“There are bound to be teething troubles, but hey, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and wait to hear travellers’ tales after the 27th. Watch this space.”
That was what I said about Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 in my blog “5 Alive – nearly” on March 17th. I think you probably know by now, dear reader, that the first days of British Airways’ new state-of-the-art terminal – what the Queen described as “a 21st century gateway to Britain - were an unmitigated disaster. Lost luggage, flight cancellations and faulty elevators resulted in furious passengers and contrite authorities. “Not our finest hour,” said BA’s Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, with some understatement.
One delayed (British) traveller commented: “Why is it that whenever anything big is built in Britain, it’s over budget and doesn’t work properly?”
Answers on a postcard please …
by Andy Moreton
(A BA spokewoman has blamed the glitches on “staff familiarization”. Meanwhile, a baggage worker was quoted by the BBC as saying “They have been doing tests on the belt system for the last few weeks and knew it wasn’t going right. The computer cannot cope with the number of bags going through”. Even visiting dignitries are not immune to the situation after David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary had an embarrassing meeting with Vuk Jeremic, the Serbian Foreign Minister who complained about his experience at Terminal 5 after his bags were lost.)