Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

My bag was tag Long Transfer even though the layover was only 2 hours

My bag was tag Long Transfer even though the layover was only 2 hours

Reply

Old Jan 10, 19, 6:11 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott P, IHG P
Posts: 7,276
My bag was tag Long Transfer even though the layover was only 2 hours

I'm not a frequent BA traveller as I have status with *A. I used AA and BA Christmas 2017 and again Christmas 2018. Both times my bags never made it on the connecting flight. In 2017 I had 8 hours between the AA and BA flight, there's absolutely no reason why my bags didn't make the connection.

Then when we got home from LAX a couple of days ago, 4 out of 5 bags didn't make to the connecting flight. I found out later that the bag was tagged with "long transfer"! How on earth a 2 hours layover at LHR (even within T5) can be long transfer?

I'm sure it's not a problem at LHR because my *A transfer never had a problem - neither my outward journey. A lot of people who were coming home didn't have their bags either. I wasn't the only one who got several email from BA saying that my bags didn't make it.

Right now my bags are still at the airport as they can only deliver from 10am to 5pm and it's impossible for me to sit at home and wait so I have to wait until Saturday to get my bags - another wonderful thing from BA.

I can't stop wondering if BA is trying to prioritise who deserves to get their bags. Any one has similar experience?

The reason I flew BA was because of a $300 voucher from AA last year - had to pick BA for a "guarantee" on time departure from LAX or 600 EUR compensation. Last year our AA flight went tech and we had to stay an extra night at LAX and hence the $300 voucher..
nacho is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 7:32 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: BRS
Programs: BA Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,174
The data should all be in the lugagage tag, shouldn’t it not? So once it goes into the luggage system it doesn’t really matter what else is attached. I’m not exactly sure what the point in the tags is; but I’m not sure the long luggage transfer label is at fault here..
Schwann is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 8:29 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Krakow
Programs: BAEC Silver, Miles and More(FTL), IHG(Platinum), Accor, HHonors(Diamond), SPG, Hertz Five Star
Posts: 2,048
my suspicion is that the long and short tags are decoration in the same manner the priority tag is.

the agents stick on the bag whatever fly tells them to.

I have, on occasion, had a short tag on a 4 hour connection, and a long tag on shorter connections
Often1 and nancypants like this.
scottishpoet is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 8:32 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA EP 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,173
As I understand it, "long transfer" means the bag goes to the (central, robot operated) bag store instead of directly into the transfer system and to the baggage assembly into cans for the next flight. 2 hours is a bit too early for luggage to be assembled for the next flight so the bags go into the bag store - and out shortly after. It is essentially a direction to the people unpacking bags from the cans on the incoming flight to send the bag either to the bag store (long transfer), or to arrivals (not a transfer) or to be moved to another gate ASAP (short transfer). Next-gate-ASAP is for use when the bags for that flight are already being assembled, which is a bit less than 2 hours before.

... as I understand, those who know better are welcome to correct me.
nancypants likes this.
flatlander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 10:18 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: LON, between FAB and EGTD
Programs: AA Plat, BA nobody
Posts: 56
In November I flew EZE/LHR with a 5-hr connection to LGW/AMS. The check-in lady at EZE told me the bag was tagged through to AMS and put a Long Transfer tag on it. As I could see the bag tag was -- correctly -- labelled LHR I thought it wasn't worth trying to correct her.

My bag didn't appear at T5. Once I'd realized all bags were out, I went to the baggage desk. The lady there called someone who sent it out after a few minutes on a different baggage belt. I'm sure the Long Transfer tag does mean something, as flatlander said, and it means the bag gets diverted.

Anyway it cost me a half-hour of arrivals lounge time, as even with a 5-hour connection, I had to get on, what with the tube to Hounslow West, the drive to Gatwick, and wanting some scrambled eggs for breakfast at the LGW F lounge (the best lounge scrambled eggs I know).
:D! likes this.
tjcxx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 10:34 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA EP 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,173
Arrival LHR, departure LGW is "not a transfer" as far as LHR handling is concerned since the bag is delivered to the arrivals luggage belt. If the EZE staff were directed to attach a long transfer tag that sounds like a BA IT error, and if they assumed that the connection required a transfer tag then "to assume makes an a s s out of u and me".
flatlander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 11:21 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: LHR
Posts: 470
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
I'm not a frequent BA traveller as I have status with *A. I used AA and BA Christmas 2017 and again Christmas 2018. Both times my bags never made it on the connecting flight. In 2017 I had 8 hours between the AA and BA flight, there's absolutely no reason why my bags didn't make the connection.

Then when we got home from LAX a couple of days ago, 4 out of 5 bags didn't make to the connecting flight. I found out later that the bag was tagged with "long transfer"! How on earth a 2 hours layover at LHR (even within T5) can be long transfer?

I'm sure it's not a problem at LHR because my *A transfer never had a problem - neither my outward journey. A lot of people who were coming home didn't have their bags either. I wasn't the only one who got several email from BA saying that my bags didn't make it.

Right now my bags are still at the airport as they can only deliver from 10am to 5pm and it's impossible for me to sit at home and wait so I have to wait until Saturday to get my bags - another wonderful thing from BA.

