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30 Jun 22: 30 flights cancelled because LHR can't cope

30 Jun 22: 30 flights cancelled because LHR can't cope

Old Jun 29, 22, 3:12 pm
  #1  
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30 Jun 22: 30 flights cancelled because LHR can't cope

Just been reported on Radio 4 news that Heathrow has asked for 30 flights to be cancelled tomorrow because the airport will "not be able to cope due to resource constraints."

Apparently BA have been asked to cancel 19 flights of which 12 are outbound and 7 inbound. VS have a NY rotation cancelled.

The last minute disruption to schedules continues...
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:26 pm
  #2  
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I think we've seen the impact already, or at least some of it, and not helped by delays in AMS and German ATC. I suspect BA will have to knock a few other services tomorrow due to internal resource issues on top of those that HAL will want.

I was looking at May's passenger numbers yesterday and I can see that Heathrow was on 5.3 miilion passengers, compared to 0.7 million last year, and 0.2 million in 2020, so it's quite a ramp up. May 2019 was 6.8 million, and May 2012 was 5.8 million.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 3:41 pm
  #3  
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We discussed in another thread - 7 outbounds were cancelled this evening, and literally all others were late - some were missing pilots who needed to be brought to Heathrow, others simply did not have enough gate staff to board. I don't think it will be the end of it.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
We discussed in another thread - 7 outbounds were cancelled this evening, and literally all others were late - some were missing pilots who needed to be brought to Heathrow, others simply did not have enough gate staff to board. I don't think it will be the end of it.
Arrived from Valencia about 2pm. Spent almost one hour waiting for a gate. Then had to endure cattle truck from t3 to t5.Folowed by awful security in T5. Got to F lounge and flight to Edinburgh cancelled. Several rebookings all cancelled Help desk spent until 2200 hrs trying to sort me out only to be told go find a hotel and bill us for it. Guess what not a single hotel available anywhere . A b and b is showing at 1000 pounds . Reason 53346889 never to use this awful airline ever again. Front line staff left to face the wrath of of unhappy passengers . How low can this useless airline go. Flight crew spent the whole flight .....ing how .... VA is and even f lounge staff have given up the will.to.live . When your staff start to talk like this to premium passengers there is only one way to go
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Old Jun 29, 22, 4:44 pm
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I don’t think BA can really be described as a functioning airline at the moment. It’s still got enough cash that it obviously isn’t going bankrupt, but the experience feels like flying with an airline in its unpredictable final days, where planes are routinely cancelled at short notice and staff are leaving to do other things.

The pandemic is obviously a key factor, but I think more significant was BA’s complete misjudgement of its long-term impact - it seems clear that management felt in 2020 that they would, in the future, be running a much smaller airline. It’s the same mistake that the management at MAN made, although to their slight credit they appear to be making more progress in fixing their issues than BA are.

I had a sense that BA had taken this view when they closed the MAN and NCL lounges, a good example of needless self-inflicted damage that only made sense if they felt they wouldn’t be meaningfully operating UK domestic routes in the future.

In contrast BA were more than happy to sell tickets on the basis that they were running a full summer schedule (and to be frank fares have been too low - CE returns from JER, connecting at LHR, to European destinations are not sustainable at £300-£350). They have not recognised that many of the staff they discarded hastily during the pandemic have found jobs that pay better, or are less stressful, or both.

It is not sustainable. I know other airlines are having their own issues, but it is a matter of degree. When EZY have problems at least their vastly superior IT system means it is easy to deal with them.

I’m not sure where things go from here. I might be wrong, but I don’t think BA can survive a summer of strikes alongside the other systemic issues - they need to settle the dispute, and quickly.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 6:25 pm
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No bags were delivered at T5 for approximately the last ~25 arriving flights of the day this evening. Understandably, the baggage hall was a sea of human distress at midnight. My own bag has disappeared into the bowels of the airport, probably not to be seen again for weeks, and certainly not before my next flight to Singapore tomorrow. I was told that there are now tens of thousands of missing bags stored across the terminal simply because they can't be transported from planes to baggage belts.

Oh, and a 45 minute flight was 3 hours late, but that's pretty standard now. 90 mins late departing due to knock-on effects from unloading problems at LHR on previous sectors. 60 mins on arrival stuck behind another plane that couldn't park because there was no-one to operate the guidance system. 30 mins parked waiting for someone to operate the jet bridge. The basic failings are eye-opening.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 8:56 pm
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I just landed in Denver off the June 29 BA219 (LHR-DEN) which was something like 2 hrs 40 mins late. (Just shy of EU261 threshold...argh).

