Old Jan 18, 08, 2:23 pm
  #587  
SpeedbirdLHR
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 868
Originally Posted by sunrisegirl View Post
I'm sorry but I find it hard to see the criticism of the ground staff here and not make a comment. I do hope the person I spoke with (who was present with the pax) will forgive me in saying a couple of things, but I wish to defend those who worked extremely hard yesterday, during very emotional circumstances.

The passengers were taken to the lounges, hence why the lounges were closed to regular passengers, and had full access to food and drink that is available in there.

Yes, TV's were turned off so as not to alarm the passengers any further following their traumatic experience.

It's correct they were unable to obtain their belongings, including passports, etc, but they were given (very reasonable) funds to assist them until these become available.

I cannot, and will not, add to this as it would not be fair on the individual who gave me this information. I'm only saying this as there are so many incorrect posts on here right now.

It's disappointing that some are insulting ground staff when they are unaware of facts.
Just to add to this, one key reason for not allowing the passengers on that service access to television and as much as possible, anyone not connected with the airline or the incident is to maintain as much as possible their actual recollections rather than anything that might be tainted by other reports. This is particularly important when it comes time for them to be interviewed.

I can say that my colleagues did their best to assist the passengers from that service.

Also, there are generally persons on hand to provide basic counselling in events such as this and while I wasn't there, I would be surprised if they weren't present. One of the complaints have been about the lack of such and that they were given information on where to get counselling if needed, but I am sure this would have been to get further assistance if they needed it and not in place of help at the airport.

As for their personal belongings, anything left on the aircraft essentially became part of the investigation and has to be cleared by the authorities before being handed to BA for release to the passengers. However, as pointed out, the passengers were indeed given assistance. There are special groups who are called in during such events who deal with these matters and they have worked through the night examining the items in the cabin.

Not everyone will be happy with how events unfolded, but there is a process that has to be followed and BA would not at the end of it, just abandon the passengers in that scenario. There were many people in the terminals yesterday complaining that their flights were cancelled and there were no staff to give information. One reason was that the main aim was to look after those passengers from the incident. BA also move rather quickly to have as many staff available to help out in the terminals. To the extent that many people who were off doing various projects (including some T5), recruitment and even training were called back to the terminals shortly after the incident occurred.

Many of us that work for BA are justifiably be critical of the airline many of the times cause we want the best, but I am pretty sure that most will agree that when incidents happen, the airline and the many staff personally try to help as much as we can. This is a situation where the vast majority of BA staff have never experienced, but would have done everything possible to look after those in their care.

While I can't tell those passengers who are critical of events that they didn't experience what they say they did, the one thing I can say is that know my colleagues did everything to assist those involved.

As for the BBC reporting, there were some errors, as with much of the media. I was happy when the BALPA member essentially told them to stop the speculation, as that is essentially what they were doing, driving lots of the speculation and in some ways being very sensational with a serious event. The manner in which some of their reporters put questions to the passengers and 'witnesses' left much to be desired, such as the unnamed airport worker. unfortunately that is the world we live in where the news media try to compete to see who can get the best take on a story, no matter what.
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