While I am glad that the A319 concerned made it safely back down to earth and the crew did an outstanding job, the fact that BA cancelled all its SH flights until 4pm today has left hundreds of passengers stranded in various terminals.
I was headed for Prague this morning from T3, only to find via the screens in the departure lounge that the flight was cancelled. I went to the lounge where BA staff were clueless and very unsympathetic and simply shoed my off to the transfer desk next to Dixons, whereupon BAA/Heathrow Airport Ltd staff said that we needed to call BA to rebook, that the transfer desk would not help us. Two minutes later came the message that we needed to “land ourselves” and head through passport control and back to the ticket desk in zone G of departures. BA will no doubt claim that staff were working hard behind the scenes, but there was a distinct lack of BA staff visible in the transfer desk area to give us the correct information direct from BA. The few desk-based agents were not helpful either.
Anyway, once we got back down to departures, the lines at the ticket desk in zone G were just insanely long with tensions flaring and tempers rising – understandably so. Despite platitudes from the odd BA staff member and a free bottle of water, nothing else was communicated other than “stand in line, and wait your turn.” And yet despite there being 6 desks at the ticket desk, only 3 were manned. 1 for club/exec gold, silver and 2 for everyone else.
After 2 hours of trying, I got through to the exec club on the phone and I have now been rebooked on a flight tomorrow, plus I live close by to the airport and headed back home. However, I feel sorry for those passengers who are from out of town, whose native language is not English and who do not have a hotel for the night. Plus, for those who are still standing in line some 3 hours later, some of whom are frail, tired and of a senior age.
While bird strikes and incidents such as this morning’s do happen and our first thoughts must be about ensuring passenger safety on aircraft, I am afraid that BA’s handling of the matter for those passengers left on the ground this morning has proven to be extremely poor. There was a distinct lack of communication and everyone concerned has been left to fend for themselves. Shocking, just shocking. Shame on you BA.