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BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:46 am
by ilyagran
Hello

I had the “pleasure” of traveling with BA via LHR through the recent snow and weather-related IROPs. The whole experience was totally miserable, but it seems that BA operations were even worse than one could expect from a major carrier with decent reputation.

I was traveling in CW from TLV to SJC. Inbound flight BA162 on December 10th arrived more or less on-time, but immediately got stuck in impassable deadlock of aircrafts not being able to get into stands occupied by other aircrafts whose flights were canceled or delayed due to slow deicing. We spent 3 hours waiting for a stand, but that was only the beginning.
We deplaned at 14:00 to discover that the SJC flight was already closed and we had to proceed to ticketing desks in T5A arrivals. There was a huge queue already, with a supervisor encouraging everyone with EU passport or no UK visa requirements to go to departures as they had more agents. This was probably my biggest mistake, as the crowd in departures was enormous, with only few agents handling rebooking while all the others kept processing check in and bag drops. The CW counters line seemed even worse. Being BA Gold, I decided to try the First class check in area, hoping that at least first class passengers would get a decent service. The queue there seemed not as bad, but still filled up the entire area. However, turned out that only to agents were handling rebooking while another 12 or so still worked on checking in new passengers. The queue was painfully slow, since rebooking short haul passengers was an impossible affair due to ongoing disruptions and closures all across the continent. I managed to reach the agent only around 22:00 and he booked me on the next day flight to SFO. However, agents finished their shift at 22:30 and left a large crowd of passengers without any assistance. Passengers were told to come back at 5:00 when the morning shift was supposed to pick up. Many decided not to leave the terminal, to make sure they get rebooked for morning departures.

A few notes:
- at no time during this ordeal we were offered any food or water. People spent entire day in queues, unable to leave their spot to get some food or refreshments.
- rebooking agents were not helping with accommodation, passengers were told to go home or book hotels themselves to be later reimbursed by BA
- BA call center was down throughout the day and the next morning – calls could not get through (I tried to reach them regularly every 10-20 mins) and haven't seen anyone who managed to get ahold of them]
- repeating announcements were suggesting that rebooking can be done on ba.com, which was untrue, The site was mostly down during the day.
- turned out that some departing flights during that day spent up to 8 hours on the tarmac only to be cancelled and having to return to the gate. Luggage from these flights was piled up in arrivals with passengers having to dig out their bags.

Overall it appeared that BA’s operation completely collapsed. Is this typical to BA or this situation was particularly bad? A friend of mine was travelling through FRA same day, and while the queues were also long and slow, he didn’t have to wait entire day to get rebooked. LH also took care of his hotel.

find that BA contingency plans for both ramp management and ticketing staffing are totally inadequate and somebody there needs to wake up. As much as I liked traveling with BA, I don’t think I will want to risk experiencing another ordeal like this.

Feel free to share your experiences or provide insight on operations of BA and others during this day.

Thanks!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:11 am
by jomur
Its no good ringing the call centre every 10 or some minutes, you will always be put at the back of the queue. You needed to stay on the line await an agent to be free which can take 20 minutes with no disruption. You would been one of over 50,000 passengers that BA had to deal with on the 10th, of which, well over half were stuck in London. No airline can suddenly make 100's of staff just appear and also staff would have struggled to get to work as well. You could have re-booked on BA.com as our daughters flight was cancelled and had the option to rebook to several flights via the BA website but choose to cancel instead. Every other passenger would also be trying to re-book online so the earlier available flights would have filled up fast.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:21 am
by ahmetdouas
ilyagran wrote:
Hello

I had the “pleasure” of traveling with BA via LHR through the recent snow and weather-related IROPs. The whole experience was totally miserable, but it seems that BA operations were even worse than one could expect from a major carrier with decent reputation.

I was traveling in CW from TLV to SJC. Inbound flight BA162 on December 10th arrived more or less on-time, but immediately got stuck in impassable deadlock of aircrafts not being able to get into stands occupied by other aircrafts whose flights were canceled or delayed due to slow deicing. We spent 3 hours waiting for a stand, but that was only the beginning.
We deplaned at 14:00 to discover that the SJC flight was already closed and we had to proceed to ticketing desks in T5A arrivals. There was a huge queue already, with a supervisor encouraging everyone with EU passport or no UK visa requirements to go to departures as they had more agents. This was probably my biggest mistake, as the crowd in departures was enormous, with only few agents handling rebooking while all the others kept processing check in and bag drops. The CW counters line seemed even worse. Being BA Gold, I decided to try the First class check in area, hoping that at least first class passengers would get a decent service. The queue there seemed not as bad, but still filled up the entire area. However, turned out that only to agents were handling rebooking while another 12 or so still worked on checking in new passengers. The queue was painfully slow, since rebooking short haul passengers was an impossible affair due to ongoing disruptions and closures all across the continent. I managed to reach the agent only around 22:00 and he booked me on the next day flight to SFO. However, agents finished their shift at 22:30 and left a large crowd of passengers without any assistance. Passengers were told to come back at 5:00 when the morning shift was supposed to pick up. Many decided not to leave the terminal, to make sure they get rebooked for morning departures.

A few notes:
- at no time during this ordeal we were offered any food or water. People spent entire day in queues, unable to leave their spot to get some food or refreshments.
- rebooking agents were not helping with accommodation, passengers were told to go home or book hotels themselves to be later reimbursed by BA
- BA call center was down throughout the day and the next morning – calls could not get through (I tried to reach them regularly every 10-20 mins) and haven't seen anyone who managed to get ahold of them]
- repeating announcements were suggesting that rebooking can be done on ba.com, which was untrue, The site was mostly down during the day.
- turned out that some departing flights during that day spent up to 8 hours on the tarmac only to be cancelled and having to return to the gate. Luggage from these flights was piled up in arrivals with passengers having to dig out their bags.

