Saturday, March 29, 2008

Heathrow Terminal 5: Or, the Fall of Saigon?

So far, the only person to get in or out of the new Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 on schedule was the Queen, who stopped in to cut a ribbon two weeks ago and hustled out fast, pearls clicking, to return to the serenity of her castle.

Nobody expects a new airport terminal to function perfectly on Opening Day, but British Airways, which had proudly trumpeted the opening of the huge, modern new terminal that will be the center of its Heathrow operations, was clearly stunned by the mishaps, delays and customer fury after the terminal officially opened for business on Thursday.

It's been a customer-relations disaster for British Airways, an airline that prides itself on its reputation for quality in-flight service.

Here's a comprehensive update today from London's Evening Standard newspaper. (Today, even the terminal's elevators malfunctioned.)


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