Heathrow Terminal 5! Pull Yourself Together!

OMG Heathrow Terminal 5, you are a mess. Get it together, mate. Come on.

First there was the fact that the architects, engineers and designers seemed to have overlooked including one passenger-accessible electrical outlet. Hello! It’s the 21st century calling, permission to plug in, please.

Then there was the crazy biometrics – all terrorists, right this way, that’s right, all terrorists, please depart form Terminal 5 only! – give me a break. They at least canceled that idea.

Well, now they’ve opened for business – if the cancellation of scores of flights have stranded travelers – and their luggage – for an indefinite period of time as even today, the terminal is expected to run at 87 percent capacity.

This was after their first shining moment, in which “the first flight on Thursday arrived from Hong Kong eight minutes early. BA’s first woman pilot, Lynn Barton, was in command.” Awesome! It’s a shame it went all downhill from there.

Best quote: “BA chief executive Willie Walsh said it ‘was not our finest hour’ and the debacle had affected both the airline’s and Britain’s reputations.” Don’t get cheeky with Churchill at us, Willy. It makes you look disingenuous.


2 thoughts on “Heathrow Terminal 5! Pull Yourself Together!

  1. It’s not just Terminal Five. Is there an airport where it is more difficult to figure out how to make a connection? I speak English as my first language and I have been there at least a dozen times, and I still have more trouble there than anywhere, even small exotic Asian airports.

  2. This was bound to happen and the evidence was there from many years coming. Allow me to explain.

    Together with the rest of the UK the language of the UK has changed in say the past 30 years. Words such as “customers” feature very prominently and are intimately related to promotion propects of anyone in Britain today. Gone are the days when COMPLEX things were undertaken correctly, because COMPLEXITY requires concepts such as “CLIENT BENEFIT” but our “business” leaders speak about “customer satisfaction”. Today I saw the CEO of British Airways apologizing to “customers” at T5 as if the solution to the problem is related to “customer satisfaction” rather than to client benefit, rather than to having someone in charge of British Airways with high technical education, someone with a PHD for example.

    I am convinced that all of this mess has to do with having a bunch of uneducated people at the top of these firms such as British Airways. Typically you get “managers” and “people persons” and “aggressive MBA types” who all speak about “our customers” and that is how they get promoted.

    Delivering a T5 is a complex system which requires that sufficient people at the top of BA and BAA have a very solid technical training to handle the complex. Life is not simple, it is complex, and so you need extremely numerate people, “German Engineers” to run such an operation, rather than these overpaid and political people sheisters.

    I never fly BA. Once they tried to sell me an upgrade to the flat bed in business class and the cabin crew described the seat as “a product”. “let me show you the product” he said. So I replied “It is not a product man it is just a seat”.

    You see this in premium economy. The seat looks very beautiful but it is unccomfortable as hell.

    My view is that I just fly airlines such as Iceland Air of the Far East airlines, societies that reward and place the research engineers in charge of things.

    So there is my explanation about why the mess occurred in T5

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