Overall it appeared that BA’s operation completely collapsed. Is this typical to BA or this situation was particularly bad? A friend of mine was travelling through FRA same day, and while the queues were also long and slow, he didn’t have to wait entire day to get rebooked. LH also took care of his hotel.

find that BA contingency plans for both ramp management and ticketing staffing are totally inadequate and somebody there needs to wake up. As much as I liked traveling with BA, I don’t think I will want to risk experiencing another ordeal like this.

Feel free to share your experiences or provide insight on operations of BA and others during this day.

Thanks!


It seems these days BA and other airlines are leaving people to fend for themselves during IRROPS.
They expect you to book your own hotel, pay for it and also arrange your own transportation and food, keep the reciepts and then claim the money back on the website, saves them the hassle of dealing with you!

Whats even funnier is when you try to rebook online the website tends to mess up when its being overwhelmed in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, a few drops of snow has brought UK's busiest airport to a halt, that in itself is a joke!

If I were affected by this, I would file an EU 261 claim as I do not believe that a bit of snow in December is considered 'extraordinary circumstances'!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:22 am
by GCT64
The overall question seems to be: "Is this typical of BA in these circumstances?" - unfortunately the answer is "Yes, it is typical of BA" that they don't deal with such situations very well.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:56 am
by Bostrom
The fact that LHR is operating at full capacity probably adds to the problems as well, as any small disturbance can cause delays for hundreds of flights. And that the british attitude to snow seems to be to shut down the whole country until it melts.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:09 am
by bluefltspecial
jomur wrote:
No airline can suddenly make 100's of staff just appear and also staff would have struggled to get to work as well.


Interesting.

Most airlines in the States plan for things like this, it's called a contingency plan.

Some airlines have staff that work "ready reserve" much like cabin crew/flight attendants, where they are simply "on call" at home, and if needed called to come in and help when called. In addition, if the airline sees that a weather event is expected and it can impact operations, they offer extra pay or double time to come in and help in the event they are needed. This allows those for those who live in an area where they can't call come in, and simply must call out.

The fact that the BA airport staff simply walked off when their shift was up, and no one was scheduled in again till 6-8 hours later, leaving thousands stranded is simply mind blowing. When the weather started and the operation began to fail, why didn't they plan to have people come in on an extra overnight shift to keep the operation running / get it started again? A serious lack of planning?

BA is a global airline, I'm just beside myself in understanding. Are the cuts there so much so that the employees have no loyalty to their company in extenuating circumstances, is it just a union mentality of "my jobs done for the day, not my problem..." This just seems foreign to me, especially for a company who has/had a motto of "To fly, to serve..."

The fact that less 10cm of snow stopped an entire operation with thousands of workers and tens of thousands of passengers speaks very poorly of BA, their planning, their IT infrastructure, but also of Heathrow. I think *that* is likely an even bigger point. Was LHR able to plow the snow properly and remove it for the aircraft operations? Was their available space/hard stands available to move aircraft from cancelled flights? There are certainly more pieces of the puzzle.

Heathrow wants another runway, but they along with BA can't currently manage a small weather event? Sounds like a perfect storm.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:12 am
by jomur
It seems these days BA and other airlines are leaving people to fend for themselves during IRROPS.
They expect you to book your own hotel, pay for it and also arrange your own transportation and food, keep the reciepts and then claim the money back on the website, saves them the hassle of dealing with you!

Whats even funnier is when you try to rebook online the website tends to mess up when its being overwhelmed in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, a few drops of snow has brought UK's busiest airport to a halt, that in itself is a joke!

If I were affected by this, I would file an EU 261 claim as I do not believe that a bit of snow in December is considered 'extraordinary circumstances'![/quote]

Several factors in play here, airports all over Europe where effected so planes couldn't even leave LHR or depart to get to LHR, And it was more to do with ice than snow at LHR..

EU claims will get you nowhere as the airport also limited take-off and landings..

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:15 am
by ahmetdouas
jomur wrote:
It seems these days BA and other airlines are leaving people to fend for themselves during IRROPS.
They expect you to book your own hotel, pay for it and also arrange your own transportation and food, keep the reciepts and then claim the money back on the website, saves them the hassle of dealing with you!

Whats even funnier is when you try to rebook online the website tends to mess up when its being overwhelmed in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, a few drops of snow has brought UK's busiest airport to a halt, that in itself is a joke!

If I were affected by this, I would file an EU 261 claim as I do not believe that a bit of snow in December is considered 'extraordinary circumstances'!


Several factors in play here, airports all over Europe where effected so planes couldn't even leave LHR or depart to get to LHR, And it was more to do with ice than snow at LHR..

EU claims will get you nowhere as the airport also limited take-off and landings..[/quote]
They limited take offs and landings by what 25%? No excuse for BA to cancel so many flights because they don't have enough de-icing capacity! It's up to BA to have contingencies for this! Many other airlines did not have IRROPS into Heathrow on any of those days, they simply flew in and flew out!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:25 am
by jomur
ahmetdouas wrote:
jomur wrote:
It seems these days BA and other airlines are leaving people to fend for themselves during IRROPS.
They expect you to book your own hotel, pay for it and also arrange your own transportation and food, keep the reciepts and then claim the money back on the website, saves them the hassle of dealing with you!

Whats even funnier is when you try to rebook online the website tends to mess up when its being overwhelmed in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, a few drops of snow has brought UK's busiest airport to a halt, that in itself is a joke!

If I were affected by this, I would file an EU 261 claim as I do not believe that a bit of snow in December is considered 'extraordinary circumstances'!


Several factors in play here, airports all over Europe where effected so planes couldn't even leave LHR or depart to get to LHR, And it was more to do with ice than snow at LHR..

