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Old Aug 8, 07, 7:33 am   #1
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OT: Terminal 4 passenger stress levels worse than being mugged at knifepoint.

I have had a dig around for the last few pages but could not see this article. Awaiting cattle prod if appropriate, but my mitigation, your lordship, is that I have been just a bit too busy to follow the BA board in recent days..

Silverjet put out a press release a couple of days ago and this was picked up by Air Transport News:


Passing through Heathrow airport is more stressful than being mugged at knifepoint, according to the findings of an experiment conducted by leading neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis.

The experiment, carried out last weekend on behalf of business class airline Silverjet, was conducted to measure the stress levels experienced by passengers travelling through Europe’s busiest airport. Four passengers had chest monitors fitted to record increases in heart rate, pressure pads attached to their arms to monitor changes in blood pressure and sensors were attached to their finger-tips to measure changes in physiological stress.

The shocking results from Dr Lewis’ experiment showed passenger heart rates peaked at four times their resting levels and physiological stress levels exceeded those recorded amongst Formula 1 racing drivers or free-fall parachutists. Some parts of the experience even proved to be more stressful than being mugged at knife point.

Dr. Lewis commented: “We have measured people in all kinds of situations from riot policemen confronting a stone throwing mob to racing drivers and sky-divers and these are among the highest peaks in heart rate and blood pressure that we have ever seen. The conditions at Heathrow Airport and the stress levels that passengers are routinely subject to poses a very grave danger to the health of travellers at the airport.”

Within minutes of entering Terminal 4 heart rates among the passengers had increased from healthy levels of around 55 beats per minute to more than 70 beats per minute. During the four hours it took to reach the aircraft heart rates continued to rise with some recording more than 200 beats per minute, up to four times the resting heart rate of a healthy human.

Dr Lewis commented: “This condition is known medically as tachycardia, which can at times prove fatal. Even under intense exercise you wouldn’t normally see these levels, which given that our travellers were not exerting themselves physically, reflects the high level of psychological stress they were under.”

The main causes of the stress were the queues, unfriendly and impatient staff, lack of information, burly security and inadequate facilities. Shortly after arriving, heart rates soared dangerously high as the passengers were forced to join hundreds of others in a densely packed temporary marquee, some of whom had been waiting for over 24 hours. The stress of this situation was compounded by a lack of information which caused passengers to worry about missing flights which in turn increased heart rates and stress levels.

As passengers passed through a series of further queues from check-in to security, blood pressure readings showed excessive levels of hypertension more commonly found with stroke victims than healthy humans. Levels shot from an average of 123/81 to peaks of around 170/99. Skin conductance, a reliable measure of stress – it forms part of the American lie detector test - also showed a rapid increase throughout the passengers’ airport journey registering peaks up to a hundred times higher than in the relaxed state.

The return journey also showed that arrivals can be as stressful as departures. Queues of over an hour and a half at understaffed passport desks resulted in dramatic increases in heart rate and soaring blood pressure levels.

Lawrence Hunt, CEO, Silverjet, comments: “We commissioned this experiment because we are trying to create the most stress and hassle free flying experience possible. These findings help us to understand the stress points in the customer journey and enable us to completely remove them from the Silverjet service. With passengers enduring these conditions it’s no wonder that there is such a demand for business class airlines offering an affordable private jet experience.”

Former chief executive of Heathrow airport Tony Douglas resigned two weeks ago claiming that the airport is ‘bursting at the seams’. In her first press interviews which took place earlier this week, City of London minister Kitty Ussher admitted that the capital may be losing business traffic, with companies avoiding meetings and conferences in London because of the congested state of its airports.

Are we sure that the article is fair and not just a few wired up FTers getting over excited at the prospect of meeting up with Pucci?

Happy landings, back to the bits for me

Spottie
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Old Aug 8, 07, 7:54 am   #2
  
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Have they also tested the stress level of Silverjet customers who showed up at the airport to learn that their flight was canceled?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 7:58 am   #3
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Have they also tested the stress level of Silverjet customers who showed up at the airport to learn that their flight was canceled?

Expect a BA sponsored study shortly?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:04 am   #4
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Erm I think this must have been done during a problem period e.g. just after the idiots went for a joyride @ GLA, as it mentions pax waiting in a marquee, so hardly a normal experience (or is it). Funny thing is I don't find it stressfull at all, well not knowingly anyway, was this Biz class pax they surveyed or WT/WT+? If it was the latter it is hardly the same market as Silverjet are after, and what if you discover that your Silverjet plane has gonetech and you've got to schelp to another airport to fly, if you can get on another flight?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:10 am   #5
  
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I have to say that for my last two trips ex-T4, both last month, the most stressful part of the whole affair was the traffic on the M25. The first trip was hand baggage only, so straight to fast-track, where there was a minimal queue, and I was in the MB spa booking my treatment within 10 minutes of getting out of the car. The second trip I had two pieces to check, but the CW desks were pretty quiet, and again, fast-track was fast, so no more than 20 minutes to the lounge, including a very quick hello to Smirnoff en-route. Perhaps I'm just lucky?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:21 am   #6
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Not sure how often the queue is out of the doors, but T2 the other day was bursting. It took me 50 minutes from check-in to be released from security as the queue for security was through the furbling snake and all the way along the terminal, past the arrivals fish-tank area.