I can't stop wondering if BA is trying to prioritise who deserves to get their bags. Any one has similar experience?

The reason I flew BA was because of a $300 voucher from AA last year - had to pick BA for a "guarantee" on time departure from LAX or 600 EUR compensation. Last year our AA flight went tech and we had to stay an extra night at LAX and hence the $300 voucher..
Long transfer, as per business rule set up in Altéa FM, is anything north of 90 minutes (if I remember correctly). The "arrow tag" has absolutely no value from a baggage sorting point of view in LHR, for all the information for your bag will be stored in the bag's messaging, electronically. By reading the barcodes, the system will "know" where your bag is meant to be going and will route it accordingly.

Having your bag short-shipped is really irritating and I sympathise with you; it happened to me more times than I care to remember (especially on staff travel when you're confirmed very close to the flight's closing time), and it never gets easy with use. The courier experience can also be incredibly annoying, to the point that in the last few cases I decided to stay put in the airport and wait for the bag to arrive on another flight (easy to do on an AMS flight, less so on a PVG, of course).

Without going too much in detail, there are a many reasons why your bag couldn't make an 8-hr transfer, starting from system issues to messaging failures to suspicious contents to, last but not least, BA ineptitude. Whilst it's natural to think "BA is doing it on purpose", there are only two scenarios when BA would prioritise one bag over another: when it's about "Rush" bags (so bags of customers who've already been inconvenienced), although one could argue that there are exceptions to this rule, and wheelchairs/mobility aids. In the latter case it does happen that one electric wheelchair - or non-collapsible manual one - appears, unnotified, for a flight. Those mobility aids must be loaded separately, in a bin, and strapped down. If that plane is an A319, with only 4 ULD positions, Hold 5 is full and there's a bin's worth of bags that won't fit... those bags will remain behind, and I daresay that it's the right call.

All this is my opinion and my experience, not BA's position.
13900 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 12:19 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott P, IHG P
Posts: 7,276
Thanks for the replies! It's a A320 and more importantly it's not full (outbound was full but our bags still made it).

What made me suspicious was that the ones who don't have bags were those who travelled home, i.e. 1) no one can claim travel insurance = insurance companies can't go after BA for compensation; 2) It's easier to deliver bags to home bound passenger vs. outbound passenger especially if they are doing a 2 week road trip like we did. Both times the ones queuing at Menzies or getting the emails are those who are coming home from holiday. Another data point: when we were checking in at CPH, our layover was 1:45 but we had a "short connection" tag on and both times and they made it to LAX.

We used LHR for *A transfers (SK and UA) and we never had any problem (except once AA put us on SK flight after we landed LHR and despite I went to SK counter to make sure all our bags received our new flight information, we got 3 out of 5 bags with a layover for about 5 hours).

Menzies told me that "maybe" BA can give me a better delivery time if I'm a gold member - I don't think I ever will be if this is what we have been experiencing.

I know it's a conspiracy theory but it's difficult not to think like when this happened both times we flew BA. We are not annual flyers and we flew multi destinations with different carriers and the only time it happened during the past 10 years was a bag with car seats that was checked at odd size at CPH didn't get on the flight. LH forwarded to us within 48 hours after our arrival in the US.

Last edited by nacho; Jan 10, 19 at 12:27 pm
nacho is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 12:28 pm
  #9  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 37,696
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
What made me suspicious was that the ones who don't have bags were those who travelled home, i.e. can't claim travel insurance = insurance companies can't go after BA for compensation. Both times the ones queuing at Menzies or getting the emails are those who are coming home from holiday. Another data point: when we were checking in at CPH, our layover was 1:45 but we had a "short connection" tag on and both times and they made it to LAX.
That will be just a coincidence - at this time of year not so many tourists visit CPH and many of the locals like to escape! In June it would have been different. But in any event, delayed baggage is a huge cost to BA, where ever it happens, in terms of handling, processing, storage and courier costs, so I don't think you can read anything into the above, it's avoidable cost that BA, more than most airlines, seek to avoid. There was a baggage system outage earlier this week, which was resolved fairly quickly even a brief outage leads to delayed bags.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 19, 11:49 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: LHR
Posts: 470
Originally Posted by nacho View Post
Thanks for the replies! It's a A320 and more importantly it's not full (outbound was full but our bags still made it).

What made me suspicious was that the ones who don't have bags were those who travelled home, i.e. 1) no one can claim travel insurance = insurance companies can't go after BA for compensation; 2) It's easier to deliver bags to home bound passenger vs. outbound passenger especially if they are doing a 2 week road trip like we did. Both times the ones queuing at Menzies or getting the emails are those who are coming home from holiday. Another data point: when we were checking in at CPH, our layover was 1:45 but we had a "short connection" tag on and both times and they made it to LAX.

We used LHR for *A transfers (SK and UA) and we never had any problem (except once AA put us on SK flight after we landed LHR and despite I went to SK counter to make sure all our bags received our new flight information, we got 3 out of 5 bags with a layover for about 5 hours).