EU claims will get you nowhere as the airport also limited take-off and landings..

They limited take offs and landings by what 25%? No excuse for BA to cancel so many flights because they don't have enough de-icing capacity! It's up to BA to have contingencies for this! Many other airlines did not have IRROPS into Heathrow on any of those days, they simply flew in and flew out![/quote]


De-icing is done by the airport not the airline.. so BA would have had to wait like every one else for the de-icers to be come available, again out of BA's control.. Many other airlines at Heathrow only have a few flights so will always be less effected...

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:34 am
by jomur
bluefltspecial wrote:
jomur wrote:
No airline can suddenly make 100's of staff just appear and also staff would have struggled to get to work as well.


Interesting.

Most airlines in the States plan for things like this, it's called a contingency plan.

Some airlines have staff that work "ready reserve" much like cabin crew/flight attendants, where they are simply "on call" at home, and if needed called to come in and help when called. In addition, if the airline sees that a weather event is expected and it can impact operations, they offer extra pay or double time to come in and help in the event they are needed. This allows those for those who live in an area where they can't call come in, and simply must call out.

The fact that the BA airport staff simply walked off when their shift was up, and no one was scheduled in again till 6-8 hours later, leaving thousands stranded is simply mind blowing. When the weather started and the operation began to fail, why didn't they plan to have people come in on an extra overnight shift to keep the operation running / get it started again? A serious lack of planning?

BA is a global airline, I'm just beside myself in understanding. Are the cuts there so much so that the employees have no loyalty to their company in extenuating circumstances, is it just a union mentality of "my jobs done for the day, not my problem..." This just seems foreign to me, especially for a company who has/had a motto of "To fly, to serve..."

The fact that less 10cm of snow stopped an entire operation with thousands of workers and tens of thousands of passengers speaks very poorly of BA, their planning, their IT infrastructure, but also of Heathrow. I think *that* is likely an even bigger point. Was LHR able to plow the snow properly and remove it for the aircraft operations? Was their available space/hard stands available to move aircraft from cancelled flights? There are certainly more pieces of the puzzle.

Heathrow wants another runway, but they along with BA can't currently manage a small weather event? Sounds like a perfect storm.


Workers in the UK have rights and can't be sacked for not working over their hours..

People forget that LHR is running at capacity all the time, and extra runway would give them that little bit of flexibility they don't have at the moment. Also where the planes supposed to go that couldn't get to their destinations so couldn't leave LHR? Apron and stand space at LHR is at a premium.

People are too quick to blame an airline without looking at the bigger picture.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:35 am
by ahmetdouas
jomur wrote:
ahmetdouas wrote:
jomur wrote:
It seems these days BA and other airlines are leaving people to fend for themselves during IRROPS.
They expect you to book your own hotel, pay for it and also arrange your own transportation and food, keep the reciepts and then claim the money back on the website, saves them the hassle of dealing with you!

Whats even funnier is when you try to rebook online the website tends to mess up when its being overwhelmed in the case of IRROPS.

Finally, a few drops of snow has brought UK's busiest airport to a halt, that in itself is a joke!

If I were affected by this, I would file an EU 261 claim as I do not believe that a bit of snow in December is considered 'extraordinary circumstances'!


Several factors in play here, airports all over Europe where effected so planes couldn't even leave LHR or depart to get to LHR, And it was more to do with ice than snow at LHR..

EU claims will get you nowhere as the airport also limited take-off and landings..

They limited take offs and landings by what 25%? No excuse for BA to cancel so many flights because they don't have enough de-icing capacity! It's up to BA to have contingencies for this! Many other airlines did not have IRROPS into Heathrow on any of those days, they simply flew in and flew out!



De-icing is done by the airport not the airline.. so BA would have had to wait like every one else for the de-icers to be come available, again out of BA's control.. Many other airlines at Heathrow only have a few flights so will always be less effected...[/quote]

No, BA is responsible for having their own deicing agents, LHR is responsible for the taxiways and runways, not the planes!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:56 am
by SheikhDjibouti
ahmetdouas wrote:
BA is responsible for having their own deicing agents, LHR is responsible for the taxiways and runways, not the planes!
:checkmark:
Posted March 2016 by "cainanuk" when MAN was having similar problems.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=603365
cainanuk wrote:
I worked at MAN as an Ops Controller for 9 years and several of those for BE. This is solely down to the airlines and the fact that they cheap out their ground handling (including de-icing) to the lowest bidder. Lest you forget, it does not need to snow for deicing to be required. BE contracts with ASIG for deicing. ASIG, in my experience was woefully incompetent with regards to being up for the task. If you were lucky, they might have had 2 trucks on at any given time. Bearing in mind that BE flights tend to occur in waves at MAN, there is simply no way that two rigs can handle the departure schedule and keep the schedule. Holdover times and slots make it damned near impossible. I cant tell you how many times I was on a phone, practically begging the useless individual on the other end of the line to prioritize one flight after teh other. Oh no, they would simply start at gate 55 and work there way down the line regardless of STD. But it boils down to you get what you pay for.

As for the PLC, they have more than enough airfield clearing equipment and they actually do quite a good job in keeping the airfield open in adverse weather. Lest you forget, THAT is what the MAPLC is responsible for... The airfield, the terminals and airfield ops. De-icing of aircraft is strictly down to the airlines and the companies they subcontract to.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:58 am
by Egerton
There is a consultation period running until 19 December on the UK National Airports Policy, I have already got my oar in as follows:

Please schedule the 3 proposed runways at only 85% of Summer and Winter theoretical capacity as a Resilience Plan for better resilience, punctuality, and a beneficial change in the passenger experience. Thus making LHR more sustainable with less aircraft in holding stacks and less queuing to take off. Follow up with a 4th Southern Runway, to permit further implement the above Resilience Plan to only 75% of capacity.

