Archive for April, 2008

Events in order –

  • Terminal 5 Opening day (/week/month) Chaos with bags misplaced/mislaid, passengers mis-connected and a lot of delays. Since January 2008, BA has mislaid 28.9 bags per 1,000 passengers.
  • American Airlines’ Head of Customer Services (Europe) Don Langford slamming the airport as “bit of a dump” and “worst among major European hubs”

Now it is British Airways’ Chief Wille Walsh’s turn. He told at an Annual Conference at at the Royal Albert Hall that Heathrow, “state of London’s Heathrow Airport was damaging the country’s reputation and economy“. “I believe it is in the interest of the country that the reputation of
Heathrow is restored on a lasting basis as quickly as possible
“.“For the sake of the UK economy and London’s place as a business capital, Heathrow has to catch up”.”If things continue to decline, UK businesses will lose competitiveness and might be forced to consider relocating abroad”. “Businesses will also find it difficult to attract inward investment.”

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t he also involved in the current state of events? Is there a big disjoint between the dominant carrier (BA) and Airport Authority (BAA)?


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There are talks between American Airlines, British Airways and Continental Airlines for a partnership (not to be confused with a merger). If the partnership talks go through, they will all retain their names, headquarters, etc. but will end up with possible ties on – frequent flier program and code sharing. American Airlines and British Airways already have an alliance, and this partnership might get them “antitrust immunity” and the existing alliance.

Personally, I think it is a good idea, especially since Continental Airlines and American Airlines are the best (operations and customer service) of all the US legacy carriers. With British Airways, the partnership will enjoy one of the strongest networks in the world.

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On April 30th 2008 around 3:30pm, nine people inadvertently breached security (X-rays) at the Quantas Airlines’ Domestic Terminal causing the whole terminal to be evacuated. All the passengers had to be re-screened causing at least 14 flights to be delayed. A number of planes were also unloaded and the passengers were evacuated to car park areas outside the terminal.

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An Australian comedy show “Thank God You’re Here”, kind of like “Whose line is it anyways”

Please note –
None of them are commercial pilots, just normal people trying to improvise.
as one commenter had put in – “its an Australian improvisation show where a person is placed inside a
situation they know nothing about and they have to improvise everything
on the spot. This particular clip is their ‘practice’ before the actual

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There is a talk about merger between US Airways and United Airlines. I did a little research (here and here) and found the following –

Red for United and Blue for US Airways

  • NameUnited Airlines (since it is bigger brand name and airline than US Airways)
  • Based inChicago IL, Tempe AZ (the merged airlines would probably be in Chicago)
  • HubsChicago (O’Hare), Denver, Washington (Dulles), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix
  • Focus CitiesTokyo (Narita) , Las Vegas, Washington (Ronald Reagan), New York (LaGuardia), Boston (Logan), Pittsburgh (???)
  • Frequent Flier ProgramMileage Plus, Dividend Miles
  • AllianceStar Alliance (same for both)
  • Fleet Size458 (+42 orders) + 360 (+183 orders) = 818 (+225 orders)
  • FleetAirbus A319, A320; Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330, A340 (in 2009), A350 (orders); Boeing 737, 757, 767; Embraer 190
  • Member LoungeRed Carpet Club, US Airways Club
  • Current SloganIt’s Time to Fly, Fly with US

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On Sunday April 27th 2008 Eos Airlines, Purchase – New York based business class carrier, declared bankruptcy and stopped operations.

All Eos ticket holders can get a special fare of GBP 799 one way fare from Heathrow to JFK, Newark, Boston or Washington on Virgin Atlantic. From US, the airline is offering fare of $1299 (including taxes and charges).

CLUB 48 Members
For our Club 48 members, unfortunately, in the face of this bankruptcy
filing, you will no longer be able to redeem your points for rewards.
Any value related to your membership will be determined by the court as
part of the bankruptcy process.

Facts about EOS (from here)-

  • The airline was founded in 2004 by Dave Spurlock, a former director of strategy at British Airways.
  • Company Slogan
    Uncrowded. Uncompromising. UNAIRLINE.
  • Fleet – 6 Boeing 757-200 with 48-seat all-business class configuration

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Terminal 5: My Story

Finally, I made it to the famous (read notorious) Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow Airport.

Entrance to the Terminal – If you are transiting, you take the Heathrow Express (from Terminal 1,2,3). Once you arrive to the terminal, you can take the big elevators to the Ticketing Level. The ticketing has alphabetical zones from A to H (or more) and for every flight you can only check-in from some zones. Behind the ticketing counters/desks there are stores and restaurants (BOOTS is always my favourite at Heathrow). Above the ticketing area there are two huge screens for video advertisements, mostly showcasing new Nokia phones with slick advertisements.

There are people wearing t-shirts with “I” that can help you with your questions.

British Airways everywhere has signs saying “Welcome to our new home


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