Missed flight due to security queue

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This topic contains 46 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Bunnahabhain 30 Oct 2011
at 19:08
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 47 total)

  • Anonymous

    Bunnahabhain
    Participant

    Anyone know where the responsibility lies here? A colleague travelling in a party of 6 has just been offloaded from an EZY flight from LTN because the security queue was so long that they missed the gate close out, despite checking in (with hold baggage) well within the minimum time. EZY have said it’s not their problem – which is no doubt technically correct – so they’re now somewhere on the M1 in a hire car with a long overnight drive ahead.

    This nearly happened to me at LGW south once on Flybe, with hand luggage only and I had arrived at the terminal well over an hour before the departure time and checked in at the kiosk. The security queue was so long that I had to sprint to the gate along my beloved pier 1.

    Would LHR T5 with sole BA occupancy be at any advantage in such a case? Or could BA just play the card that it’s BAA?

    I’ve never understood at what points the responsibility changes back and forth from airline to airport, especially with baggage delivery to the carousel, in multi-airline terminals which account for the vast majority.


    LondonCity
    Participant

    Jim – sorry to hear about your colleague’s plight.

    But you did you say how long he/she waited in the regular security queue or whether or not he/she had paid an extra fee to access LTN’s fast-track security lane.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1327827/Whistleblower-accuses-airports-keeping-queues-long-cash-5-fast-track-lanes.html


    continentalclub
    Participant

    As frustrating as it may be, I understand that the responsibility lies for the most part with the passenger.

    Although we tend to concentrate on the check-in deadline, the gate-presentation deadline is just as critical.

    For the responsibility to pass from the passenger to the airline or airport security provider, it would essentially have to be the case that it was not possible to reach the gate between the earliest check-in time and the gate closure time. There’s no specific link between the latest check-in time and any guarantee that it’s possible to reach the gate before closure – beyond a general assessment that under ‘normal’ circumstances it should be possible.

    It’s one of the common failings of the global norm that separates the many processes and service providers involved in airline travel – the passenger is never party to any of the negotiations surrounding the services that they, ultimately, are the critical users of.

    Single airline terminals do present a slightly different dynamic, in that a systemic issue with terminal ops is likely to come to the attention of airline ops much more quickly. Personally, I probably witnessed this most obviously in the wake of the Detroit Christmas Day incident a few years ago, when the increased security measures suddenly-imposed meant that very many passengers were gate-late for US departures.

    The whole of T5, from agents to PA announcements, was mobilised to encourage passengers to get to gates early, and the airline delayed most flights in the first days, while the system readjusted.

    Of course, more generically, the concept of ‘conformance’ at T5 was developed to try to cultivate the idea that check-in is only the first deadline, and that passengers need to be moving towards the gate immediately therefrom. It also provides useful data to prove when a passenger enters Security, and therefore whether it would have been possible to get to the gate in time, or whether in fact the passenger has gone shopping and missed the flight. This may affect the level of ‘charity’ rebooking, perhaps!

    The fact that conformance also gets passengers into the spend areas more quickly, gives the airline a useful breathing space to offload without delaying flights and has had a huge impact on punctuality and therefore overall customer satisfaction and costs, means that more and more airports are likely to adopt it in some form or other, I suspect.

    Ultimately though, and in JimBannerman1‘s colleague’s case, unless it can be proven that check-in/bag-drop did not open early enough or that security could not be passed-through in a timescale less than that between check-in opening and gate-closing, then it’s likely that the passenger will indeed shoulder the full responsibility. The fact that it might ‘normally’ be possible is irrelevant, sadly.

    Of course, airports can be stressful enough, and anything that’s felt to be outside the individual’s control tends to raise the temperature yet more, especially the slow-dawning that a queue is moving so glacially that a deadline may/will be missed – and when there’s no-one around or in earshot to hear pleas of increased need. No-frills airlines and the airports that serve them are likely (though far from exclusively) to be the very ones with minimal staffing, whereas I’ve seen other terminals employ queue-walkers who are adept at plucking those with imminent deadlines out of the line and fast-tracking them through.


    PatJordan
    Participant

    Jim,

    sorry to hear of your colleague’s experience.

    I’m not an expert in law by any means, but surely if they had been checked in by the airline within the specified time, then the airline is obliged to fulfil their contract: ie fly your colleagues to their destination.