Thus the statutory limit of movements will be be achieved, but instead of using 3 runways operating at near 100% capacity as is the current plan, deploy 4 runways normally operating at total of 75% of scheduled capacity, Summer or Winter. This would allow excellent resilience, punctuality (by using the 25% of spare runway capacity if bad things are happening), and a step change in passenger experience. This normal operation of 4 runways at 75% of scheduled capacity allowing a use of the spare 25% of capacity to cover unexpected events would also deliver a top of the class passenger experience, safety, sustainability.

This would provide a new class of resilience, punctuality and passenger experience which competing airports and competing nations would find difficult to match. It would be the Rolls-Royce of airports, at the cost of one additional 4th runway. It would give the UK a very important and unique marketing tool. The first impression of the UK by visitors will be of the quality we need as a nation to project.

This additional cost of just a 4th Runway is because all new built development for cargo and passenger needs will still be sized only for the statutory limit of movements. i.e. the normal 100% of the statutory movements, operated with 75% of available runway capacity.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:01 pm
by zkojq
It always amazes me just how hopeless BA are when it comes to IROPS compared to other carriers like AF and Lufthansa. Was travelling NCE-MAN (and back) earlier in the year and am very glad that I decided to get there with LH rather than with BA....that was the day of the IT failure. My father travelled with BA on that route via LHR and that nearly caused him to miss the Monaco Grand Prix. As people are saying above, just a complete lack of help onsite at LHR, with staff taking the attitude of "sort yourself out and maybe we will reimburse you later".

By contrast, a few weeks beforehand I had troubles travelling from Norway to France (engine failure -> flight cancellation -> missed connection), ended up getting their via Germany and Lufthansa was incredibly accommodating and helpful - despite me being the responsibility of SAS.

jomur wrote:
Workers in the UK have rights and can't be sacked for not working over their hours..

Workers in Germany also have rights.....and yet light snowfall in Bavaria doesn't cause MUC (nor Lufthansa's operations there) to turn into a complete disaster.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:32 pm
by andymartin
The 'elf and safety nonsense here in the UK when it comes to bad weather is a constant source of embarrassment to us. Didnt Lhr invest in more snow clearing equipment the last time a couple of inches of the white stuff caused gridlock??

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:44 pm
by ahmetdouas
andymartin wrote:
The 'elf and safety nonsense here in the UK when it comes to bad weather is a constant source of embarrassment to us. Didnt Lhr invest in more snow clearing equipment the last time a couple of inches of the white stuff caused gridlock??


This wasn't the issue this time, this was the lack of De-Icing equipment for BA! Most other airlines had no issues over the days!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:49 pm
by sas931
Many major airlines around atleast in Europe are outsourcing their ground handling to the lowest bidder...when situations like the one in LHR or AMS for that matter happens, the handling agents pulls out the drawer "and look at the appropiate airlines procedure how to deal with the situation". Those handling companies do not staff for IROPS like snow....they often have a serious únderstaffing problem and also problems with staff who are not educated to deal with this situation. Then they just sit down and wait for the somebody in ticketing, who could sit in India, South Africa or where ever, to come up with solutions to the problem, which again leads to a major IT problem for f.ex BA.COM or the like....
I dont know whether or not LHR is prepared for a major weather situation with a lot of snow....
Handling agents does not have the the same loyalty towards a specific airline....If they where employeed by the Airline, the situation could be different....I am sure that the BA staff at LHR did their best. Sometimes it is also difficult for extra staff to GET to the Airport if f.ex roadconditions and public transports are hampered by the weather...and as it is in these extraordinary situations, staff can only deal with 1 passenger at the time..

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:50 pm
by ahmetdouas
sas931 wrote:
Many major airlines around atleast in Europe are outsourcing their ground handling to the lowest bidder...when situations like the one in LHR or AMS for that matter happens, the handling agents pulls out the drawer "and look at the appropiate airlines procedure how to deal with the situation". Those handling companies do not staff for IROPS like snow....they often have a serious únderstaffing problem and also problems with staff who are not educated to deal with this situation. Then they just sit down and wait for the somebody in ticketing, who could sit in India, South Africa or where ever, to come up with solutions to the problem, which again leads to a major IT problem for f.ex BA.COM or the like....
I dont know whether or not LHR is prepared for a major weather situation with a lot of snow....
Handling agents does not have the the same loyalty towards a specific airline....If they where employeed by the Airline, the situation could be different....I am sure that the BA staff at LHR did their best. Sometimes it is also difficult for extra staff to GET to the Airport if f.ex roadconditions and public transports are hampered by the weather...and as it is in these extraordinary situations, staff can only deal with 1 passenger at the time..



With the way BA treat its staff I am sure they could care less about any IRROPS!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:55 pm
by shuttle9juliet
bluefltspecial wrote:
jomur wrote:
No airline can suddenly make 100's of staff just appear and also staff would have struggled to get to work as well.


Interesting.

Most airlines in the States plan for things like this, it's called a contingency plan.

Some airlines have staff that work "ready reserve" much like cabin crew/flight attendants, where they are simply "on call" at home, and if needed called to come in and help when called. In addition, if the airline sees that a weather event is expected and it can impact operations, they offer extra pay or double time to come in and help in the event they are needed. This allows those for those who live in an area where they can't call come in, and simply must call out.

The fact that the BA airport staff simply walked off when their shift was up, and no one was scheduled in again till 6-8 hours later, leaving thousands stranded is simply mind blowing. When the weather started and the operation began to fail, why didn't they plan to have people come in on an extra overnight shift to keep the operation running / get it started again? A serious lack of planning?



BA is a global airline, I'm just beside myself in understanding. Are the cuts there so much so that the employees have no loyalty to their company in extenuating circumstances, is it just a union mentality of "my jobs done for the day, not my problem..." This just seems foreign to me, especially for a company who has/had a motto of "To fly, to serve..."

