will prevent, always has, always will.
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 13:01
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Actually, what needs to happen to stop the holding for heathrow is for the airlines to sit down and negotiate arrival times with each other, instead of all trying to pile in or depart at the same time to the same routes...

That is not going to happen though, as the reason they all want to get out to the same destinations at the same time and return from them at same time is because that is what Joe Public wants.

BAA are not going to put a stop to it because it may scare the airlines elsewhere... it's a no win situation I'm afraid
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 16:24
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Originally Posted by L337
Who jeered at at the Club Passengers? The crew or other passengers! Sounds a little far fetched either way.

I go to NBO every other month or so. Never ever had a slot out of NBO. Ever, not never. But if your friend said so, then it must be true.

How does the non aviation person know what the fuel state was, and how was he/ she able to get into the flight deck and look in the FMC and see they were cruising at Long Range Cruise speed. Never mind the assumption thet LRC is slower than "normal".

Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more runways.

Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs more stands.

Please send a letter to the BAA. LHR needs terminal 5 now.

Impossible to know without asking the Captain of the day.

No. Normally worse.

Not long I suspect.

Sure looks like another pop at BA to me
ha ha! superb reply! and so true, LHR is the worst airport! you slog your guts out to make your pax happy during the flight, then land at LHR and wait 20mns to cross the runway! then you wait 20mns for a stand! then you get a remote stand and wait 10mns for someone to switch on the guidance system! then you wait 20mns for steps and buses! and god help you if you've requested the high lift!!!!!
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 19:24
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and god help you if you've requested the high lift!!!!!
...and my record for that is 1 hour 20. The passenger, and his wife were going bonkers. What do you say to them? You can only say sorry so many times. The crew were none too chuffed either.

Heathrow is pants.

L337
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 20:23
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A Solution? You could always ditch LHR and interline through Schiphol. It might be in another country but you can be there in the time it takes to get from the gate to the LHR long stay car park.

Heathrow is an absolute shambles and it always will be. I can't see that T5 will alleviate any of the problems, merely move them to another part of the airfield. T5 really is going to be just a nice shopping centre for the BAA!

The big problem is crossing the runways at peak times. Maybe the LHR management ought to look to other big airports to see how they achieve it. There are seldom the sort of problems at Frankfurt, even if you don't get to land on the Lufthansa runway you can still get to the gate reasonably expeditiously. At Schiphol, you might have to taxi a similar distance as going to the moon, but at least you can cross the active take off or landing runways with the new taxiways around the protected ends of the runways.

LHR's problems will always be a political bugbear and unless someone stands up to the NIMBY's and flattens a large portion of Hounslow there will never be any improvement. If you can't spread out on the site then it is surely time to reconsider Heathrow and either make it a long-haul only base or short-haul. What London needs is a NEW dedicated super sky-port and it is only the politicians who could achieve that by standing up to the Greens and their ilk.
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 20:30
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Couldonlyaffordafiver
 
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The big problem is crossing the runways at peak times.
At least T5 should solve that problem for BA. Unfortunately it's unlikely to help with the rest.
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Old 19th Jun 2006, 21:42
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Operate out of NBO, sounds like situation normal re loading! Just a quick one on NBO slots, there aren't any but the north/south routes through Khartoum FIR are getting busier and busier, and they still require 15 mins seperation between a/c on their routes and that causes delays or having to accept a lower level out of NBO. We call it 'slots' on the PA for ease too. 15 mins = 100 NM plus in most A/C... little excessive me thinks in this day and age??
LHR? 45 mins for take off.... :/
PS Any one clue me in on BA SIDS/STARS in NBO?
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