A few days ago I had a four hours 30 mins delay on my departure to Cape Town from LHR on BA. It was very light snow at the time.
From scheduled departure time the Captain gave many apologies for the delay and deicing shambles on BA aircraft at T5. We pushed back from the stand two hours late and then got into the queue to be deiced at a remote area on a taxiway. The engines were started and stopped 4 times as we slowly moved forward in the queue of long-haul BA aircraft. The Captain went on to explain that we had to be deiced away from the terminal, due to a T5 design problem, unlike other terminals at LHR, where aircraft could be deiced quickly in place on stand before a normal departure. He said that he was even more frustrated than ourselves and that this is a normal situation when T5 long-haul aircraft need to be deiced. Apparently it is permissable to deice short-haul aircraft on stand.
It would appear that one big cock-up in design is being hidden when it comes to deicing.
So there we sat, and left four and a half hours late, while all the other operators taxied passed us….deiced and almost on time!
BA should come clean on this and tell the truth.
How refreshing it was to have a captain telling the ‘truth’ and keeping us well informed. Excellent customer service from him and his crew.