Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
LHR-T5-Baggage Handlers At Fault?  
User currently offlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3944 times:

I was in T5 the day after it opened with all the problems. I heard rumors (and only rumors) that the baggage handlers purposely messed things up. Has anyone heard anything to this effect?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3927 times:

No they didn't. They were let down by the system, ie Logons not working, being un familiar with the environment and some of the procedures with it. Rememeber a lot of the baggage people there have never worked in T5 before so of course it is taking a bit of time to get used to it. They have all been there many times but nothing is like doing it for real.

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3890 times:

IMO the problem of working in an unfamiliar environment seems to have been totally underestimated. Imagine walking into a supermarket where you have never shopped before, and then see how much longer your weekly shop takes.

In addition are passengers unfamiliar with the terminal layout, and thus arriving late at the gate ?


User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3866 times:

There was ample time to train people and familiarise them with the Terminal. Maps, ample parking, security procedures etc. It's irrelevant at what point there was a snafu, the fact is that the management are the ones responsible. If not, what are they drawing those large salaries for?


B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3841 times:



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 2):
In addition are passengers unfamiliar with the terminal layout, and thus arriving late at the gate ?

Not relevent, otherwise every airport would grind to a halt. I was at a major European airport at the weekend for the first time and it doesn't make a difference, follow the signs. Lots of people are at airports for the first time every day.


User currently offlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1021 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Didn't they have a full run through of the whole airport awhile ago? I thought I remembered readaing where people even brought luggage to run through the system? If this is true then DFay One was not the first time the handlers ran the operation?

User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9094 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3503 times:



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 2):
IMO the problem of working in an unfamiliar environment seems to have been totally underestimated. Imagine walking into a supermarket where you have never shopped before

That's why they design super markets all the same, all over the world. You cannot get lost.

Must be lack of traning, that is the only logical explanation. No one heard of any problems at T3 in PEK and it does not matter that the bags system there was made by Siemens and the one at T5 by that Dutch company, Munich Airport consulting was involved in the planning at LHR and they claim that not all their advise was followed.

It looks like this is a management fault, no other explanation..



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineRivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 818 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3479 times:



Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 5):
Didn't they have a full run through of the whole airport awhile ago? I thought I remembered readaing where people even brought luggage to run through the system? If this is true then DFay One was not the first time the handlers ran the operation?

When I did my passenger trial back in November there were mountains of luggage specifically for us to check in, and indeed on my 'flight' the luggage was (allegedly) loaded onto the B.747 that we boarded! I saw the crates going on, I have to take their word for the fact that the crates did contain the luggage that was checked in.

That was November, and was followed by dozens of similar trials, so how the whole system (staff, IT setup, etc) was not ready for day one is completely baffling! I would like to think that at least one of those subsequent dry runs was an end-to-end 'stress' test, i.e. a full load of babbage and 'flights', to see where the weak points are. That would be a pretty obvious test to have to do, wouldn't it...? Wouldn't it??!!  crazy 

Riv'



I travel, therefore I am.
User currently offlineOtnySASLHR From Spain, joined May 2007, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3443 times:

I was wondering what teething problems BA/BAA experienced when T4 opened and how they compare with current problems at T5.
I was at LHR during T4's inauguration and I don't remember hearing of any problems - although I was more concerned with SAS's impending move from T2 to T3 and probably wasn't that interested in BA's problems.
It would be interesting to read of any similarities or whether the problems currently being experienced are unique.
Thanks
Tony



oTny
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7362 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3415 times:

If I was starting work in a new office, then I think that I would make sure that I knew where the carpark was, (if I was a driver).

This sounds like the people who drive the wrong way on a one way street and then blame the Sat Nav.

I doubt that this was entirely down to the management.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6970 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3396 times:



Quoting OtnySASLHR (Reply 8):
I was wondering what teething problems BA/BAA experienced when T4 opened and how they compare with current problems at T5.

Usually the first question asked when something goes wrong, why is that? Is it somehow acceptable for us to accept problems because someone else had the same thing happen to them, does that somehow make our problem right?