Pilot said that the reason for the delay was "no one showed up to tow the aircraft from the maintenance base to the gate."

But I, and my bags arrived, so seems from this thread I should consider that a success.

(T5 flight connections queue was absolutely massive, definitely paid to go the landside/gold wing route today)
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Old Jun 29, 22, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by benmitchell View Post
Arrived from Valencia about 2pm. Spent almost one hour waiting for a gate. Then had to endure cattle truck from t3 to t5.Folowed by awful security in T5. Got to F lounge and flight to Edinburgh cancelled. Several rebookings all cancelled Help desk spent until 2200 hrs trying to sort me out only to be told go find a hotel and bill us for it. Guess what not a single hotel available anywhere . A b and b is showing at 1000 pounds . Reason 53346889 never to use this awful airline ever again. Front line staff left to face the wrath of of unhappy passengers . How low can this useless airline go. Flight crew spent the whole flight .....ing how .... VA is and even f lounge staff have given up the will.to.live . When your staff start to talk like this to premium passengers there is only one way to go
Without defending BA it’s Wimbledon and I doubt any airline would be able to rustle up enough hotel rooms for 12 cancelled flights this week.

I have a friend who is a dispatcher at a BA outstation. They are short staffed. This week he has had to assist in loading and cleaning an aircraft to get it away as well as dispatching. ThEre was also a slot delay and as the flight was boarding he got called a whole,load of names and was told he should be ashamed of his performance.

I am not suggesting anybody here would be abusive to ground staff (or any staff) however my friend is at the end of his tether and I can understand lounge staff being fed up and frustrated. If they are pushed they will snap and the situation will be even worse if they are signed off sick with stress.

All the airlines misjudged demand post covid and as a consequence most are suffering with headline stories daily on the extreme situations passengers are facing.

Looking at the situation it’s not going to get any better anytime soon as nobody can flick a switch to make things better. Just remember 2 years ago where the most we could travel was a short walk in our vicinity. We’ve been through truly unprecedented times and whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing nobody knew how things would pan out.

As the world gets back to normal we must realise it will take a while to get the old BA back. In the meantime safe and happy travels to all.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
I just landed in Denver off the June 29 BA219 (LHR-DEN) which was something like 2 hrs 40 mins late. (Just shy of EU261 threshold...argh).

Pilot said that the reason for the delay was "no one showed up to tow the aircraft from the maintenance base to the gate."

But I, and my bags arrived, so seems from this thread I should consider that a success.

(T5 flight connections queue was absolutely massive, definitely paid to go the landside/gold wing route today)
Was that door open time ? Probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but it's the door open time which counts for 261 purposes...
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Old Jun 29, 22, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by crazyanglaisy View Post
No bags were delivered at T5 for approximately the last ~25 arriving flights of the day this evening. Understandably, the baggage hall was a sea of human distress at midnight. My own bag has disappeared into the bowels of the airport, probably not to be seen again for weeks, and certainly not before my next flight to Singapore tomorrow. I was told that there are now tens of thousands of missing bags stored across the terminal simply because they can't be transported from planes to baggage belts.

Oh, and a 45 minute flight was 3 hours late, but that's pretty standard now. 90 mins late departing due to knock-on effects from unloading problems at LHR on previous sectors. 60 mins on arrival stuck behind another plane that couldn't park because there was no-one to operate the guidance system. 30 mins parked waiting for someone to operate the jet bridge. The basic failings are eye-opening.
Took over an hour for bags to show last night from ARN. At least the flight operated
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Old Jun 29, 22, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
Without defending BA it’s Wimbledon and I doubt any airline would be able to rustle up enough hotel rooms for 12 cancelled flights this week.

I have a friend who is a dispatcher at a BA outstation. They are short staffed. This week he has had to assist in loading and cleaning an aircraft to get it away as well as dispatching. ThEre was also a slot delay and as the flight was boarding he got called a whole,load of names and was told he should be ashamed of his performance.

I am not suggesting anybody here would be abusive to ground staff (or any staff) however my friend is at the end of his tether and I can understand lounge staff being fed up and frustrated. If they are pushed they will snap and the situation will be even worse if they are signed off sick with stress.

All the airlines misjudged demand post covid and as a consequence most are suffering with headline stories daily on the extreme situations passengers are facing.

