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LHR Impressions  
User currently offlineMacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1038 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1954 times:

flew VIE - LHR - ABZ on monday 5th:

I had to wait some 3 hours without being permitted in a lounge at LHR. So I took a piece of rotten sandwich in plastic and watched out of the window - it was unbelieveable:

a BD plane was unloaded and prepared for the next leg. a bunch of baggae handlers unlodad the plane with those conveyor belts. every now and then a suitcase fell off the plane and smashed on the floor (5 times as i watched).

every minute, the baggage would get stuck between belt and handrail. then some guy would step on the belt, but not on the side! they are walking and jumping on the suitcases and bags and clear the problem by tearing at the stuck bags.

it is unbelievable how those guys are dealing with passenger belongings. I remember my last trip through LHR, when I arrived at VIE and 2/3 of the pax on BA (including me) missed thier baggage. (despite 4 hrs transit) the rest of the Pax received their baggage completely damaged. the suitcases looked as run over by a tank.

I have to say that this experience reduced my readiness to travel through LHR to zero. Thats untolerable!


I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineThorben From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1921 times:

Maybe they need more CCTV to watch those people.  sarcastic 

Thanks for sharing your experience, I know that I'll try to avoid Heathrow now.


User currently offlineAtco2b From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 1114 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1901 times:

How do you know it doesnt happen at your home airport?  Sad

It must happen worldwide, not just LHR!



Hey, you want to go out for pizza and some sex? What, you don't like pizza?
User currently offlineBMIbaby733 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1854 times:

Yes it does happen all over the world!!!
I was at MAN 1st of september i watched my flight being loaded with bags 60% of backs hung over the edge of the conveyor belt about half way up so the handlers kicked them back on!!! full view of all the Pax in the terminal building!
Then when i arrived at PMI they were doing much of thes same! the layout of the terminal at PMI allows you to see the aircraft you just got off for about 10 minutes as you walk round in a semi circle to get your bags!
The ineuropa handlers just didn't care! they were throwing and slamming bags here there and everywhere ! they even kicked the biggers off the bottom of the belt so they could fit the smaller ones in baggage carrage easier!!!
and on the return flight more of the same and my case was scraped and damaged!
I actually remember flying into LPL and bag came through with 2 fresh footprints on it!!!
Don't think it will ever change!!


User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1794 times:

I think it's a well known fact that passenger bags are treated like concrete bricks

User currently offlineMacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1038 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

I have been around many airports, but only in LHR had I watched such a behaviour. there it was not the first time to see the baggage kicked and walked on.

at least for VIE I have to remark, that such things never came before my eyes. at least they wouldnt do it before the eyes of passenggers...



I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
User currently offlineLewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3629 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1725 times:

The funniest thing I have seen in LHR from the terminal was a parcel/box full of FRAGILE stickers being loaded with a belt and falling down to the tarmac before reaching the top. Then it was picked up and placed again on the belt.

User currently offlinePilot kaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1732 times:

Quoting Macc (Reply 5):
I have been around many airports, but only in LHR had I watched such a behaviour. there it was not the first time to see the baggage kicked and walked on.

Did you even think to blame the handling agency?, No blaming the whole airport sounds much better! banghead 


User currently offlineMacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1038 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1688 times:

Pilot Kaz, yes, blame the handling agency!

But think of it, then you should agree that one has to blame the airlines and the airport as well. if the handling agency acts like this, airlines (who actually loose money through claims) and the airport should take action, as this definitly spoils the reputation of anyone involved. failing to do so is as bad as the bad behaviour of the ground guys.

no bashing of LHR, but if thats typically (and for me it is as everytime there I had to watch such things) for this place, when will they take action? or dont they care?



I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8227 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

I consider the outside of my bags to be sacrificial surfaces and am never surprised at what happens to them. I also pack to ensure that anything that can be harmed by baggage handlers is well packed in the middle. If it is breakable or valuable it goes in a roll on that I take on the plane.

User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4248 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Quoting Macc (Reply 8):
no bashing of LHR, but if thats typically (and for me it is as everytime there I had to watch such things) for this place, when will they take action? or dont they care?

I think it is (sadly) more typical of large airports in general. I do not wish to be rude or insult anybody but a lot of rampers are underpaid or otherwise mistreated and I'm sure it is physically demanding work. So what do they do? They take it out on their employers by taking it out on the customers. The fact that you saw it at LHR is probably because it is "hidden" at most airports. I find it ashame that somebody doesn't care enough to act like that in the open (in front of passengers, no less) but I can assure you it happens all over the world. I always watch baggage handlers unloading aircraft and they all seem to have a "who cares" attitude. Thankfully most bags are able to take a pretty high level of abuse.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineScott0305 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

I watched out of the window of a U2 73G for a good 10 minutes as a baggage handler at NCL tried in vein to disassemble one of those mobility scooters and get it into the hold. He was pulling at it and bending it and really going at it. In the end he managed to bend it in a way that did not look right to me and break it in two before stuffing it into the hold. I remember thinking that if that was my grandma's scooter, I would be more than a little peed off with U2 (though of course, the handling agency is the root problem) Just a fundamental lack of respect for other peoples belongings...when your sole charge is to ensure the safe passage of those belongings!!! Unacceptable.