The fact that less 10cm of snow stopped an entire operation with thousands of workers and tens of thousands of passengers speaks very poorly of BA, their planning, their IT infrastructure, but also of Heathrow. I think *that* is likely an even bigger point. Was LHR able to plow the snow properly and remove it for the aircraft operations? Was their available space/hard stands available to move aircraft from cancelled flights? There are certainly more pieces of the puzzle.

Heathrow wants another runway, but they along with BA can't currently manage a small weather event? Sounds like a perfect storm.


Normally, BA has the volunteers in the terminals, but I would imagine after the recent events of loosing their pensions etc, loyalty has gone out the window.
The workforce is severely damaged through low morale at the moment, and believe it or not, this is every department including flight Ops.
It really is a mess.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:02 pm
by shuttle9juliet
bluefltspecial wrote:
jomur wrote:
No airline can suddenly make 100's of staff just appear and also staff would have struggled to get to work as well.


Interesting.

Most airlines in the States plan for things like this, it's called a contingency plan.

Some airlines have staff that work "ready reserve" much like cabin crew/flight attendants, where they are simply "on call" at home, and if needed called to come in and help when called. In addition, if the airline sees that a weather event is expected and it can impact operations, they offer extra pay or double time to come in and help in the event they are needed. This allows those for those who live in an area where they can't call come in, and simply must call out.

The fact that the BA airport staff simply walked off when their shift was up, and no one was scheduled in again till 6-8 hours later, leaving thousands stranded is simply mind blowing. When the weather started and the operation began to fail, why didn't they plan to have people come in on an extra overnight shift to keep the operation running / get it started again? A serious lack of planning?



BA is a global airline, I'm just beside myself in understanding. Are the cuts there so much so that the employees have no loyalty to their company in extenuating circumstances, is it just a union mentality of "my jobs done for the day, not my problem..." This just seems foreign to me, especially for a company who has/had a motto of "To fly, to serve..."

The fact that less 10cm of snow stopped an entire operation with thousands of workers and tens of thousands of passengers speaks very poorly of BA, their planning, their IT infrastructure, but also of Heathrow. I think *that* is likely an even bigger point. Was LHR able to plow the snow properly and remove it for the aircraft operations? Was their available space/hard stands available to move aircraft from cancelled flights? There are certainly more pieces of the puzzle.

Heathrow wants another runway, but they along with BA can't currently manage a small weather event? Sounds like a perfect storm.


Normally, BA has the volunteers in the terminals, but I would imagine after the recent events of loosing their pensions etc, loyalty has gone out the window.
The workforce is severely damaged through low morale at the moment, and believe it or not, this is every department including flight Ops.
It really is a mess.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:07 pm
by vhtje
I do not understand why you simply did not park yourself in the lounge then call the Gold hotline from there and have them arrange the rebooking, rather than waiting in some ridiculously long queue?

Yes, you would have been on hold for ages waiting, but at least you would have been sitting in a comfortable chair, in s serene environment with a glass or three of champagne in your hand. Far better than outside in the draughty departure hall.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:12 pm
by eisenbach
Based on the reports the BA experiences are indeed not good. Fortunately I never had an IRROP situation with BA. LH is normally quiet good. I was stuck in HEL at a large snow event in FRA and MUC and got actively an e-mail with delay information, and that I can rebook my flight for free. The rebooking even on a cheap economy fare was no problem via their webpage.

I am very critical with LH Group (hard product, on board service, monopoly in Central Europe,...), but I like that they never make problems with reroutings and rebookings.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:20 pm
by flydude380
I can't speak for BA. However, let me just say some things that are quoted here by some individuals.

1. BA ground staff based at LHR are all directly employed by BA.

2. There are crew who have stand-by duties rostered, just as in the U.S. However, BA does not have as many crew as U.S. Carriers who also have tons of crew based in several hubs throughout the U.S. Reserve/stand-by duties are also done differently here.

3. Getting to work during this snow is difficult. Either to drive or taking public transport. Taxis aren't worth your while. I spent £35 getting to work a few days ago. I live close to my airport and the uber ride would've cost me a tenner on any normal day.

I work as a passenger service agent for a ground handling company. I would agree, that the way things are handled at any UK airport when it comes to snow, is not very organized. However, there is only so much you can do! I did feel very sorry for the pax I was dealing with (despite, being badly abused).

There are restrictions and rules in place that hinder both ground agents and airlines to do their best.

For example, working for a ground handling company, we have to get permission from the airline, before providing refreshment vouchers or booking hotels!! Some airlines do not even contract ticketing to some ground handling companies at some stations and therefore, the best we could do, is provide a number - which will obviously be busy!!

Yesterday, at my airport, black ice and de-icing liquid made it hazardous to work in the vicinity of aircrafts. A few people were seriously injured and it was ruled that anyone wishing to work around the aircraft would be at their discretion.

As passenger service agents, we are as clueless as you are when it comes to any information. We do our best to obtain any updated information and will update you accordingly. It probably won't be every 5-10 mins though! We don't appreciate any aggression or abuse. However, we also don't mean to unintentionally snap at you. We're only human as well and are worrying how we are going to make our journey home.

To save everyone the headache and confusion, I personally think it's better to just cancel a flight instead of delaying it for a prolong period.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:31 pm
by Lofty
Just some back ground.
On the 9th Heathrow was going to put a compulsory 30% cancellation programme in place for all airlines. They looked at he forecast and decided the snow would remain north of the airfield and did not implement the cancellation programme. This was the first mistake had they many of the aircraft on stands would have towed overnight to remote none operational stands leaving stands clear.