Personally I think its responsibility, and where we "want to place blame", which is different from where the fault actually lies. A lot is being said about this problem, but one thing so far is constant, the cost of this project, in the billions. If we take the question posed in the thread, lets understand the premise of it:
1. The Management of the LHR Airport and BA are partners in this costly project.
2. With no hint of labour strife, no rumours etc. the terminal opens with much fanfare and the grunts deliberately screw things up, and in over a week there has still been no hint of labour strife which caused the problem?

Here's a question, prior to the opening, most who saw the dry runs, seen inside the facility etc. had a lot of positive things to say, complimentary of management, project fairly well managed, then here's the opening and things get all shot to hell, now what do we say, how do we blame those who we just praised for their good works?

Any one fired as yet, from the team who co-ordinated the training of staff, the team who perfomed the inspections of the equipment, the team who had overall oversight, the team in charge of the opening, anyone at all yet been fired? What would that do really, probably a deterrent to the next set of folks in management to get it right first because they know what is on the line.


User currently offlineTrent900 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 524 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3371 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 9):
If I was starting work in a new office, then I think that I would make sure that I knew where the carpark was

I think this was a problem due to a large amount of workers passes not letting them access to certain areas (this is what we've been hearing at STN). Everyone always does seem to blame the baggage handler.

I find it very strange that BAA have been very quite, are they hiding something? Shoulrn't they be blamed for everything that goes wrong at one of their airports? Willy was a bit slow there I reckon.

D.


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7362 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3301 times:

Not blaming the baggage handlers for everything, but blaming BAA 100% is perhaps a bit premature as well.

Clearly BA, or at least WW was not expecting this mess.


User currently offlineBramble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3299 times:



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 6):
Must be lack of traning, ..............................It looks like this is a management fault, no other explanation..

I have to point the finger at BA/BAA managers who oversaw the preparation. Afterall they should have ensured that all problems were ironed out. This project is huge for BA and high profile in the UK. It should have been thoroughly planned and tested.

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 7):
That was November, and was followed by dozens of similar trials, so how the whole system (staff, IT setup, etc) was not ready for day one is completely baffling! I would like to think that at least one of those subsequent dry runs was an end-to-end 'stress' test, i.e. a full load of babbage and 'flights', to see where the weak points are. That would be a pretty obvious test to have to do, wouldn't it...? Wouldn't it??!!

Perhaps the dry run did not test problems but rather were just s run through of the system. I would think that the best way to test the system would be to simulate problems and see how the staff and system cope and overcome any problems encountered.

Quoting Trent900 (Reply 11):
I find it very strange that BAA have been very quite, are they hiding something? Shoulrn't they be blamed for everything that goes wrong at one of their airports? Willy was a bit slow there I reckon.

That is a good point. I thyink WW has been the only person to present himself. As the BA boss I appreciate that he stepped up to the camera rather than allowed a project manager/BA senior executive do so. One thing you can say for WW is that he has never ran from an arguement/fight.discussion. As a crew member you knew to agree with his opinion,easy to have a quiet drink than get into a big discussion!!!


User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3060 times:



Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 5):
Didn't they have a full run through of the whole airport awhile ago? I thought I remembered readaing where people even brought luggage to run through the system? If this is true then DFay One was not the first time the handlers ran the operation?

It was for some of the handlers the first time as not everyone had the chance to come over and work during a trial. Remember BA was still running full operations in T1 & T4 at the time so difficult to release too many to come over without impacting the operation.

Quoting Rivet42 (Reply 7):
That was November, and was followed by dozens of similar trials, so how the whole system (staff, IT setup, etc) was not ready for day one is completely baffling! I would like to think that at least one of those subsequent dry runs was an end-to-end 'stress' test, i.e. a full load of babbage and 'flights', to see where the weak points are. That would be a pretty obvious test to have to do, wouldn't it...? Wouldn't it??!!

There were lots of tests and lots of problems showed up......................................

Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):

Any one fired as yet, from the team who co-ordinated the training of staff, the team who perfomed the inspections of the equipment, the team who had overall oversight, the team in charge of the opening, anyone at all yet been fired? What would that do really, probably a deterrent to the next set of folks in management to get it right first because they know what is on the line.

That would be a stupid knee jerk reaction that would do more harm than good.


User currently offlineMutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 536 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3004 times:

Whilst there is indeed a (number) of problems with the baggage system, the whole process got out of control early on due to a backlog tht built up being "quickly" remedied, which caused meltdown.

The reason the backlog built up in the first place were primarily twofold:

1. staff car park access gates did not work at 4-00am on the first morning so many staff were late
2. staff access passes into certain parts of the trminal didnt work

As airports today are like the front line of a war zone, such "trivial" malfunctions leave the staff with no options but to wait. They cannot abandon cars on perimeter roads as its a security risk. Thney cannot force entry into airside areas as its a security risk.

So whilst the baggage system no doubt would have played up during the day the situation was compounded by an overly heavy "flow" early on as everyone (baggage handlers included) worked bloody hard to remedy the problems they saw.

fair enough, afterwards there will be various internal enquiries and heads may roll. Fair play to WW for not hiding away

I just hope it is sorted before 30 April T4 transfers

I also hope this magnificent facility beds down soon enough and we forget this awful start and get on enjoying it!
For those (minority)pax who have incident free experiences, the feedbacvk is very very positive


User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2567 times:

I am surprised BA are not gunning for the BAA on this one. Imagine if this had happend to Ryanair!! MOL would have been gunning for the BAA. Infact Ryanair already were if you read their statement from the end of last week about T5.

User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

It strikes me that, in this day and age, the concepts of logistics and contingency planning no longer seem to exist.

In the U.S., in the times of massive weather delays, many airlines' plans consist of "pray it doesn't happen". God doesn't answer those kinds of prayers - and as a result, some airlines haven't deal with them very well.

With T5, it doesn't strike me that the "practice" run was very effective - there should have been a team involved to cover every single facet of the operation. Every conceivable problem should have been forseen and had a back-up plan to tackle the situation, and those few "inconceivable" problems that might have popped up should have had upper level management available to deal with on the spot.

In virtually every business there seems to be no shortage of higher-up's to take the credit when things go well, but if something goes wrong they hide more effectively than Osama Bin Laden and allow the "underlings" to take the blame.

Perhaps the good that can come out of this is that the entire world learns from this fiasco/public relations nightmare and puts it in every management textbook as a separate chapter unto itself - "DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!!"



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineLHRBlueSkies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2469 times:

There are many more issues that caused the problems than simply baggage system failure.

A punch-up between BA loaders who realised that they were on different rates of pay didn't help.

Poor overall planning on both BA & BAA didn't help - people in ivory towers not asking those on the shop floor (or apron!) for ideas and suggestions...



flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Southwest Is Short 20 Baggage Handlers At BWI posted Wed Mar 5 2008 14:24:53 by KarlB737
Baggage Handlers At NWA Reject Proposed Pay Cuts posted Wed Mar 8 2006 01:28:11 by KarlB737
TV Cameras At LHR T5 posted Tue Jan 29 2008 15:16:33 by TCXDegsy
US Baggage Handlers Probe At PHL posted Thu Aug 9 2007 14:55:48 by Nbseer
Question About LHR T5 Picture In AW&ST posted Mon Mar 31 2008 17:14:55 by 787seattle
3 Baggage Handlers Arrested By TIA Police posted Sun Mar 30 2008 20:14:11 by J_Hallgren
LHR T5 Check-In Suspended posted Thu Mar 27 2008 09:51:44 by E195
French Prosecutor: CO At Fault In AF Crash posted Tue Mar 11 2008 18:57:36 by Flynavy
A View On LHR T5 posted Sun Mar 9 2008 04:53:49 by RicciPettit
LHR T5 Grand Opening Soon posted Thu Mar 6 2008 11:58:40 by CoolGuy