BA0399 BRU-LHR Last Night

Old Jun 15, 2022, 2:59 pm
  #1  
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BA0399 BRU-LHR Last Night

This was a complete shambles last night.

The Airbridge had to be reconnected and the hold doors opened to facilitate the removal of six bags that wouldn't fit in the cabin.. I think the Captain was responsible (but I may be wrong).

It was a busy flight but-

No one was encouraged at the Gate prior to boarding to volunteer to put their luggage in the hold free of charge like they normally do.

Despite constant announcements from the start of boarding to put small bags under the seats to make room for the bigger ones overhead ( so they were aware of potential problems) the Captain must have made the decision to close the hold and the airbridge to be removed without checking first that all the cabin baggage was secured safely..

This is what caused the delay in my view but he didn't hold his hands up.

Once we got airborne on arrival at Heathrow there were further Airbridge problems and we didn't get off until nearly 2100 - nearly two hours late. Nearly missed my connection to EDI at 2230 but luckily there was no queue at UK Border.
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Old Jun 15, 2022, 4:09 pm
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The captain doesnt make the decision to connect or disconnect air bridges or put bags in the hold or not. Its usually the cabin crew has to work together with the turnaround/ramp manager to see any bags needs to be loaded to the hold or not. Ground staff will load bags and close the doors etc.
im not sure what the captain should have done? They are busy with setting up the plane and communicating with ground, tower, ATC. If cabin crew thought all bags will fit but it wont then those extra has to go somewhere in the hold.
this can happen sometimes it usually not the main cause for any delay. 1.5 hours T5-T5 connection is plenty. Unless passport check and security takes 50 min I could even have time to go to the lounge for a drink. 😀
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Old Jun 15, 2022, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Butts
This was a complete shambles last night.

The Airbridge had to be reconnected and the hold doors opened to facilitate the removal of six bags that wouldn't fit in the cabin.. I think the Captain was responsible (but I may be wrong).

It was a busy flight but-

No one was encouraged at the Gate prior to boarding to volunteer to put their luggage in the hold free of charge like they normally do.

Despite constant announcements from the start of boarding to put small bags under the seats to make room for the bigger ones overhead ( so they were aware of potential problems) the Captain must have made the decision to close the hold and the airbridge to be removed without checking first that all the cabin baggage was secured safely..

This is what caused the delay in my view but he didn't hold his hands up.

Once we got airborne on arrival at Heathrow there were further Airbridge problems and we didn't get off until nearly 2100 - nearly two hours late. Nearly missed my connection to EDI at 2230 but luckily there was no queue at UK Border.
Given the delay in re-opening the doors, I'm surprised the crew couldn't solve this by being more assertive - e.g. putting bags in front of un-occupied seats, or the middles in CE.
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Old Jun 15, 2022, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy
Given the delay in re-opening the doors, I'm surprised the crew couldn't solve this by being more assertive - e.g. putting bags in front of un-occupied seats, or the middles in CE.
Without knowing just how assertive BRU were with carry on allowances prior to boarding its a difficult once to answer. I would hazard a guess that like at most outstations, the ground crew at BRU were particularly ineffective in monitoring the situation for this flight and were eager to shut the doors to record an on time departure. This then leaves the cabin crew to be resourceful with limited stowage options available in the cabin. Ultimately they aren't magicians in finding suitable storage of said items. Ultimately if it isn't going to fit, it isn't going to fit in which case the doors will need to be reopened and the unsecured items resecured in the hold. I can see the frustration in why passengers chance their arm by bringing on board unrealistic amounts of cabin baggage, especially in the midst of shortages of baggage handlers at Heathrow but there's often more semantics to these stories than meets the eye.... usually involving a third party handling company not doing a particularly great job in the first place.
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by Krisz
The captain doesnt make the decision to connect or disconnect air bridges or put bags in the hold or not. Its usually the cabin crew has to work together with the turnaround/ramp manager to see any bags needs to be loaded to the hold or not. Ground staff will load bags and close the doors etc.
im not sure what the captain should have done? They are busy with setting up the plane and communicating with ground, tower, ATC. If cabin crew thought all bags will fit but it wont then those extra has to go somewhere in the hold.
this can happen sometimes it usually not the main cause for any delay. 1.5 hours T5-T5 connection is plenty. Unless passport check and security takes 50 min I could even have time to go to the lounge for a drink. 😀
What so the crew can ask for the airbridge to be reconnected and the hold opened without consulting the Captain ?
The Captain was making announcements about luggage prior to the airbridge being disconnected and he got off the plane when the situation became clear and the airbridge was reconnected..
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:04 am
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Originally Posted by cauchy
Given the delay in re-opening the doors, I'm surprised the crew couldn't solve this by being more assertive - e.g. putting bags in front of un-occupied seats, or the middles in CE.
It was a virtually full A319 and would they be allowed to put carry on bags in front of unoccupied middle seats in CE - this seems like an ideal simple solution !!
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:23 am
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Oh dear, what a lot of crossed communications, horribly wrong assumptions and misunderstandings of the processes.