BA is the only airline at Heathrow with the ability to open 2 remote de-icing areas (This was done on Monday) all other airlines have to be de-iced on stand. Heathrow on Sunday only gave permission for 1 as they were concerned it would cause congestion, Also as it stands B747 and A380 can not use the pans.This caused more on gate de-icing than normal.

As stands become free it was taking ATC upto 1 hour to get aircraft onto the stands after BA had allocated that stand. In all my years in airport operations I have never known that and I have been in some much worst situations.

BA was flexible and with agreement were able to put arrivals into T4 with passengers and bags being handled by another ground handling agent. BA also got permission to disembark flights on the taxiway and then get the crew to do a live taxi to the base as ATC was blocking any aircraft from being towed off due congestion.

As has been already been said when you run an airport at full capacity if you are unable to get things off stands to depart or park-up and ATC allows arrivals you get into a situation of a stalemate.

In the terminal I know refreshment vouchers and refreshments were given out I was around when they were ordered from catering and stood behind people using them in M&S. People were being told to pay and claim due BA having no more rooms available, BA have loads of rooms on hold each night but once all the hotels are full you can't magic anymore.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:53 pm
by readytotaxi
The customer experience of BA at LHR when something goes wrong, such as weather, is really awful, had it myself. I think that it steems from the top down, there is no "can do" attitude, even if it can't be done, no one wants to try. The front line staff really feel out there on their own, little backing from backroom management who do not deal with the sharp end.The low moral thing is really tangible to a BA customer. The cure? Only a change of management thinking or the management. Is Mr Cruz up to it, you have to wonder.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:02 pm
by bgm
vhtje wrote:
I do not understand why you simply did not park yourself in the lounge then call the Gold hotline from there and have them arrange the rebooking, rather than waiting in some ridiculously long queue?

Yes, you would have been on hold for ages waiting, but at least you would have been sitting in a comfortable chair, in s serene environment with a glass or three of champagne in your hand. Far better than outside in the draughty departure hall.


Not much use when the Gold line just disconnects you after 10 seconds...

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:06 pm
by gunnerman
ilyagran wrote:
I was traveling in CW from TLV to SJC. Inbound flight BA162 on December 10th arrived more or less on-time, but immediately got stuck in impassable deadlock of aircrafts not being able to get into stands occupied by other aircrafts whose flights were canceled or delayed due to slow deicing. We spent 3 hours waiting for a stand, but that was only the beginning.
We deplaned at 14:00 to discover that the SJC flight was already closed and we had to proceed to ticketing desks in T5A arrivals

Flight BA279 from LHR to SJC is scheduled to depart at 1250, but on 10 December left very late at 1926. So, there was actually plenty of time to get you boarded. The flight arrived at 2214, which is no doubt really annoying as you should have got to SJC (athough very late that day).

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:28 pm
by caaardiff
In times of more and more automation and self handling at Airports. I.E - Self check-in / Self bag drop, skills of handling workers are diminishing. Ticketing is not an easy thing to learn, and during times of disruption is when these guys really earn their money. The issue here is BA would have very limited options to use other carriers at LHR and other points in the UK. To try and re-accommodate thousands of passengers on other BA and other Airlines flights would be extremely difficult. This is what causes the backlog. Had there been plenty of options then rebooking is relatively simple as BA would have agreement with many scheduled carriers. When there's limited option it takes so much longer for the agents rebooking to search through all the options. Sometimes it can 2-3 connections or even days to get to destination.

It's worth noting that KLM and AMS have had a similar situations, hundreds of cancelled flights and thousands of stranded passengers.

The process of booking hotels is not easy when capacity is limited. Airlines tend to use the bigger mainstream hotels at agreed rates, once those are gone there's limited options. Sometimes it's quicker and easier for passengers to find their own hotel than wait in a queue for hotels and taxis/coaches to be sourced.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:45 pm
by airtrantpa
Sounds like another pax angry for airlines causing weather days to inconvenience the passengers.

A few notes:

Airlines arent resposnsible for weather. Under. No circumstances are they required to feed you or quench your thirst. (Read tbe contact of carriage) If your a 1st class pax. Im sure you could just go to the ba lounge im sure theres at least one at Heathrow.

2. Once ticketing closes even in irop situations those airline people need to go home labour contracts and others Some airports dont allow ops after a certain time.

As for the ticketing still checking in people. Guess what they( BA) may still be able to get pax to their respective destinations. airlines still operate and have other people to Check in too. Thy dont stop checking people in because a bunch of missed connections.

I wasnt there so i dont know. But as an airline employee i think you need to stop blaming airline personnel for stuff they cant control. Yeah you may have been inconvenienced because of weather, but BA did get you to the bay area Alive! Be thankful. For that. When storms happen and delays occur because of weather it means it's not safe to fly and the possibility of killing everyone onboard or on the ground is there.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:47 pm
by vhtje
bgm wrote:
Not much use when the Gold line just disconnects you after 10 seconds...


Did that really happen? Or is that your supposition? I have been Gold for seven years; I have never had the Gold line disconnect.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:11 pm
by ba319-131
It is what is is. BA re-booked me from TXL via HEL to get me home next day after mt flight to LHR was cancelled.

Snow storms in HEL delayed the outbound flight thus the inbound to HEL was delayed, as a result the connection to BA799 to LHR was missed and AY later cancelled the 19:30 flight to LHR as the plane & crew were in the wrong place.

Three hours plus in the re-ticketing queue and I have a flight out tomorrow, let’s be fair, nobody can magic up extra staff at the flip of a coin.

I’m now on a second unexpected night away but have kept all my reciepts for my claim.

