LHR-BRU. Just about had enough

Old Oct 18, 2017, 6:58 am
  #1  
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Angry LHR-BRU. Just about had enough

This should not be construed as an attack on BA staff who are always, in my experience, excellent but I use this return route (amongst others) once or more on a return basis every week. I might just go to brussels airlines instead as this route is always late. Spoke to a crew member last week who told me that he had only been on time on this route 3 times this year. Phoned up gold club hotline who put me on to customer service who then said that of course flights could be late for any reason. Of course they can but every time? I asked the lady what is now the difference between BA and Ryanair? Thinking about it now. The difference seems to be Ryanair are open about not giving a monkeys.

Rant over.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:09 am
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I'm sure Ryanair flights and Brussels Airlines flights can be late too.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:10 am
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Randomly picking on of the BRU-LHR flights shows it has been on time more than 3 times in the last 2 weeks alone, so the 3 times in a year thing is clearly nonsense

https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/BAW399

Not sure what you expected customer services to say?
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:17 am
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In order to maximise aircraft utilisation most airlines have trimmed turnaround times to the bone, following the Ryanair model.

It sometimes feels like on BA (like FR) that everything needs to go well throughout the day for the timetable to be met, when in reality, issues occur (particularly at LHR, but also seasonally at LCY) and the consequently likelihood of delay increases through the day as there is insufficient slack built in to make up time.

I cant see it getting any better, and Im not even sure the third runway at LHR will help much, it will just change the pinch point to parking and taxiway congestion.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:17 am
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Last edited by ahmetdouas; Nov 10, 2017 at 8:30 am
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:27 am
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Doing this trip almost on a weekly basis as well it's starting to become frustrating as well. It's just too short of a trip. 45 min flight but "on time" usually means if they can complete gate to gate in 1h20 which defeats the purpose of taking this over the Eurostar. Unfortunately Zaventem is far better located for where I have to be so I'll just stick with flying. Also, arriving / departing from Brussel-Midi is a nightmare by itself.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:35 am
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I'm always amazed anyone uses LHR-BRU (or LHR-CDG) for anything other than BA connections at LHR. Unless your BRU/CDG/LHR destination is right near the airport, surely the Eurostar makes more sense for point-to-point: usually less time city-to-city (centre) and less hassle than dealing with any of those airports.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:37 am
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I took Brussels Airlines earlier this year, with a connection in BRU. The inbound flight to BRU was an hour late. Arriving at connections security the staff said that Brussels Airlines is always late and they have to then try to fast track people through security to try to make their connection.

So might be worth checking their delays before jumping too fast!
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:38 am
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Last edited by ahmetdouas; Nov 10, 2017 at 8:30 am
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:38 am
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The Brussel-Midi experience is far from premium, but you can rub the edges off by sinking a few Leffe Brunes in the bar at the Pullman
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:40 am
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to be fair, much of the delay here is probably caused "normal" operations at LHR; it's just much more noticeable on a short flight like BRU because (relative to total travel time) the delay at LHR adds quite a lot, and because there's less time to make up lost ground on the way...


So a (very common) 30 minute taxi at LHR on a TATL goes unnoticed because you make up 30 minutes on the way and the "block time" is already significantly longer than typical flight times; but on a hop to BRU there's nowhere really to hide those 30 minutes.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by ahmetdouas
No status with Eurostar though! I would probably take the plane if I had to deal with this route as well, same with Paris!

Of course, the Eurostar takes advantage of all this by having ridiculously (in my opinion at least) high fares.


You hardly need status with Eurostar though - queue is never that long, and you can arrive so close to departure than the lounge (which is pretty meh anyway) is pretty useless. The few times I have been on a business ticket with lounge access, I was in there under 20 minutes all-told...


Plus with the actually fairly reasonable fares for "standard premier" you can have the full "business class" seating and catering (minus lounge) with zero status without too much hassle. Including always-available upgrades for sale on the train (never been refused one; normally only c. 50 if you want some peace and quiet)


I'd still pick Eurostar over BA even with BA Gold.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by ratypus
to be fair, much of the delay here is probably caused "normal" operations at LHR; it's just much more noticeable on a short flight like BRU because (relative to total travel time) the delay at LHR adds quite a lot, and because there's less time to make up lost ground on the way...
So it's probably common to all airlines on this route

From a personal, leisure infrequent flyer point of view, I prefer BA because so far has been more cheaper than Eurostar.

I admit that I also live very much closer to Zaventem than Midi, a PITA to reach with luggage and public transit .
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by ratypus
I'm always amazed anyone uses LHR-BRU (or LHR-CDG) for anything other than BA connections at LHR. Unless your BRU/CDG/LHR destination is right near the airport, surely the Eurostar makes more sense for point-to-point: usually less time city-to-city (centre) and less hassle than dealing with any of those airports.
Except if you need to rely on car rental (closes before last eurostar arrives), need to be anywhere except in Brussels (...... connections on eurostar arrivals in weekend). Arriving in Zaventem is perfect. Passport check, car rental and 10min drive to Leuven beats arriving in the midi warzone and find a delayed NMBS train to somewhere.
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Old Oct 18, 2017, 8:03 am
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I have done this flight as a return about 4 times in the last couple of months - I think we have been 'on time' within BA's definition (which I believe is no more than 20 minutes late?) about 50% of the time as another datapoint.

I don't find BRU that bad as an airport, it's quite compact, the BA lounge is fine and always quite near the gate; until boarding that is, when chaos regularly breaks out as everyone here seems to think they're too important to queue...
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