BA - Sort Your Cabin Baggage Policy FFS

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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:28 am
  #1
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Angry BA - Sort Your Cabin Baggage Policy FFS

Yesterday I had my third flight in a row delayed due to BA's ridiculous and totally non-enforced cabin baggage policy. Not helped by a complete lack of assistance by the ground staff and the CC seemingly not feeling empowered to do anything - or maybe just CBA?

There was a full Y cabin and I was up in CE in 1D and boarded about half-way through the process so could see everything going on and the communications. So some observations:

1. The size of bag (and quantity of bags) some were bringing on was truly ridiculous IMHO. Clearly the gate staff had not attempted to get them to check it into the hold
2. When the Y cabin was about 2/3 full the CC started to tell pax as they boarded, "there is no room in the overheads, they are now full". But....no attempt at all was made to remove the bags, it was almost just a half-hearted advisory
3. A message was sent up to the gate staff to start to check all further rollaboards but this was clearly ignored as they kept on coming.
4. The totally inevitable happened, everyone boarded and then the CC had to retrospectively bring the very same bags back up from the Y cabin to check-in to the hold. A total of 17 large suitcases I overheard eventually had had to be removed.

Result - flight left 35 minutes late as we first missed our initial slot, then the pilot announced a further delay as planes on either side of us had priority as they were ready to leave at their proper time and were ready.

A really farcical situation that was so 100% predictable but no-one seemed in a position to actually take charge and be assertive and enforce the policy. The gate staff continued to let pax through with large / multiple bags even after the CC asked them to check all further large bags in. Then when these pax boarded, the CC at the door merely advised them the bins were already full and then when boarding was complete had to retrospectively remove a large number to check-in to the hold....which delayed the flight!

I flew Easyjet from the same airport 4 weeks ago and their policy on size / quantity per pax was very strictly enforced. Three flights in a row now delayed with BA....why is this so difficult for BA??
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:32 am
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It'll be fun once the A320s and A321s are densified.

I asked BA on twitter what their long term strategy was, the reply was:

"We appreciate it's disappointing when we need to ask passengers to check a piece of their hand baggage into the hold. This is explained in our conditions of carriage so our pasengers are aware this may happen."
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:34 am
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It is really, really not that difficult. X number of wheely bags allowed on board, with gate staff counting them through. Anything after that needs to be checked.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:37 am
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Which airport was this? The ground agents are usually third parties so this may explain some of the issues here.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by markle View Post
It is really, really not that difficult. X number of wheely bags allowed on board, with gate staff counting them through. Anything after that needs to be checked.
If you just went with the counting method it would make the scrum to get on board first even worse, as everyone would know you can get on with over sized bags as long as you board quickly.

At KEF on Sunday the crew complained about the gate agents allowing over sized bags. I was on an E190, so a lot of large bags wouldn't fit in the overheads.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by markle View Post
It is really, really not that difficult. X number of wheely bags allowed on board, with gate staff counting them through. Anything after that needs to be checked.
Well it does require ground staff:

a. with a basic level of numeracy;
b. who give a toss;
c. and care about their jobs.

It also gets worse at this time of year as coats invariably get shoved in the lockers, reducing the number of bags that can fit on board.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 5:47 am
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I've had this happen a few times. Outstations seem to be the worst for this, especially Venice during the summer. It's hell sometimes.

I generally travel with a light backpack but I tend to sit on the exit row on short haul. I'm required to put all my things into the overhead lockers. Who wants to bet there's any space there unless I board first?

I believe Ryanair only guarantee 90(?) bags onto each flights. Nice and simple right? Combined with some proactive policing of the lockers (CE lockers only for CE, Exit Row lockers only for Exit Row) it would make everything run better.

Other industries hold up the airline industry as the bastions of efficiency. Since I started to fly regularly around 3 years ago that's been somewhat shattered.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:01 am
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I am always completely gobsmacked at how the cabin baggage policy is NOT enforced. You would think that this was one of the fundamentals of boarding requirements... to check that all cabin bags meet the maximum size limits.

On my last flight from DXB to LHR there were two people with very (and I mean) very large rucksacks with sleeping bags and who knows what else hanging on the outside. It was bigger than my 32kg case I use when going to the USA... and yes, they allowed it as hand baggage! Ridiculous!

I do wish BA would actually enforce the hand baggage limitations for all flights.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:14 am
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People are generally in favour of enforcing the cabin baggage rules, provided of course that they can continue to bring whatever they like on board.

This stuff happens because trying to tell people that their bags aren't going on board today will inevitably result in aggro for the staff involved.

Passengers need to take responsibility, too.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:16 am
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I had always thought the place in the whole airport process to unilaterally enforce this would be at security screening. A whole bunch of other rule based, totally non-negotiable enforcements happen at this point already so why not size / number of bags per pax also? Just have a gauge attached to the entrance of each scanner that is slightly wider than the maximum sized bag and the rule is simple. If it doesn't fit in the scanner (or you have >1) you 100% must go back and check it in. No if's, no but's. Period.

This way the same rule is applied to all airlines and pax are less likely to argue with security staff as other rules are already strictly enforced at this point, ie liquids, banned articles etc. Of course a pax could still buy a duty free item(s) but IMHO just the strict enforcement of maximum size and number at a common point before pax are allowed airside would be a vast improvement.

The trouble is at the moment the baggage policy varies per airline, as does whether or not it is enforced...and even that varies per airport too. So pax like to take a chance and try and negotiate at the gate with the inevitable, "well I was allowed to take this on board last time I flew with BA", or, "XXX airline lets me take it, why can't you".

Last edited by BOH; Nov 14, 17 at 6:21 am
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
Well it does require ground staff:

a. with a basic level of numeracy;
b. who give a toss;
c. and care about their jobs.

It also gets worse at this time of year as coats invariably get shoved in the lockers, reducing the number of bags that can fit on board.
By folding the coat/jacket and putting it on top of the bag doesn't reduce the number of bags which fit on board.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:24 am
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The problem probably lies with connecting passengers. I've never seen security at EZE giving a hoot how much hand baggage you're carrying.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:30 am
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If everyone brought the -allowed- carry on limitations there would not be enough room on most aircraft.

What would help is a gate checking system where you get the bag back, rapidly at disembarking gate.

Saying all that, how many flights are delayed because of this issue?
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Which airport was this? The ground agents are usually third parties so this may explain some of the issues here.
Would prefer not to say because have been critical of the CC. But yes it is an outstation and the ground staff are contract - but then the same company serve the other airlines too and seem happy to enforce the policy on their behalf.
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Old Nov 14, 17, 6:34 am
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delete. didn't notice OP made the same point. sorry.

Last edited by dsf; Nov 14, 17 at 6:35 am Reason: mea culpa
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