Heathrow T5 Christmas Eve

Old Dec 4, 19, 4:18 am
  #1  
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Heathrow T5 Christmas Eve

Hi all

Does anyone have any thoughts as to how busy LHR T5 is on Christmas Eve.

Arriving into T5 from USA at 1600 hours and then connecting to the Manchester flight at 1725 on a through ticket.

Iím slightly worried about the connection time as I expect the airport will be busy and may mis connect. The next flight to MAN isnít till the following morning.

Anybody got any thoughts on how busy T5 is likely to be?

Thanks
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Old Dec 4, 19, 4:26 am
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This year I would expect Christmas Eve to be relatively quiet, due to Christmas Day being on a Wednesday. You will make that connection if you are on time, or even 30 plus minutes late. From previous years, BA have tended to give a few extra minutes on the final domestic and close European destinations if there are a few stragglers on late running connections. They aren't going to hold a flight 30 minutes, but they tend to be mindful of the consequences of missing the final flight on that evening.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:11 am
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Depends if it snows. I recall the nightmare-before-Christmas from a few years ago when a couple of inches of snow in the days prior caused a LHR/T5/BA meltdown of epic proportions on Christmas Eve. My flight to Italy took off without any bags (obviously with the full knowledge of BA and the captain, though neither chose to say anything until.. well, until never). Arrived in Italy, no bags, no help, manic search for open shops for clothes late that evening. One bag turned up on 26th, one never found (= hived off by BA to an incompetent delivery company who sold them off). The BA customer service director (forget her name) was on holiday throughout the period and apparently lost her job soon after.
Not that I'm bitter and twisted.....
But I'd keep one eye on the weather.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:13 am
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Did the OP remind anyone else of this:
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:25 am
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an hour and 25 minutes should be OK unless your inbound is very very late

there are trains from Euston to manchester on Christmas eve until 20:00 which I suspect you could make if you were leaving heathrow until around 18:30
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by Yeoman5 View Post
Depends if it snows. I recall the nightmare-before-Christmas from a few years ago when a couple of inches of snow in the days prior caused a LHR/T5/BA meltdown of epic proportions on Christmas Eve. My flight to Italy took off without any bags (obviously with the full knowledge of BA and the captain, though neither chose to say anything until.. well, until never). Arrived in Italy, no bags, no help, manic search for open shops for clothes late that evening. One bag turned up on 26th, one never found (= hived off by BA to an incompetent delivery company who sold them off). The BA customer service director (forget her name) was on holiday throughout the period and apparently lost her job soon after.
Not that I'm bitter and twisted.....
But I'd keep one eye on the weather.
The event you mention happened around Dec 11th 2017, and it was due to a decision made by the airline and the airport to take advice from the Met office forecast, which expected first sleet then rain. Airplanes were anti-iced and snowploughs not put on standby. As it turned out first it rained, thus washing off the anti-ice, then it sleeted, then it snowed, which was the opposite of what was expected.


The 'customer service director' at that time (Head of Customer Services) was a man, Troy Warfield. He was very much in the office, and very much didn't lose his job because of that (but for other reasons). What happened is that another man, a director in LHR Ops, was made the scapegoat and effectively forced to be sacked. In doing so BA LHR decided to get rid of somebody with a lot of experience in the business, from Engineering to Operations, a relentless focus on safety (he was involved, amongst many other things, in the work post G-YMMM) and the customer and, more importantly, an independent mind. I used to work for the guy in his Engineering days and have nothing but praise for him.

A decision was made, a serious balls-up was made and lessons had to be learned, chiefly around back-up crews in the possibility of bad weather (and indeed were: when the nasty weather associated with the "Beast from the East" hit LHR over 3 days, the number of unscheduled cancellations was almost zero and delays were manageable and no airport closures). But that guy had been put in place in the pre-Cruz-and-friends days, where experience and independent minds mattered and he had to go.

Apologies for the OT but felt needed to rectify a couple of points...
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Old Dec 4, 19, 7:42 am
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Although not ideal, the last train from Euston to Manchester isn't until 20:00 so that would be an option if you were delayed.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 7:50 am
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