Looking at the situation it’s not going to get any better anytime soon as nobody can flick a switch to make things better. Just remember 2 years ago where the most we could travel was a short walk in our vicinity. We’ve been through truly unprecedented times and whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing nobody knew how things would pan out.

As the world gets back to normal we must realise it will take a while to get the old BA back. In the meantime safe and happy travels to all.
I don’t recall “ the old ba “ being anything aspirational. Did it work - yes but the soft product was out dated , the planes old and the staff variable. They are - very slowly - ditching the ying Yang seats and buying nee planes. The IT will likely never recover as they have an old system and seem to wallow in complexity.

The recovery of leisure travel was entirely predictable. Business travel ( and I have no idea how much of that thee is now ) was the main thing likely to be replaced with zoom.

whilst it will hurt they all need to cut services to run an efficient airline. Where I do feel for them js they do there bit and then the airport / atc don’t do theirs. Heathrow is and always has been a national disgrace
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Old Jun 29, 22, 11:28 pm
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It's funny how the thread is about HAL and everyone goes into BAshing mode.

Even the BBC article shows a BA plane...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61989501
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Old Jun 30, 22, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by 13901 View Post
It's funny how the thread is about HAL and everyone goes into BAshing mode.

Even the BBC article shows a BA plane...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61989501
HAL are a mess of their own but ultimately:

- BA could have taken a similar approach to Ryanair and Jet2 over the pandemic and been in a hugely better position now with far closer to a a full complement of staff.

- BA has failed to invest in IT for decades and its useless system (which still routinely moves customers between the old and new website) is of its own making.

- Nobody forced BA to reinstate salaries at senior levels but try and fudge it with check-in staff, causing predictable and justified strife.

- BA took the decision to close the MAN and NCL lounges for penny-pinching reasons.

- Baggage is BA’s responsibility, and BA are doing worse at dealing with it then other airlines.

I agree it is not a quick fix, but there are a few obvious and immediate steps that would help.

- Cancel, immediately, enough flights for the rest of the summer so that you have a schedule you are confident you can run. You can always gently add more flights later if things go well. But rolling cancellations with a few hours of notice or a few weeks of notice are the worst of all worlds.

- Reach a deal with the check in union, whose demands are not unreasonable.

- Set salary and benefit levels at a point where working for BA is attractive.

- Contact all passengers to encourage HBO trips wherever possible for the remainder of this summer. Perhaps offer some Avios as a reward for giving up a checked bag.

- Get your space back at MAN and NCL while you can and promise premium passengers a new lounge for 2023.

- Invest seriously in IT. The IT issues are at the heart of everything (it’s why everyone has to queue for hotel vouchers after a BA cancellation whereas the easyjet app has already dealt with it, for instance). Anything else is a sticking plaster.

Last edited by Never Stansted; Jun 30, 22 at 12:19 am
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Old Jun 30, 22, 12:25 am
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Originally Posted by Never Stansted View Post

- Contact all passengers to encourage HBO trips wherever possible for the remainder of this summer. Perhaps offer some Avios as a reward for giving up a checked bag.
Is such a good shout

I have 4 mini CE holidays /trips booked before October of between 5 and 7 nights each.

I am seriously thinking about a HBO bag rather than checked luggage. Just means you're stuck if you find a nice wine or spirit on your trip and can't bring it back with you. You're just stuck with duty free.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 12:37 am
  #15  
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Having had a series of these sorts of experiences (lengthy delays/multiple cancellations) in March/April, in the past couple of months my sense was that things had stabilised a bit. My main bugbear at the moment is repeated delays of 45 mins or so in boarding short haul at T5, presumably because of a shortage of ground staff for the turnaround. Whenever this happens, the gate staff stand around looking clueless, and (despite a steady stream of pax going up to ask for an update) it doesn’t seem to occur to them that it might be helpful to make an announcement (even if it is just to say that the aircraft is still being serviced…).

The current BA operation does indeed bear the scars of the Cruz-Walsh ‘cost cutting is in our DNA approach’, although not everything at the moment is BA’s fault. The one baffling thing in this thread is the suggestion that Easyjet are much better. I am avoiding them at the moment as lots of my colleagues have had very short notice cancellations at the airport, where the app freezes, the staff all magically disappear and where at that point you are basically on your own in terms of rebooking (and accommodation if needed). Good luck reclaiming your expenses as well. For all BA’s faults, I know that ultimately they will get me to my destination, including on other carriers if needed…

Last edited by jmd; Jun 30, 22 at 12:39 am Reason: Typos
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