Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive, has issued an apology for the massive problems which have occurred at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 since last week.The statement reads as follows:
“Since Thursday, when Terminal 5 opened, we accept that the service we have provided our customers has not been good enough. We are extremely sorry for this.
We are working hard to tackle the difficulties we have had with the terminal’s baggage system. From time to time problems have developed that were not encountered during the extensive trials.
The manufacturers and a team of engineers and IT specialists from BAA and BA are working together to fix the problems.
The problems have caused a backlog of undelivered bags to build up and we are making every effort to reunite passengers with their bags by road to Gatwick, Manchester, and Scotland to speed up the process.
For those customers in EU countries on the European mainland we are also sending bags to a specialist sorting facility in Milan which will help to get bags back to those customers as soon as we can and for those customers in the US without their bags we are using space on flights from Terminal 4 to get the bags over to the US.
We have more than 400 volunteers from across the airline supporting this effort.
This work takes time as delayed bags must undergo enhanced levels of security screening. Much of this process has to be done manually because we have been unable to use the Terminal 5 baggage system to process these bags automatically.
We are sorry for the disruption and inconvenience caused to customers whose flights have been cancelled or whose bags have been delayed. We will not rest until our service has been restored to the high standard customers rightly expect.
We continue to work towards increasing the number of services in the days ahead.
Both British Airways and BAA have invested an enormous amount of time and effort to create Terminal 5. We remain confident that these early difficulties can be overcome, and that the terminal will be highly valued by customers and our staff in the near future and for many years to come.”