British Airways Suffers Third Day Of Cancellations
By the time this is over, the well-documented problems in 1994
with automated baggage handlers at Denver's then-new International
Airport -- including the system's propensity for hurtling missorted
bags -- may look like a walk in the park compared to the ongoing,
full-fledged breakdown at British Airways' new Terminal Five at
For a third day in a row, passengers unfortunate enough to be
flying out of the brand new terminal -- opened with great flourish
two weeks ago, by none other than Queen Elizabeth II -- were likely
to experience delays, frustrations, and flight cancellations.
At least some may also be able to take in a show... as at least
one incident of a fistfight breaking out between BA staffers has
been reported, according to The Press Association.
What's to blame for the awful case of terminal meltdown? It's
difficult to pinpoint a single source of the agita, though teething
pains with new systems at T5 -- intended to be the flagship
terminal for British Airways, and the hub for most of its flights
-- seem the likely catch-all scapegoat.
As a result, passengers stuck inside the gleaming terminal --
waiting overnight or longer for other flights -- have had plenty of
time to take in the "thought and care" the Queen noted went into
And they'd just as soon get the hell out.
"It feels like we are crash-landed here," said Thor Joergersen,
stuck with his wife and two daughters in the new terminal. "We got
here at 3am and our flight was supposed to leave at 7:15am, but it
was cancelled and they didn't tell us.
"They didn't tell us where to go and
we've been moving from queue to queue," he added to The Scotsman.
Tony Pascoe said some of the scenes playing out in the new
terminal amounted to a free-for-all. "None of the desks was open
and we were told to stand in a queue," he said. "After standing
there for God knows how long they opened one and people who had
just walked into the terminal began jumping in. It was chaotic," he
"Everyone who had been queuing were annoyed and a lot of
jostling and arguing started," he added. "It is diabolical. I am a
frequent traveller and this is my worst experience ever -- it is
British Airways told fliers Saturday to expect far fewer
cancellations on Sunday -- with "only" 37 cancelled flights. While
not a figure to be proud of by any stretch of the imagination,
that's a marked improvement over Saturday... which saw 57 out of
347 British Airways flights scrapped.
"British Airways plans to operate a larger proportion of its
Heathrow Terminal 5 flying program on Sunday, with 294 out of 331
scheduled flights operating," said a British Airways spokeswoman.
"All long haul flights from Terminal 5 will operate as
Perhaps it's appropriate this story includes a Queen... as no
one is amused.