I think that the individual BA FTer's experience might be somewhat different from a WT once a year visitor.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:24 am   #7
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Originally Posted by spotwelder View Post
Not sure how often the queue is out of the doors, but T2 the other day was bursting. It took me 50 minutes from check-in to be released from security as the queue for security was through the furbling snake and all the way along the terminal, past the arrivals fish-tank area.

I think that the individual BA FTer's experience might be somewhat different from a WT once a year visitor.
Exactly but are Silverjet going for that market, and if not what was the point of the survey*?

*Other than to spin their service as better based in part of the airport they fly from.

Last edited by Jimmie76; Aug 8, 07 at 8:47 am
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Old Aug 8, 07, 8:24 am   #8
  
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Originally Posted by spotwelder View Post
Not sure how often the queue is out of the doors, but T2 the other day was bursting. It took me 50 minutes from check-in to be released from security as the queue for security was through the furbling snake and all the way along the terminal, past the arrivals fish-tank area.

I think that the individual BA FTer's experience might be somewhat different from a WT once a year visitor.

What day and time was that, spottie?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 9:05 am   #9
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I always thought that shopping at BAA was like being mugged at knifepoint
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Old Aug 8, 07, 10:28 am   #10
  
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Maybe BA will commission a reverse study investigating the stress levels of passengers standing for 3/4 of an hour in the immigration queue in Luton Airport behind 4 planeloads of "Wizz Air" flights from Eastern Europe at 7.30am
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:33 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotwelder View Post


Are we sure that the article is fair and not just a few wired up FTers getting over excited at the prospect of meeting up with Pucci?

Happy landings, back to the bits for me

Spottie
As Phil the Flier has gone to earth these last few days, I would be surprised that anyone would go into palpitations at such a prospect.

However, gallant as you are I have decided to upgrade your Mucci Status to Seigneur et Ingenieur des Appareils Volants (Gold). Life Long upgrades guaranteed.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 12:27 pm   #12
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However, gallant as you are I have decided to upgrade your Mucci Status to Seigneur et Ingenieur des Appareils Volants (Gold). Life Long upgrades guaranteed.
Au risque de sauter le sujet

La comtesse de la garde-robe, la maîtresse de la brosse à cheveux,

I accept such an honour on bended knee as your night in shining amour. I accept the touch of you hand on my shoulder as adjusting the brace position. You shall be the one that I forever call Belle. I shall perform my duty - free of devotion to others. I shall take-off my protective shield and leave it on the landing. I shall play tennis around the world and think of you, for my destiny is to fly, to serve.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 1:08 pm   #13
  
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Four people? That's not a research study, that's a very small dinner party.

Statistically insignificant, more for the Grauniad's Ben Goldacre than Silverjet's archives, I think.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 2:57 pm   #14
  
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
I always thought that shopping at BAA was like being mugged at knifepoint
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Old Aug 8, 07, 3:16 pm   #15
  
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Originally Posted by spotwelder View Post
[IHeathrow airport is more stressful than being mugged at knifepoint, ....
The experiment, carried out last weekend on behalf of business class airline Silverjet, ...
Lawrence Hunt, CEO, Silverjet, comments: “We commissioned this experiment because we are trying to create the most stress and hassle free flying experience possible. These findings help us to understand the stress points in the customer journey and enable us to completely remove them from the Silverjet service. With passengers enduring these conditions it’s no wonder that there is such a demand for business class airlines offering an affordable private jet experience.” [/I]
Heathrow may be bad, but trying to travel with Sleazerjet is worse.
Cancelled flights, delays, and customer 'service' that is way off the mark -mainly when it comes to resolving their 'schedule' their screw-ups of cancelling half the schedule. (what do you expect when you the muppets buy 767 'hangar queens' off Thomson fly).
While I dont doubt the study, SJ would be better off refocusing on'running' (in the loosest sense) an airline not putting Heathrow on the couch. Perhaps if they did that their shares woudl nt have underperformed MAxjet's so badly.
It would be more credible if perhaps BA was to do a similar study to shame BAA into some sort of action.
Anyone care to remember how many times WW said the T1/T4 bag transfer belt broke in 11 days..... yes, it was 9. Why wasnt that in press headlines over BAA?
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