T5 chaos dampens BAs spirits

THE grand opening of British Airway’s Heathrow Terminal 5 yesterday was a flop, to say the least!

Check-in was eventually abandoned as the chaos of system failures, lack of staff and lost baggage wreaked havoc.

Some 34 flights were cancelled yesterday as the new baggage system collapsed and British Airways has cancelled a further 34 flights from Terminal 5 (T5) today.

Problems were caused by delays at the staff car park and security hold-ups which affected baggage handlers. Cancelled services included flights to Germany, France and Belgium, while many services were also hit by delays of up to four hours.

“We sincerely apologise to those customers who have suffered disrupted journeys or baggage delays during the first day in T5. We always knew the first day would represent a unique challenge. A number of early problems grew during the course of the day which led to significant disruption for our customers,” said BA chief executive Willie Walsh.

BA transferred most of its services to T5 between 11.00 pm last night and 4.00 am this morning. The move involved more than 1,000 vehicles, 27 short-haul aircraft and more than 2,500 ground staff. It was hoped T5’s new luggage system, which was designed to handle some 12,000 bags an hour, would help improve the luggage performance of Ferrovial-owned airport operator BAA and BA.

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