The gate staff should make an assessment as to hand baggage prior to boarding. This should be informed by experience, time of day, passenger numbers etc. Based on this assessment they should make efforts to ensure hand baggage is not an issue.

Crew will do what they can to help people to find places to stow bags but are not magicians.

The Captain does not make the decision to close hold doors, that is a loaders responsibility done when the planned load is all aboard.

It is policy to close doors on time, the ground staff are incentivised to do this and it will often happen before all pax are seated and bags safely stowed.

If, at this stage, a baggage offload is required the doors will be reopened and the bags removed to the hold, this will be done by the Captain at the crews request - it is they who manage the onboard baggage issue, it is the Captain who is in contact with the ground crew.

In aviation we do not believe in blame, it is a wholly stupid concept as it only erodes safety, sure a failing may emerge and it and be down to a systemic, organizational or individual failing - but they are all things to learn from. Assigning blame leads to a culture of buck passing and covering up, it is a childish playground activity and has no place in a safety critical industry.

I firmly believe BA jumped the wrong way with HBO fares making them cheaper, they should be limited and more expensive, the real premium is ensuring your bags are inside the cabin with you, not vice versa.

Last edited by Waterhorse; Jun 16, 2022 at 2:31 am
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse
Oh dear, what a lot of crossed communications, horribly wrong assumptions and misunderstandings of the processes.

The gate staff should make an assessment as to hand baggage prior to boarding. This should be informed by experience, time of day, passenger numbers etc. Based on this assessment they should make efforts to ensure hand baggage is not an issue.

Crew will do what they can to help people to find places to stow bags but are not magicians.

The Captain does not make the decision to close hold doors, that is a loaders responsibility done when the planned load is all aboard.

It is policy to close doors on time, the ground staff are incentivised to do this and it will often happen before all pax are seated and bags safely stowed.

If, at this stage, a baggage offload is required the doors will be reopened and the bags removed to the hold, this will be done by the Captain at the crews request - it is they who manage the onboard baggage issue, it is the Captain who is in contact with the ground crew.

In aviation we do not believe in blame, it is a wholly stupid concept as it only erodes safety, sure a failing may emerge and it and be down to a systemic, organizational or individual failing - but they are all things to learn from. Assigning blame leads to a culture of buck passing and covering up, it is a childish playground activity and has no place in a safety critical industry.

I firmly believe BA jumped the wrong way with HBO fares making them cheaper, they should be limited and more expensive, the real premium is ensuring your bags are inside the cabin with you, not vice versa.
It wasn't just a case of the doors being closed the airbridge was also removed which added to the delay.

If the Captain is having to make announcements about baggage problems from early on are you saying he has not got the authority to ask for the hold to be held open and the airbridge remain connected until the situation becomes clear ?
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse
Oh dear, what a lot of crossed communications, horribly wrong assumptions and misunderstandings of the processes.