It’s winter, it’s unfortunate but if nobody dies, we can live with it.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:11 pm
by F9flyer
Sorry folks, BA did not do even the most basic of things to help themselves, most carriers publish a policy with waivers for Agencies to assist their own passengers in situations like these. Sadly, BA did not elect to add to the folks helping them that way. Agencies had no recourse but to tell their customers to deal with BA for their Tickets and Re-accommodation. All Agencies could do is book up the meager hotels remaining in the area (if any could be found). Travel Agents are used to helping out in these situations. Can they fix everything? NO--- but they can provide some relief and reduce airport lines.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:39 am
by AtomicGarden
What I don't understand is how could BA at their home airport not have 24h agent service. Not to mention that in these cases, it sould be normal to offer on duty personnel to do some overtime. At my airline we normally make extra hours, sometimes 2x1. It's tough but worth it.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:55 am
by gunnerman
BA has volunteer ground staff who do three types of jobs during a disruption.

1. Supporting Operations at the terminals (airside and landside) by doing jobs such as queue combing, directing passengers, handing out food and water.
2. Assisting the call centres by rebooking and refunding of flights which were cancelled.
3. Inflight Customer Support Programme (iCSP), which is cabin crew (trained on two aircraft types, IIRC).

There is a limit to what the volunteers can do, however, whenever there is a large number of cancelled flights.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:01 am
by redroo
There is no excuse. Many other airlines around the world can deal with events like this in an organised fashion. Alas... what many have come to expect from the worlds favourite airline that serves business passenger sandwiches in plastic wrap.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:30 am
by alasizon
A lot of people have brought up the fact that the BA staff were gone for six hours. I highly doubt BA was devoid of all customer service staff in LHR for six hours. Its certainly possible that there may have been a few locations that weren't staffed overnight but no airline that I know of staffs every single spot during IRROPs in their hubs overnight, the staffing simply isn't there and its not practical to expect that.

As was previously mentioned by another poster, the OP's facts don't check out. BA162 arrived at the gate/stand at 11:24. BA279 left for SJC at 19:55 so arriving 8 hours prior makes it pretty hard to miss your flight.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:43 am
by AA747123
I flew through LHR the day after the event, it was still a complete mess with very long lines at the rebooking center, as well as the connections desk.O One good point is that there were no lines at all at security!. They had a huge sign up on the overhead board that read "If your flight is cancelled, leave the terminal and rebook on www.ba.com . Does not seem like they care too much to take care of this at the first point of contact. I noticed that BA had cancelled a LHR LAX flight, yet I checked and AA's flights were going out with dozens of open seats. Does not BA protect on OAL? Not even a One World member?

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:43 am
by ilyagran
I understand the difficulties of running operations in these conditions.
I'm not complaining about the weather, this is really about the service BA provided during this difficult day
A few comments from my Sunday experience:
(1) BA call center was DOWN. It's not that you could get into a queue, wait on the line and get answered. They would play the message "we're experiencing large volume of calls" and disconnect
(2) nobody provided any food or water during that long day
(3) why the staff already in the airport was not redirected to assist with rebooking? my complaint is that there were lots of agents around and only numbered desks handled rebooking assistance?
BTW, it seems that BA realizes how badly they performed. Was contacted today with an offer of GBP300 voucher (I have not contacted them or complained to anyone myself)

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:51 am
by ilyagran
>>Flight BA279 from LHR to SJC is scheduled to depart at 1250, but on 10 December left very late at 1926. So, there was actually plenty of time to get you boarded. The flight arrived at 2214, which is no doubt really annoying as you should have got to SJC (athough very late that day)

BA279 indeed took off at 1926. However, the gate closed at 1350 and the aircraft spent all that time on the tarmac. Actually the staff in BA First check in area inquired if they could get us on the flight but were told that the flight is closed.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:51 am
by alasizon
AA747123 wrote:
I flew through LHR the day after the event, it was still a complete mess with very long lines at the rebooking center, as well as the connections desk.O One good point is that there were no lines at all at security!. They had a huge sign up on the overhead board that read "If your flight is cancelled, leave the terminal and rebook on http://www.ba.com . Does not seem like they care too much to take care of this at the first point of contact. I noticed that BA had cancelled a LHR LAX flight, yet I checked and AA's flights were going out with dozens of open seats. Does not BA protect on OAL? Not even a One World member?


BA would certainly protect on AA since its a JV partner. However, if the passengers aren't in LHR to be put on the AA flight, it doesn't mean much.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:18 am
by andymartin
I bet everyone who is complaining about BA will still fly with them in the future. If you are that upset with their service then vote with your wallet and take your business elsewhere. That is the only protest that will affect big business.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:38 am
by ranbidaraxflo
BA T5 is totally awful at the least thing going wrong! The stand policy means you regularly have to wait for 'your' stand and hence miss onward flights. I have to go through LHR T5 4-5 times a year and work on 50/50 i.e. 50% of the time it works...... I have had a five hour wait at the gate for a onwards connection only for it to be cancelled, after customer service has shut for the night, caused by disruption from a thunderstorm the day before!! By the way if you book your own onwards travel they don't pay for it, they would have had I waited until 5am the next morning for customer service!! Its a great pity because I really love BA service in flight and any where outside T5!!

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:01 am
by bgm
vhtje wrote:
bgm wrote:
Not much use when the Gold line just disconnects you after 10 seconds...


Did that really happen? Or is that your supposition? I have been Gold for seven years; I have never had the Gold line disconnect.


It most certainly did happen, I have the call history on my phone if you’d like me to send you the evidence? Managed to get through yesterday and was told their switchboard was overloaded (the gold line).

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:51 am
by jomur
ilyagran wrote:
(3) why the staff already in the airport was not redirected to assist with rebooking? my complaint is that there were lots of agents around and only numbered desks handled rebooking assistance?
BTW, it seems that BA realizes how badly they performed. Was contacted today with an offer of GBP300 voucher (I have not contacted them or complained to anyone myself)


Not all staff can do rebookng. Only those that normally do this as thier normal day job would have the training and have access to the systems to do this..

