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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Headaches at Heathrow

The much touted Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport is off to a shaky start. During its first four days of operation, British Airways (the sole tenant of the new facility) has cancelled 245 flights. More cancellations would have been necessary had BA not continued to operate most of its long haul flights from an older terminal.

Part of the appeal of the new terminal was its state of the art baggage handling system. But during the last few days, more than 15,000 bags have gone AWOL. BA has had to call in volunteers to help reunite bags with owners.

In addition to luggage problems, there have been complaints among passengers about the check-in process, confusing road signs, problems when paying at the parking garage, and a broken down escalator. BA admits to problems in the staff security screening process and in getting its staff familiar with the new facility.

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