Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Morning News

---Just Askin': Is it OK to take away Charlton Heston's gun now?

---The Gods Must Cut It Out Now: British Airways and BAA, the operator of Heathrow, have plenty of blame to share for the recent mess following the opening of Terminal 5. But today, B.A. had to cancel 114 flights at Heathrow because of snow. In London. In April.

[Report from a correspondent who was at Heathrow today:
"Snowed in London today. That by itself played merry hell with LHR as they closed one one-way to plow and sand it and then closed the other for the same. But that wasn't the big problem. Seems they decided that de-icing equipment and procedures at T5 could wait because who would need them in April. Who exactly? Turns out the answer is all those people who waited as much as five hours to get their planes de-iced. Add to that that BA had moved some flights to Terminal 1 where it didn't have enough tugs for push back so some planes--like mine--waited an hour for push back. At least our lot got to Nice and only two hours late. BA's black eye has to be as big as the London Eye at this point and the recovery marketing campaign is going to be a treat to watch.]

[Update 6 p.m.] Wait, wait: Saturday night was also a bummer:

British Airways flight makes emergency landing at Shannon Airport in Ireland
The Associated Press Saturday, April 5, 2008

LONDON: A British Airways plane bound for San Francisco, California, made an emergency landing at Ireland's Shannon Airport Saturday, officials said.

The plane was a Boeing 747 en route from Heathrow Airport to San Francisco with 347 people aboard, Shannon Airport spokesman Eugene Pratt said. BA said 328 of them were passengers.

"At about 6:45 p.m. Irish time (1745GMT) there was some sort of emergency concerning the hydraulic system," Pratt said. "It landed safely at 7:25 p.m. (1825GMT). Apparently the situation is rectified and they're fueling up to resume the trip."

BA described the emergency landing as a precaution, saying in a statement that the aircraft suffered a "temporary hydraulic indication defect" but that the pilot was able to reset the system.

A spokeswoman for the airline did not immediately return calls or e-mails seeking additional comment on the incident.


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