User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1490 times:

Unfortunately I think the situation is true the world over. The general rule of thumb is never put anything fragile in a luggage you're going to check. Chances of it making out untouched is not very good.

I once heard of a friend's friend travelling on business (forgot which airline -- doesn't matter really) on a long haul from Europe back to HKG. She was carrying a box of fine china, many of which got smashed to pieces upon opening in Hong Kong. They were very well packed and slapped on with as many fragile stickers as you can imagine, but I suppose a few drops and throws and that's the end of it. I believe the airlines make it very explicit that they're not liable for any damage, so it's really carry at your own risk.

I suspect shipping it with a reputable carrier is the way to go, and if really valuable, a specialized carrier might be the only way.


User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5692 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1480 times:

Quoting Atco2b (Reply 2):
How do you know it doesnt happen at your home airport?

It must happen worldwide, not just LHR!

A former Dublin Airport employee always refers to the baggage handlers there as "the scum of the earth".


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2178 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1465 times:

LHR is the only place where I ever had a piece of luggage lost, and damaged when they delivered it to me 5 days after... The bag missed a 7-hour long connection inside T4. Unbelievable... Merci BA!!!!

Other LHR impression: delay world... Same trip: 2 flights each way, with connections at LHR. EACH flight was ~ 1 hour late. No wind, no snow, no rain, just clouds... What is going on there????

Oh yeah, and T3 is by far the worst terminal I've ever seen. T4 is cool though. T1, T2: never been...

Otherwise, since it's the largest pax airport in the world, you get to see people from so many different cultures, you hear so many languages, and you can see so many exotic airlines that's it's still worth a connection  Smile , if it's not tight and you don't have precious checked-in luggage...

In 6 words: old, crowded, congested, but still nice...



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlinePogo From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1425 times:

Quoting Macc (Reply 8):
Pilot Kaz, yes, blame the handling agency!

As a ramp supervisor at LHR I would say that this kind of thing happens quite frequently all over the world although I would never let any of the staff in my charge tread or kick luggage, especially in front of passengers. Bags, cargo and mail do fall off but not on purpose.

If this happens kind of incident happens to anyone they should complain to the airline who in turn SHOULD be asking the handling company what hell is going on.



When in doubt give it a clout
User currently offlineBrasuca From Brazil, joined Mar 2004, 717 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1368 times:

It does really happen all around the world.
I have already seen at CGH my own luggage being loaded into the aircraft, handled like a garbage.
I was just boarded in the airplane. As I had a window seat, I could see them unloading it from the truck manually, dragging and dropping it on the ground.
This was the last trip for this luggage.



Varig, Varig, Varig
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1198 times:

Also don't forget that some of those bags are damn heavy, and the loaders should not be expected to injure themselves by lugging them around just because someone is too tight to send their spare car engine parts/tractor tyres and the like via cargo and instead check them in as luggage.

The BAA have recently imposed a max 32Kgs limit for each bag, but many airports around the world do not have such limits, especially in Africa and the Indian Sub Continent, and therefore an awful lot of bags are still in excess of this weight. it is not uncommon to see bags in excess of 60Kgs and although a heavy tag should be on the bag, quite often they are not, so the guy goes to grb the bag, starts to move it then realises it is extremely heavy and so lets it fall to the floor.

Time and lack of manpower are also other reasons behind it. Airlines are always pressing the loaders to do things quickly, and they do not have the time to treat each bag as their own. Also most handling agents are very short staffed and airlines are always pressing them for maximum service at minimum cost and this then filters down the slope and shows in the quality of staff they hire as not many people are prepared to do that manual back breaking work for the peanuts that the handling agents offer, and as the old saying goes :- Pay Peanuts - Get Monkeys.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlinePogo From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 355 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1183 times:

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):
The BAA have recently imposed a max 32Kgs limit for each bag,

The BAA may have imposed this limit which we are in favour of, but they are not enforcing it, the handling agents are left to enforce it and some times if a passenger with excess baggage is reffered to the airline rep they just let the passenger check in what they have anyway, eg. not so long ago we had a box checked in as baggage that weighed in excess of 70kg, now I do not care if the passenger has paid the excess or not but that is taking the p*ss of the whole supposed weight limit.

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 17):
Also don't forget that some of those bags are damn heavy

Tell me about it, some times I go to lift a bag by the handle and it just brakes off in my hand because of the overloaded bag.



When in doubt give it a clout
User currently offlineLH455 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1139 times:

Once I watched a baggage handler send a cello into flight during luggage transfer from cart to plane at BOS.

As most others here have pointed out, once your luggage is checked, anything goes. I think most people take precautions -- even in terms of theft. A lot of items have been taken from my luggage at JFK in past years (nothing I care about -- go ahead and take my 3-seasons-old CK boxers). Lock it up, say a prayer and hope it's there when you get there.

VIE is such a small airport compared to LHR that it probably is shocking to see that.


User currently offlineZSOFN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1413 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1095 times:

Ever sat looking out the window on arrival in STN to see your guitar fly out of the hold, the case break open, your guitar picked up and then strummed for a while?? Ba$tards.

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