BAggage BAcklog at Heathrow

Jul 10th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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BAggage BAcklog at Heathrow

At last report there are around 23,000 pieces of lost or mis-connected luggage in British Airways' possession at Heathrow. Delays in receiving bags of 48 hours to 13 days are being reported.

Today the BA CEO reportedly sent a message to BA London customer service staff asking them to volunteer to help out in reducing the backlog of lost bags. The memo also apparently went (in error) to a large number of former BA employees who were recently laid off in cost-cutting measures. Presumably they're not interested in volunteering.

The BA executive in charge of baggage services is on holiday and not available.

Members of Parliament and the UK Transport Secretary have called for enquiries over BA's operations at Heathrow. Meanwhile, the leading unions representing BA staff are threatening slow-downs or other actions this summer.

Note this is separate from (but probably related to) changes in security and hand baggage procedures at UK airports following earlier security concerns and last week's events in London and at Glasgow airport.


I had 3 LHR transits (and my wife 2) planned for next month, culminating in a trip to Africa. I'm now scrambling to re-route us on our transatlantic and intra-Europe flights so as to avoid LHR entirely. Fortunately our tickets allow such changes with just a $125 fee, so while I'm not thrilled, it's sure better than risking not having clothes for an around-the-world trip. I doubt our bags would ever catch up with us. I keep hearing Dirty Harry in my ears… "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

If you have inescapable BA connections at Heathrow, you might want to think about collecting your bags on arrival, and re-checking them for an onward flight, even if it means more time and nuisance. It sounds like "chain of custody" is a crucial element in not making "Mount Heathrow" a few bags bigger.

Or, if you can sidestep LHR altogether (or UK airports in general), why on Earth wouldn't you?
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 10th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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- One piece carryon through security only.

- 40£ departure tax for longhaul economy. 80€ for business/first. Not including other fees.

- Current luggage problem.

And it's not an isolated event. In the last few years, there were problems with caterers resulting in flight cancelations and no-food-on-board longhauls. All domestic UK flights canceled just before Christmas last year for a little fog in London, which miraculously didn't affect other London airports or other airlines. And I just read about some other baggage problems too.

No wonder BA's total traffic had been down for at least 2 months, compared to a year earlier.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 10th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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Apparently Regis Philbin led off his show today with a rant about how 2 bags he and his wife checked with BA 16 days ago were missing; they got one a couple of days ago containing his wife's fave Armani dress, which was destroyed by water damage and stained from other clothes that had run. Said he will keep his audience updated.

Makes you wonder what it takes to get a CEO sacked.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 10th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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just returned to LHR on a BA flight from africa. waited more than 1 hour at baggage claim. BA's handlers misdirected half of the bags from the flight and the airport's baggage carousel was not working properly....bags waiting on the belt for about 20 feet of free space on the carousel before they would eject off the belt. since the carousel had little or no free spaces of that size, the bags just stopped on the belt. passengers had to rearrange the bags on the carousel to try to get the belt to eject more bags. after waiting at this carousel for all this time and hearing announcements that the bags "were coming", there was finally an announcement that we had to go to another carousel as the bags were directed here by accident.

it was a joke. this airline and airport cannot do anything right.
walkinaround is online now  
Jul 11th, 2007, 01:02 AM
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Which makes me all the happier that I stick to that Luddite airline, AA.
Carrybean is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Yesterday, Regis brought in his wife's white Armani dress to show the audience what happened to it--unbelievable. They're guessing the suitcase became water logged, even though BA contends the suitcase was sealed tight in a plastic container. Water would explain the mold on the dress as well as the pink dye that leached from another outfit. One of the cases remains MIA.

If interested to see for yourself, host chat may be viewed at,

Select Tuesday, July 10th.

(tinypic video is not working for me this morning, sorry!)

AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 04:20 AM
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So this was just a BA problem? Is BA the USAir of England?

We just got back from flying in and out of Heathrow and realize just how lucky we were that our only problem was an hour 15 min. delay coming home.

I heard while we were in London that Terminal 4 was evacuated one day while it was pouring rain outside. What a nightmare.

Then my SIL told me about the luggage mess at Heathrow.

Two days before we flew out of PHL there were severe thunderstorms that kept planes on the runways for 4 hours.

I heard in the US on the day of the Glasgow bombing that all PHL international flights were cancelled and re-routed to NYC the next day.

karens is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 09:26 AM
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We paid extra money to fly BA this summer under the incorrect assumption that service and professionalism that did not exist in the US airlines we could find there. WRONG!!!! My husband and 20,000+ of his newest friends were deserted by BA staff when all BA flights from Heathrow Terminal 4 were cancelled on July 3. He did get his luggage in 3 days.

Meanwhile, my daughter and I flew back on the 11th- and our luggage never made it off the flight from London HR to Boston for us to clear customs. I call at least 3times a day- nothing. What a clueless bunch of jackasses!

BA has accomplished something that I didn't think was possible- making the US airlines look competent!

Does anyone have a home number of someone at BA to contact??? I am SO feed-up with this!
Rebex is offline  
Jul 12th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Quit will only become more difficult if you expect low prices. Private jets are now carrying business travelers. Shortly we will back to low cost ocean carriers for most tourists.
GSteed is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Any positive comments on BA? I am a little nervous now as we fly BA from NYC to Heathrow in less than two weeks. I was under the assumption (now I know incorrectly) that this was a promising airline...Uhhhh
lss1 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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The baggage problem should be under control now, and I've read one report that says only 5,000 "lost" bags remain at LHR.

In 2 weeks, you should be fine.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Had dinner in Rome next to a couple whose luggage had been lost for over a week. It was still being "researched" lost in London... this was over a week on July 12...
dawnnoelm is offline  
Jul 14th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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I have now completed my re-routing away from LHR (and the UK) altogether for this summer's travels, for both my wife and myself. Impacts -

Reduced revenue to BAA for nuisance fees and overpriced duty-free at Heathrow Shopping Centre PLC;

Reduced revenue to BA for the 3 BA business class flights we're now not taking;

Avoidance of the HEX and grotty terminal areas;

Avoidance of the FCC at LHR including the so called "fast track" (ha ha.)

Avoidance of Terminals 1, 3 and 4 at LHR altogether;

Avoidance of £3 Starbucks and $2 £s altogether...

Reduced revenue to the Hotel Hoppa Bus for shuttles to LHR airport hotels that we won't now be needing;

Reduced revenues at said hotels;

Reduced personal cost for a hotel near Madrid Barajas airport (which is a fraction of the cost we would have paid at LHR);

High probability of having clothing and personal effects for subsequent stops in Sweden, Israel, South Africa, Oz, NZ, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo...

I could go on. Me happy.
Gardyloo is online now  

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