BA Cancels Flights in New Heathrow Terminal Chaos

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-03-28 Print this article Print

British Airways has a long way to go to with pleasing customers in its new opening of Heathrow airport's Terminal 5 amid chaotic service and cancelled flights.

HEATHROW (Reuters) - British Airways cancelled a fifth of flights from its new $8.6 billion terminal at London's Heathrow airport as its high profile launch gave way to a second day of chaos and embarrassment on Friday.

BA said it dropped the short-haul flights to ease congestion as it tried to recover from the mess left by Thursday's opening when nearly 70 flights were cancelled, leaving passengers distraught.

BA's problems provoked a public relations disaster for the carrier that once styled itself the "world's favorite airline" -- and weighed on its shares.

Chief Executive Willie Walsh warned travelers problems could persist into the weekend.

"I would expect some disruption tomorrow (Saturday), but I think it will get better every day as we become accustomed to the building and the quirks of the systems," he said.

"Yesterday was definitely not British Airways' finest hour," he said. "There were problems in the car parks, airport areas, computer glitches and the baggage system."

Jackie Bachmann, 40, from Switzerland encountered baggage problems as she traveled with four other snooker players to an amateur competition in Glasgow.

"We had problems with our bags and his snooker cue is missing," she said. "Now we are waiting here for the next flight to Glasgow."


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