The gate staff should make an assessment as to hand baggage prior to boarding. This should be informed by experience, time of day, passenger numbers etc. Based on this assessment they should make efforts to ensure hand baggage is not an issue.

Crew will do what they can to help people to find places to stow bags but are not magicians.

The Captain does not make the decision to close hold doors, that is a loaders responsibility done when the planned load is all aboard.

It is policy to close doors on time, the ground staff are incentivised to do this and it will often happen before all pax are seated and bags safely stowed.

If, at this stage, a baggage offload is required the doors will be reopened and the bags removed to the hold, this will be done by the Captain at the crews request - it is they who manage the onboard baggage issue, it is the Captain who is in contact with the ground crew.

In aviation we do not believe in blame, it is a wholly stupid concept as it only erodes safety, sure a failing may emerge and it and be down to a systemic, organizational or individual failing - but they are all things to learn from. Assigning blame leads to a culture of buck passing and covering up, it is a childish playground activity and has no place in a safety critical industry.

I firmly believe BA jumped the wrong way with HBO fares making them cheaper, they should be limited and more expensive, the real premium is ensuring your bags are inside the cabin with you, not vice versa.
We had exactly the same from AMS a few weeks ago, 1 member of gate staff to check in full A319. Majority of people HBO by the look of it. Airbridge was not removed but hold doors closed before decision to place those bags who could not fit in overhead into the hold. We missed our slot and had to sit on the tarmac for 2 hours waiting for next!

The captain came around CE and he stated the exact same thing you have in RED, this makes total sense to me and should be implemented as a differentiator to the LCC's who at least properly police onboard baggage sizes!
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by Butts
It wasn't just a case of the doors being closed the airbridge was also removed which added to the delay.

If the Captain is having to make announcements about baggage problems from early on are you saying he has not got the authority to ask for the hold to be held open and the airbridge remain connected until the situation becomes clear ?
No, but why would they micro manage such a task? there are more important things to do at that stage, and trusting the people in your team is a useful skill set.
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:50 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse
No, but why would they micro manage such a task? there are more important things to do at that stage, and trusting the people in your team is a useful skill set.
Don't forget there are two upfront and the subsequent delay would have been largely avoided.
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:51 am
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There has been a big increase in HBO travel lately, not HBO ticket sales, indeed BA have been capping Basic ticketing on some routes notably AMS. People see the stories of the issues at airports and are taking their own precautions about it. BRU is an airport that has reported delays in baggage handling, more for arriving passengers, and LHR is regularly north on 1 hour for baggage return. While the turn of events on this flight wasn't great, it was only 40 minutes late into LHR. The real cause of this problem - and the more fundamental issues of aviation at the moment - lie elsewhere.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Jun 16, 2022 at 2:57 am
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:53 am
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Originally Posted by LeeT
We had exactly the same from AMS a few weeks ago, 1 member of gate staff to check in full A319. Majority of people HBO by the look of it. Airbridge was not removed but hold doors closed before decision to place those bags who could not fit in overhead into the hold. We missed our slot and had to sit on the tarmac for 2 hours waiting for next!

The captain came around CE and he stated the exact same thing you have in RED, this makes total sense to me and should be implemented as a differentiator to the LCC's who at least properly police onboard baggage sizes!
Jesus wept makes my situation seem not quite so bad, did they offer free drinks during the delay.?
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:54 am
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Originally Posted by Butts
Don't forget there are two upfront and the subsequent delay would have been largely avoided.
As one of the two upfront I'm well aware of all the problems, issues and responsibilities but I'm always happy to take the advice of a bystander on how to do the job🤣
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Old Jun 16, 2022, 2:59 am
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse
As one of the two upfront I'm well aware of all the problems, issues and responsibilities but I'm always happy to take the advice of a bystander on how to do the job🤣
Well as a mere "pleb in the back" can you explain how this situation may have occurred and who is responsible ?

If you were already aware there was a potential problem would you authorise the doors being closed and the airbridge removed before the situation became clear ?
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