    I assume your colleagues will be pursuing this disgrace with EZY. I’d be very interested to hear the outcome.

    Oh, and is this the same EZY who is trying to attract business travellers???

    Pat


    JordanD
    Participant

    I’d be tempted to suggest that the contract of carriage exists between passenger and airline. That the airline has decided to sub-contract or accept the services of another provider to conduct security checks is not the issue – it is the airline with whom you have booked and with whom you have met the mandatory cut off time for presenting yourself at check-in.

    I would take this up with EZY strongly.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    It all comes down to one factor: Speed up the security process!

    1. strictly enforce hand bagage limits

    2. seperate line for passenger with “walk through” hand bagage, i.e. no laptops etc

    3. end the nonense of belts, shoes off

    4. Utilise security staff better. I am fed up seeing staff sitting/standing around chatting, whislt the q’s get longer.

    The public has been trained to check in within time limits, the airports need to be trained so passengers can receive an acceptable level of service within the airport structure.

    I know security are there for our benefit, but they still have a resonsability to provide the service within acceptable timeframes.


    drflight
    Participant

    A week ago I was flying out of London Gatwick, an airport I have not used for some time. Being August, and the height of the holiday season, I was expecting the South Terminal’s security queues to be a nightmare – like certain airports north of London!

    Accordingly I allowed a good two hours for getting through the queues and to the departure gate on time. It came as a shock, and a delightful revelation, to discover the security area on the first floor has been redesigned


    drflight
    Participant

    A week ago I was flying out of London Gatwick, an airport I have not used for some time. Being August, and the height of the holiday season, I was expecting the South Terminal’s security queues to be a nightmare – like certain airports north of London!

    Accordingly I allowed a good two hours for getting through the queues and to the departure gate on time. It came as a shock, and a delightful revelation, to discover the security area on the first floor has been redesigned


    drflight
    Participant

    A week ago I was flying out of London Gatwick, an airport I have not used for some time. Being August, and the height of the holiday season, I was expecting the South Terminal’s security queues to be a nightmare – like certain airports north of London!

    Accordingly I allowed a good two hours for getting through the queues and to the departure gate on time. It came as a shock, and a delightful revelation, to discover the security area on the first floor has been redesigned. There is plenty of space, free plastic bags and – best of all – automatic boarding pass scanners. You just put the boarding pass to a scanner and, bingo, pass through the turnstiles into the search area. There were plenty of scanners, all manned, and to my enormous surprise I was through into the departure lounge in about three minutes flat. Amazing!


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    On the few occasions I have been cutting it fine I have asked those in the queue ahead of me – very politely – if I can go ahead of them. Show them your boarding card, apologise profusely, and most people will let you go ahead. It looks better if you have say 15 minutes left to get to the gate and if you are (a) alone and (b) unencumbered with huge amounts of luggage, but actually, whenever I have tried it (which is not often) I have always been let through.

    I have to say I have not tried it outside the UK so I don’t know what the social etiquette is like in other cultures. Does anyone else?


    DisgustedofSwieqi
    Participant

    At Riyadh last year, my incoming BA flight was rather late (over 2 hours) and it ate well into the transfer margin.

    I went to the front of the queue to ask the agent if there was any chance of making the connection and one of the locals must have understood English, as there was a lot of (kind) muttering in Arabic, smiling faces and hands pushing me back to the front of the queue as I returned to the back.

    That was very touching and I made the flight.


    jet72uk
    Participant

    Yes that new security area upstairs at Gatwick south is very good (and much welcome).


    LondonCity
    Participant

    Interestingly, it’s not always airports which are at fault.

    A recent letter in The Times (print edition) revealed how many Eurostar passengers booked on the 1813hrs Eurostar train Paris to London on a peak travel date last month also missed their train owing to slow clearance by the relevant authorities at Paris Nord station.


    craigwatson
    Participant

    PJordan and JordanD – in regards to your comment on “conditions of carriage” I would say in this case that the customer had already broken this agreement. The check in AND gate closure times are limiting factors to that contract, and are well advertised.

    IMHO I would have to say that this person was at fault for not arriving at the gate by the designated time. If security was slow I would have made myself known to security and shown my boarding pass, if they didnt fast track me at that point then you may have had a case agaisnt the airport authorities, but again i stress “may have”.

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