Mitch Joel WARNING... LONG RANT! It takes a lot for me to both get angry and publish about it. Canada’s…
Heathrow Terminal 5
The disastrous events at Terminal 5 should be looked at in the light of an earlier (March 12) declaration from IATA:
Failure: UK Economic Regulation of Airports
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) blasted as a failure the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to allow costs at London airports to rise by a massive 50% between 2008 and 2013.
For Heathrow the CAA has allowed charges per passenger to rise by 23.5% from 1 April 2008, followed by increases of 7.5% plus inflation for each of the following four years. In the case of Gatwick, a similar 21% hike from 1 April 2008 will be followed by increases of 2% plus inflation for each of the following four years.
In 2006 BAA generated an operating profit of 35% at Heathrow, which produced a net return on capital invested of 15.3%—twice the level of the cost of capital set by the regulator.
An unnamed EU foreign minister has been caught up in the baggage backlog at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband says.
Writing in his blog, Mr Miliband describes how the minister told him he had lost his bags on his way to an informal meeting in Slovenia.
The minister who was in transit was told the bags could take weeks to find.”He asked me to pass on a message to BA/BAA: ‘For goodness’ sake, get your act together’,” said Mr Miliband. More
BA ‘not good enough’ admits chief executive as T5 chaos continues
(The Independent) BA said 400 staff members had volunteered to come in on their day off to sort through the mountain of 15,000 lost items of baggage. Mr Walsh said computer problems had arisen which had not occurred when the system was tested. But he admitted that the airline’s performance had “not been good enough”.
A total of 37 flights – mostly short-haul flights to other UK airports or European destinations – were cancelled yesterday and his press office said it “could not promise” there would not be more cancellations this week.
Flight from D/FW marks lifting of limits on travel to Europe
(The Dallas Morning News) An American Airlines Inc. flight will kick off the new “Open Skies” era today when it takes off from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 5:20 p.m. headed for London’s Heathrow Airport [which] experienced a second day of embarrassing glitches at its new terminal Friday.
That timing makes American’s Flight 50 the first new U.S. flight to take advantage of a treaty that now opens up Europe in general and Heathrow in particular to a lot more airline competition.
Dozens more flights cancelled at newly built Heathrow Terminal 5
(Canadian Press) LONDON — Heathrow Airport’s new Terminal 5 limped into the weekend, hobbled by cancellations and struggling to clear a backlog of thousands of stranded bags.
British Airways PLC said 67 flights into and out of the London terminal were cancelled Saturday and the airline was still trying to get 15,000 pieces of luggage to their owners.
BA is expecting to scrap 37 flights Sunday.
T5 cancellations set to continue
Flight cancellations at the new Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport will continue well into next week.
British Airways plans to operate about 85% of flights on Sunday, 87% on Monday and Tuesday and a “progressively larger flying programme” throughout the week.
Only about 80% of flights were taking off on Saturday, and many passengers had to fly without their luggage.
The chaos is due to problems with the baggage handling system. About 15,000 bags are stranded at Heathrow.
Check-in was suspended for an hour on Saturday morning as airport workers attempted to deal with the backlog of bags.
Bags stacked up
BA has confirmed an estimated 15,000 bags are being held but one source told the BBC that the number may be closer to 20,000. The bags are stacked up across all terminals at the airport.
What did go wrong at Terminal 5?
The problems appear to be due to a combination of factors.
Some were technical, involving glitches with the sophisticated new baggage set-up, which is designed to handle 12,000 bags an hour.
But other issues were more mundane. Employees arriving for work, for example, could not find their way to the staff car park.
Airport launch chaos terminal problem
Denver, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur all experienced well-publicised glitches at their launches.
Perhaps the biggest problems were encountered at America’s Denver International Airport, which not only opened a year late in 1995 because of technical faults with the baggage system, its first day was then marred by problems with bay allocation and luggage handling, which led to long queues and lost bags. A number of Asian airports also had rocky starts.
Hemmed in at Heathrow
London’s main airport is bursting at the seams. A third runway and a sixth terminal are not the answer to the congestion
(The Economist) TERMINAL 5, a £4.3 billion ($8.5 billion) glass-and-steel palace, stands as a monumental rebuke to the shabby, low-rise buildings that form most of the rest of Heathrow airport. T5‘s opening day, March 27th, was marred by the delays and missing baggage for which London’s main gateway is infamous. But travel should become more bearable for customers of British Airways (BA), which has exclusive use of T5. Punctuality is predicted to improve and passing through security should take just a few minutes. In time, T5 is expected to handle 30m passengers a year.
The question now is whether Heathrow can grow even more. In the next few months Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister, must decide whether to press ahead with the building of a third runway and a sixth terminal at Heathrow by 2020.
Queen opens new Heathrow terminal
The Queen has officially opened Heathrow Airport’s controversial Terminal 5, describing it as “a 21st Century gateway to Britain”.
The £4.3bn terminal, set to begin operating on 27 March, will offer extra passenger capacity but no more flights. Operator BAA said it would put Heathrow at “the leading edge of global travel” but environmental groups say it will lead to more flights and pollution.