back to article MPs decry Heathrow T5 fiasco

The House of Commons Transport Committee has described the anarchic opening of Heathrow's Terminal Five as a "national embarrassment" which showed "serious failings on the part of both BAA and British Airways". The committee's report into the 27 March fiasco, which saw 36,584 passengers affected by a series of shortcomings in …


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  1. Wokstation

    "Expensive report states obvious"

    And we paid for that???

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "representatives from BAA were unhelpful and ill-prepared"

    .. kinda sums up UK Air travel as a whole really.

  3. Dan
    Paris Hilton

    say what?

    "Maybe the reality of the baggage that people put into the system was more diverse than our tests represented."

    Ok, we have *object* + label. Label dictates where *object* goes. Nature of *object* is more or less irrelevant right? what am I missing?

    paris because... um... she always knows where to put diverse objects.

  4. John Imrie


    "should not have absorbed the continuing building delays by compromising the time needed to complete the full testing and familiarisation process as planned".

    Oh look, because of time overruns the training was skimped. Well at least we know that in IT this *never* happens

  5. Dave Ross


    It may be obvious to the likes of you and me, however, corporate mangers need the bleedin' obvious spelled out to them, and usually by means of some overly expensive report.

  6. Tom Chiverton

    compromising the time needed to complete the full testing

    Geez, the building was late, so they cut time from testing/QA ?!? We know in the software world what happens when you do that, and it turns out the same thing happens in the real one too !

  7. Neil Hoskins


    Come on, you have to admit that it would have been out of character if T5 had actually worked. Last weekend a points failure at Neasden brought half the Underground to a grinding halt. We were stuck at Harrow-on-the-Hill and got chatting to an Intensive Care nurse who had been unable to get into her shift at St Thomas's. I actually heard a TFL employee utter the immortal words, beloved of Customer Services experts around the UK, "It's not my fault". Say what you like about Johnny Foreigner, but anybody who has been diving in the Red Sea will have witnessed the way the Arabs tie-up a boat: it involves thirty guys and much shouting and squabbling, but it gets done surprisingly quickly and surprisingly well.

    I really can't wait for the 2012 Olympics. Other races (I'm thinking mostly of Americans, not known for their tolerance of poor service) won't be familiar with our quaint ways:

    1. Do things badly.

    2. Refuse to apologise and do your best to inflame the situation.

    3. If anybody gets cross and raises his voice, call the police and have him carried off under anti-terrorism legislation.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BA BAA Black sheep.

    BAA screwed up. BA took the bags off them, and gave them to BAA. BAA failed to get the bags to the aeroplane.

    However, as far as national embarrassments go. How embarrassing is being so crap at economics that after ten years in charge, you have to go cap in hand to members of Al Queda, to beg for money, to make it look like the economy's not completely screwed, just to get elected?

    I'm sorry, but a series of slaggings off of radio presenters, airlines, etc, just to misdirect the public over who is crap isn't my idea of cricket.

    If anyone should resign, it should be the government, not BBC radio producers.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot

    What do they expect in a country after 8+ years of being run by pathological liar who was physiologically incapable to admit that something is going wrong with anything he did? Did they do anything about it? Hell no.

    Well, in that case they should not blame the corporate culture in BA after it has showed such a wonderful level of compliance to the high ideals set by HMG.

    The overall result is that we now live in a country of spin where anything and everything is considered from a perspective of burying bad news and executives failed and expelled due to being sleazy even beyond the national standard are reinstated in just a few months time (Hello Lord Mandelson). So instead of w**** of about BA how about them actually dealing with the total failures and non-deliveries of NuLabour first.

    Pot please meet kettle, kettle please meet pot, both of you welcome to the Union of Soviet British Republics and where is me coat.

  10. Tim Almond

    Pot Criticises Kettle?

    OK, T5 was a bit of a cock up, but that cockup lasted something like 12 days. Since then, has everything been running quite well? I haven't heard much since, so I presume so. It doesn't matter what testing you do, live use can always trip you up.

    Compare this with the software at the CSA, or the Libra project, or Connecting for Health, or the wobbly Millenium Bridge (which was closed for 6 months), or that GP recruitment system that was closed down, or the Dome that was full of crap and then empty for a while, or the cost/delay to Wembley, the money pissed away on the e-University, spent on dismantling the NHS market, then re-introducing it, or the money wasted on wind power, and it's not even in the same league.

  11. Neil Hoskins

    @ Tim: the Dome

    Hang on just a minute, I can't accept that. Did you go to the millenium show at the Dome in 2000? In my experience the people that went had a brilliant day out; it's something of a tabloid myth to write it off as a failure. I looked at my watch as we left and realised we had spent ten hours there and not been bored once. As for it lying empty for ages, well that just might have something to do with the aforementioned tabloid mischief putting off potential buyers.

    By a strange coincidence, I was at the Dome for the New Orleans Festival on the day of the Neasden points debacle described above. It was absolutely packed out with thousands of people having a great time. Similarly several months previously for the Tutankamun exhibition. That's a strange definition of a white elephant.

  12. dervheid

    If by "National" they mean...

    "South East Engerlund" then yes.

    Personally I was LMFCO, especially after all the build-up, hype and fanfares.

    Did feel sorry for the poor fuckers caught up in it all though, with the exception of a few, well publicised, 'celebrity' incidents of course. (No names, no pack drill, for legal reasons obv.)

    Don't think anyone else up here in the Land of Jock was 'embarrassed' by it either.

  13. kain preacher Silver badge

    I'm sorry

    "What do they expect in a country after 8+ years of being run by pathological liar who was physiologically incapable to admit that something is going wrong with anything he did? Did they do anything about it? Hell no."

    But as yank when I read that I cant help and think , when did Dick, and G.W. become in charge in the UK

  14. Pyros

    They're not alone.

    Denver Int'l had a similar problem with their orignal automated baggage handling--but it took them several months to correct the problem, and is now a partialy automated system with human oversight for the occasional stray luggage.

    At least they're all reliably going to the right planes, as it should be.

  15. Mark Jan

    The Dome

    @Neil Hoskins

    Tim was right, it was full of crap and yes I did go.

    In fact Tim, you were pretty much spot on with everything in your post!

    Come to think of it, pretty much agree with everything that everyone has posted so far.

    What has happened to this country...?

  16. kain preacher Silver badge

    Neil Hoskin

    m thinking mostly of Americans, not known for their tolerance of poor service.

    You have never been inside and American DMV

    Had to deal with parking enforcement

    or had to deal with our IRS

  17. Anonymous Coward

    How ironic

    I have always considered 'The House of Commons' ... 'as a "national embarrassment" which showed "serious failings" ... throughout.

  18. jon
    Thumb Up

    At least it works now

    FWIW I had a very positive experience at T5 two weekends ago, including getting through security in under 5 minutes at 6.20pm on a friday night, which was just as well as my flight was at 7pm.

    Mind you, I didn't check my bag, but that, of course, is the secret to minimising the pain of flying...

  19. wayne
    IT Angle

    T5 USA Proaganda Commercial

    On USA TV a commercial is running for T5 which shows T5 as a giant aquarium, lots of sea life moving easily and smoothly through the terminal, with seals (or sea lions) playfully going in and out of the security detectors, etc. I wonder exactly what is the message for humans.

    The video is linked on this page:

    IT link - obviously CGI.

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