As to other airports and airlines not having the same problems with major irrops events we probably don't hear about them because a) its not Heathrow and b) its not BA...

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:56 am
by cv990Coronado
F9flyer wrote:
Sorry folks, BA did not do even the most basic of things to help themselves, most carriers publish a policy with waivers for Agencies to assist their own passengers in situations like these. Sadly, BA did not elect to add to the folks helping them that way. Agencies had no recourse but to tell their customers to deal with BA for their Tickets and Re-accommodation. All Agencies could do is book up the meager hotels remaining in the area (if any could be found). Travel Agents are used to helping out in these situations. Can they fix everything? NO--- but they can provide some relief and reduce airport lines.


This is part of the problem when everything is so automated, you obviously don't have and can't have the personnel on hand to sort things. Added to this that your home base is an airport operating at 98% capacity there doesn't need to be much to go wrong to cause chaos. The suggestion above by F9flyer would help, so would the automatic dropping of night curfew in times of exceptional weather. The other side of the story is that while there is so much pressure on airlines to cut costs they will by necessity set up their operations for the "norm' particularly staff wise. You will find that BA doesn't have many overseas BA staff these days most are contracted to the lowest bidder. If the "Big one" happens I guess they will leave the contracted companies to handle the "event" until they can fly personnel from LHR. That is the way of the world of aviation these days, good, bad? who knows, just the way it is...

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:57 am
by TC957
May I raise a couple of points to all this.
Firstly, how about using the services of a decent travel agent next time you book who provides a 24/7 client care service and has access to a GDS for booking & rebooking flights/hotels etc. A call to them in times of crisis would have taken a lot of the stress away from you to get you to where you're booked to.
Secondly, how about BA and others airlines having weather-related melt downs learning from how Asian airlines cope with typhoon-related shutdowns and pooling knowledge on dealing with the operational aftermath.
Finally, the winter weather in the UK, AMS and elsewhere in Europe was predicted several days in advance, so airlines had time to ensure adequate staffing is in situ to deal better with the inevitable disruption. Not only front-line staff but those in call centres, operational processes etc.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:08 am
by Andy33
airtrantpa wrote:
Sounds like another pax angry for airlines causing weather days to inconvenience the passengers.

A few notes:

Airlines arent resposnsible for weather. Under. No circumstances are they required to feed you or quench your thirst. (Read tbe contact of carriage) If your a 1st class pax. Im sure you could just go to the ba lounge im sure theres at least one at Heathrow.


Airlines aren't responsible for the weather, true. But your comment about feeding or quenching thirst, while correct for US airlines operating within or from the USA, is just plain wrong in a thread discussing BA. As an EU airline BA is bound by the rules of EC261, and that requires airlines to provide refreshments if departure is delayed by more than 2 hours (flights up to 1500km), 3 hours (flights within the EU of more than 1500km, flights outside the EU 1500-3500km) 4 hours (flights over 3500km outside the EU). If the delay involves an overnight stay accommodation should be provided. These rules in fact apply to all airlines departing EU airports, there are no exemptions for weather, volcanic eruptions or anything else. Case law has decided that in cases of severe disruption, the refreshments or accommodation may be physically impossible to provide, but in that case the airline must reimburse passengers for reasonable expenses incurred in providing them themselves, on production of receipts afterwards.

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:39 pm
by doldo
My experience was this:

We were booked on BA280 from LAX 10 dec with final destination ARN. When we came to LAX our flight was delayed ~6 hours from LHR. The BA staff decided to book us with Aer Lingus LAX-DUB-HEL-ARN instead.
Now the IE144 got clipped by a vehicle when landing at LAX and were about 3,5 hours late in DUB when the real trouble started. IE staff at LAX never gave us a boarding card for our onward flight to HEL and the transfer desk at DUB was closed (I believe we could have made the flight to HEL if we got some help, we landed about 40 min before flight to HEL departed. I estimate that our plane from LAX was about 95% connecting passengers which some could have made their connections with the proper assistance. The staff at DUB must have had about 8 hours to prepare for this). After queuing about 3 hours in 3 separate ques we finally got our luggage, hotel accommodation, and onward flights (now DUB-LHR-CPH-ARN) arranged.

Finally we landed at ARN yesterday at about 22:00, 30 hours late and now with everybody’s (3 passengers) luggage missing (still no trace of it) :roll:

1. If I ever have to deal with this again, would it make sense to bargain with the booking agent? (They all seem to give the customer a crazy itinerary saying: “this is the only option” or “it’s the best I got, all flights are full”) Is it a good idea to go online and look for a better option demanding the agent to book you with that option? It was stated earlier in this thread that the AA flights out of LAX were not full at all…
2. Snow in December doesn’t seem like an extraordinary circumstance so what is the chance of receiving the €600 here? I lost a full workday due to this event…
3. Is there anything we as passengers could have done differently to mitigate the consequences in this situation?

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:48 pm
by ilyagran
TC957 wrote:
May I raise a couple of points to all this.
Firstly, how about using the services of a decent travel agent next time you book who provides a 24/7 client care service and has access to a GDS for booking & rebooking flights/hotels etc. A call to them in times of crisis would have taken a lot of the stress away from you to get you to where you're booked to.

I actually was booked through a travel agent. Contacted them and they did reserve a seat for me on the next day's flight. However, the agent couldn't issue the ticket and I needed BA stuff to do that, hence the endless waiting.

BTW, seems like BA is admitting their service was terrible and have voluntarily offered a GBP300 voucher, despite this case is not being covered by EC261

Re: BA IROPS Handling In Recent Snow Storm

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:05 pm
by gunnerman
What was the explanation given by the travel agent for not issuing the ticket? The agent can always do this unless something prevents it, such as the airline taking over the PNR.