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Heathrow Terminal 5, unlucky for some

You really couldn't make it up, Sarkozy and Bruni’s final day in London get'stopped in the news by the, er, shambolic opening of BAA's pride and joy, the 20 years plus in the making, Terminal 5.

The PR in the lead-up to the opening had been fantastic. Plenty of information of on how ethical it was, how much space was available, how easy it was to access, the benefits to London, the this, the that, the everything. It was good.

But then, suddenly when it came to opening the terminal to the traveling public the wheels came off, using a softer analogy. Such a disaster it was that national UK broadcast media led on the story last night. And today, the nationals did the same. Really a deserved case of kicking somebody when they are down.

To be fair, you just can’t control such problems as the baggage handling system breaking down, staff not knowing what to do and being confused, aircraft taxing to the wrong gate. Oh, wait, you can. Because you just don’t open a terminal until everybody and everything has been tested. So for BAA to say that the fiasco was down to the technology and the workers, well, it’s just incompetent.

The communications team did what anybody would do in the lead up to such an event. They warned passengers that there might be “teething problem.”

But what happened on the opening day of Heathrow Terminal 5 was anything but. And to compound the disaster, rather than being customer friendly, BAA showed passengers how they have a total disregard for them. They should have taken the hit and paid for alternative transport, accommodation, etc.

You might plan for this, but, in this case the worst-case scenario is just a nightmare, and one that we can read about in The Times and elsewhere.

BAA have severally embarrassed London. Do we think that they’ll sort the problems that they’ve created before the 2012 Olympics? With BAA, you just don’t know.

You really couldn't make it up, Sarkozy and Bruni’s final day in London get'stopped in the news by the, er, shambolic opening of BAA's pride and joy, the 20 years plus in the making, Terminal 5.

The PR in the lead-up to the opening had been fantastic. Plenty of information of on how ethical it was, how much space was available, how easy it was to access, the benefits to London, the this, the that, the everything. It was good.

But then, suddenly when it came to opening the terminal to the traveling public the wheels came off, using a softer analogy. Such a disaster it was that national UK broadcast media led on the story last night. And today, the nationals did the same. Really a deserved case of kicking somebody when they are down.

To be fair, you just can’t control such problems as the baggage handling system breaking down, staff not knowing what to do and being confused, aircraft taxing to the wrong gate. Oh, wait, you can. Because you just don’t open a terminal until everybody and everything has been tested. So for BAA to say that the fiasco was down to the technology and the workers, well, it’s just incompetent.

The communications team did what anybody would do in the lead up to such an event. They warned passengers that there might be “teething problem.”

But what happened on the opening day of Heathrow Terminal 5 was anything but. And to compound the disaster, rather than being customer friendly, BAA showed passengers how they have a total disregard for them. They should have taken the hit and paid for alternative transport, accommodation, etc.

You might plan for this, but, in this case the worst-case scenario is just a nightmare, and one that we can read about in The Times and elsewhere.

BAA have severally embarrassed London. Do we think that they’ll sort the problems that they’ve created before the 2012 Olympics? With BAA, you just don’t know.

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Social Media: The verdict.