Menzies told me that "maybe" BA can give me a better delivery time if I'm a gold member - I don't think I ever will be if this is what we have been experiencing.

I know it's a conspiracy theory but it's difficult not to think like when this happened both times we flew BA. We are not annual flyers and we flew multi destinations with different carriers and the only time it happened during the past 10 years was a bag with car seats that was checked at odd size at CPH didn't get on the flight. LH forwarded to us within 48 hours after our arrival in the US.
It's easy to think "Why me?" but, believe me, it's not the case. BA pays an inordinate amount of money on baggage repatriation and it'd be a lot easier to sort out some of the long-standing issues (such as design features in T5 that were meant to be built when the building was going up, but that ultimately were descoped) than to give precedence to outbound passengers rather than those at the end of their journey.

As for Menzies' claim that Gold bags get repatriated quicker... I'd really like to know why on God's green Earth they are claiming that. LHR has an automated re-flight system and, having worked on its implementation many moons ago, I know it doesn't get FQTV information from the passenger's file. Nor does any Baggage Reconciliation System I've seen. You see a bag, it tells you where to send it to. It doesn't say "Oi it's a Goldie, better be quick".

Again, the arrow tag that says "Long/Short" is irrelevant. It's an extra visual recognition. The real information is stored in the baggage's data files/messages. In LHR what happens to your transfer bag is as follows:
  • Arrival into LHR
  • Transfer bin offloaded from airplane
  • Bags are offloaded from the bin in the nearest Transfer Input Point (think a belt conveyor feeding a system)
  • Bags are then taken, using "trays" travelling on rails, to T5A for screening (if the bag is on a T5-T5 journey; if it isn't it'll go through the tunnel towards T3 or other terminals)
  • Once passed the appropriate screening levels, the bag can go in two places:
    • If the onward flight is "open", i.e. being built (mind you, times for build are different from times for check-in), then the bag will travel to the appropriate lateral where it'll be put in the bin for the next flight
    • If the flight isn't open, and on a 1h45 connection it'll most definitely not, it'll go in the Early Bag Store. Imagine something like what you have at the end of Ikea, just with bags and with cranes going up and down getting the bags. Once the flight opens and the right type of bags are called, these will go down to the lateral and will go in a bin
In this situation, the arrow tag you were given has no use whatsoever. It's used in situation like at LGW, where the planes are loose-loaded and the handler sorts bags by the aircraft side ("this bag is a transfer and goes into this cart; this bag isn't and goes there"). It's all governed by data read through barcodes, and the data is created almost automatically when you check-in.

Hope this helps and clarifies a little.
13900 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 12:12 am
  #11  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Programs: Battleaxe Alliance
Posts: 20,820
Originally Posted by nacho View Post

What made me suspicious was that the ones who don't have bags were those who travelled home, i.e. 1) no one can claim travel insurance = insurance companies can't go after BA for compensation; 2) It's easier to deliver bags to home bound passenger vs. outbound passenger especially if they are doing a 2 week road trip like we did.
I don't think the system would be clever enough to put much thoughts into it, and I doubt people would have time or inclination to put effort into identify such things.

I very, very, very strongly suspect it was nothing more than a coincidence.

Consider it lucky though, because generally speaking, home-bound passengers are those who are least inconvenienced by baggage delays.
nancypants likes this.
LTN Phobia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 3:49 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott P, IHG P
Posts: 7,276
Thanks for all the insights! I know BA is paying like crazy for baggage delays/lost bags - and I don't think it's something they can do in the long run. I guess we can call ourselves unlucky with BA.

I do think BA can make things happen regarding delivery of delayed bags - last year the courier suddenly showed up without arranging anything with us and he called us when he was outside our door. He got very mad that we weren't home and told us if we want our bags we can collect them at the airport (50km away each way). Their reason was that BA only pay them to go out and deliver the bags once. We twitted BA and they made the courier to deliver the bags on a Sunday evening. So I'm not surprised if a BAEC Gold contact BA and they can arrange special delivery.
nacho is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 4:33 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA EP 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,173
Originally Posted by 13900 View Post
Hope this helps and clarifies a little.
That's highly informative. Thank you for posting it.

(I was more wrong than right earlier, so, good thing you came along )
flatlander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 4:45 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold / OW Emerald
Posts: 533
Originally Posted by 13900 View Post
As for Menzies' claim that Gold bags get repatriated quicker... I'd really like to know why on God's green Earth they are claiming that. LHR has an automated re-flight system and, having worked on its implementation many moons ago, I know it doesn't get FQTV information from the passenger's file. Nor does any Baggage Reconciliation System I've seen. You see a bag, it tells you where to send it to. It doesn't say "Oi it's a Goldie, better be quick".
That's an interesting one. I had a piece of luggage that didn't make it and was assured by the agent that I'd receive it faster because I'm gold. No complaints though as it arrived on the first flight the next day and was in my possession the same evening.
thebigben is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 19, 7:34 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Around somewhere
Programs: Bronze, Some red card and some hotel cards.
Posts: 320
Bags also get left of aircraft due to weight and balance issues.
SonTech is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread