British Airways is a trusted airline, famous for having the largest fleet in the UK and boasting exceptional customer service. However, ten years ago the brand was left embarrassed when the opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport went terribly wrong. In BBC’s 2014 documentary “A Very British Airline”, they explain how the baggage system at Terminal 5 was “chaos” on the day in 2008.
They reveal how “thousands of bags were separated by their owners”, and the day was branded a “national disaster”.
At the time, the only airline to fly from the terminal was British Airways so the “embarrassment” was shared between Heathrow administrators and BA.
The opening was of the showcase terminal, which is said to have cost £4.3billion.
At the time, it was reported that British Airways were forced to cancel 34 short-haul and domestic flights.
They admitted that while rehearsals for the opening had been completed, on the day they had a problem with “staff familiarisation with the terminal”.
A baggage handler told the BBC in 2008 that it was “a shambles the moment the doors opened”.
They went on to blame British Airways for the “lack of training and the essential support that was promised”.
Today, the baggage system at Terminal 5 runs much smoother, and with 11 miles of conveyer belts, it is one of the largest in the world.
BA advertise the Terminal today as offering a “seamless airport experience” complete with “stylish shops, restaurants and luxurious lounges”.