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LHR T5 Delays

Old 21st Feb 2022, 12:03
  #1 (permalink)  
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LHR T5 Delays

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60464257

I flew into LHR on Saturday evening and got caught up in the melee that was going on in T5, my inbound flight was delayed 1.5hrs and we were obliged to sit on the tarmac for a further 2hrs as there was no-one to ground-service the aircraft. The arrivals hall was crowded beyond belief and my hunch to travel with hand-baggage only came up trumps, as there were delays for arriving passengers receiving their baggage of several hours if at all.......

I appreciate that there had been high winds the day before, but was surprised that BA hadn't planned for enough staff to deal with the many flights that they had arriving at the weekend. There didn't seem to be strong winds when I arrived that might hamper ground-services, my flight ended up on a remote stand that required a bus, so I was able to judge the general conditions. These things happen and I accepted the situation, but many others were less so inclined especially as they had flown for half a day, waited several hours to de-board and then no baggage. On reading an article (not the above) there were comments to the effect of 'snowflakes', 'be glad you landed safely' and so on to the complaints of the delays. I was relatively fortunate, although 3hrs late, though I do feel for those badly affected. Any insightful comments chaps ?
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Old 21st Feb 2022, 13:06
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Sorry to hear all that but not surprised…..I left BA 2 years back, so this the following opinion is based on working under different senior management.

….surprised that BA hadn't planned for enough staff to deal with the many flights that they had arriving at the weekend.
Manning was cut to the bone years ago and I think it was accepted unofficially, (perhaps even officially) that there would be no extra carried on the payroll to cater for the 1 day in 100/200/ a year or event when you actually needed the extra bods.

Result: when the 1 in X days happens, as it will, as it did…

I’m not sure whether budget constraints would have allowed managers to entice people to come in to work an extra shift at weekends by paying overtime, and TBH I think fewer and fewer people were willing to come in unpaid, especially at a weekend.

my hunch to travel with hand-baggage only came up trumps
Very wise, I gave up on routinely traveling which a suitcase when traveling to work or when working years ago…..unfortunately I haven’t had much success getting the family to follow that example on the rare occasions we have flown on holiday…



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Old 21st Feb 2022, 20:17
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Ahh delays and airports. I think Wiggy has nailed it. Not enough staff, coupled with staffing shortages caused by covid isolations and weather issues means chaos. I rarely have an issue with checked bags but I do accept that there can be delays and minor disappointments.
To that end, I now use an Apple AirTag to track my luggage. (Tile works with Android phones). It was invaluable 2 weeks ago when my bag decided not to join me on the BA flight from JFK to LHR. I could tell the baggage services where it was so that stopped the old "oh they are still unloading" waffle. I watched it get loaded onto the next day's flight and then watched it traipse around London in a courier van.

If you are a regular flyer and you check luggage, they are worth their weight in gold.
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Old 22nd Feb 2022, 07:22
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A few years back we were traveling Eurostar London Paris when there was a major "incident" (=suicide). They announced "delays" but within 10 minutes the whole area was flooded by dozens of staff wearing day-glo jackets with "Customer Support" on the back - basically they mobilise almost everyone in the office and get them out front. They had prepared sheets with phone numbers to call, details for compensation etc. and were really well briefed and helpful

They said they'd try and get people out in the correct order if not the correct time and that it would probably be 3-4 hours before they were up and running. Most people wandered off to find a space elsewhere. We called the number, got straight through, were rebooked for early evening. One of the girls when asked said it made a good break from the day job.

It can be done - but you have to put customers FIRST - something I've not noticed by either LHR or BA over the years
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Old 22nd Feb 2022, 17:40
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If ever the news mentions " Weather " The French " or even " pay Negotiations " Expect the worse, you won't be dissapointed
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 02:20
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These stories reminded me of a delay at (Thread Drift) T4, pre-T5. It was Wenesday 5th November 1987 and I was due out to Paris Orly for a full day at the client, whose office was very close to the airport.

I left from a client in North West London and drove, in heavy rain, to the short term park. It was only at BA check in that I learnt a VS 340 had had a problem with undercarriage on landing. I think it was a -300 but someone will correct. The left wing gear did not descend and lock, so their did their best and all went well. Save for the blocked runway.

As you will know, the delays then mount exponentially and we were waiting for some time. I was lucky to be in C but the lounge was very full. After a few hours, they advised that two flights were being combined. Our 757 (I think) was combined onto another 757 going to CDG now on a 767. I had been due out around 19:00 (I think) but we were boarded about 22:00 and then sat waiting for a slot. Because we might be off at any second, there was no cabin service. Fortunately, my overnight bag had my standard bottle of water, flapjack (UK style!) and a chocolate bar. Neighbour pax were envious of my precautions.

Arriving CDG gone midnight local, the ORY crowd were put on a coach and we set off round the Périphérique at 'French' speed - which I was pleased about, other than that it was also teeming with rain there! I got into the hotel room at about 01:30 local and deployed the mini-bar before having to be out at 08:00. Because my outbound had been moved to CDG, they kindly made my return from there too - so it was back across the city.

That was my Thursday. I was in the other clients office on Friday morning, putting on a good show of knowing what was going on.

Last edited by PAXboy; 23rd Feb 2022 at 23:38.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 08:54
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yes well - in the late 80's I can remember battling back though hellish delays and problems from Rome via Paris to arrive at LHR well after midnight ...

next morning Mrs A asked "why in Gods name didn't you overnight in Rome or Paris, enjoy the evening and catch the early flight".... there really was no other answer than galloping idiocy
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 14:28
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Son of Slot
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Yes Asturias56 but, sometimes, you get the "You're never home but in a hotel on expenses!" Happily, my current work has been based from home for 18 years.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 17:55
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Paxing All Over The World
 
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Does that 18 years include your work in the PPRuNe 'cabin' S.o.S.?
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 20:35
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Son of Slot
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There's always one ... You know full well PAXboy that my time spent in the the Cabin is not work but a delight and honour.
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 14:12
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you missed out "privilege" SoS
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 16:08
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Son of Slot
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There's always Two...
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