back to article Software glitch hits Heathrow T4 baggage system

Heathrow's Terminal 4 was yesterday hit by a software glitch which affected its baggage-handling capacity, the knock-on effect of which means that some passengers travelling have been told to leave any hold baggage at home. BAA's website currently offers: "The Teminal 4 baggage system is temporarily experiencing a reduction in …


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  1. David Harper

    Only the cattle-class passengers get crapped on

    I see that the business and first class passengers are not included in the ban on baggage. As always, BA craps on the poor sods who have to travel in cattle class.

    Mental note to self: never, ever, under any circumstance, fly BA again.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    human luggage transport system

    Could not the passenger have carried the luggage by themself to the plane? That Works on small airports which do not have a baggage system.

  3. Gordon Ross Silver badge

    Do what ?!?!

    Let me get this straight:

    BA are telling passengers who are traveling half way round the world not to take any luggage with them.

    Is this some sort of April Fools joke ?

  4. Kane
    Paris Hilton


    ...what they are saying is:

    (a) you can travel but you can't check your baggage in or,

    (b) you can check your baggage in but you then can't travel.


    Oh, sorry, almost forgot.....

    Where's the Paris Hilton angle?

  5. Maurice Shakeshaft
    Black Helicopters

    Take heart...

    That they can't handle baggage means there'll be less baggage for them to lose so it'll up their performance figures. There had to be an upside to this.

    It would be interesting to see a breakdown of lost/delayed baggage by passenger class and route so that passengers may make more thoroughly informed choices when not flying with BA.

  6. Stuza

    @David and Anon Coward

    @David: what did you expect? There are far less Business and First passengers.

    @Anon: No, they are not security cleared.

    The people I feel sorry for are the people who HAVE flown half way around the world and expect to xfer onto a BA flight that leaves from T4 to complete the trip..... ooops!

  7. Paul Eagles

    What's the problem?

    It's easier to leave your bags at home than have BA do their usual trick of losing them, at least you know where they are then.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reasons to avoid Heathrow

    As if you needed any more...

  9. Jason Irwin

    Simple answer

    Have the passengers take the baggage to the gate. It can be checked in there and lugged down by the baggage gorillas.

    I've used this facility at some airports where traffic has made me late. It may delay some flights, sure, but at least people can take a change of clothes!

  10. CM

    Can't wait for T5

    I was at T4 yesterday but luckily using KLM. The BA announements were like an anti-advertisement for the airline: sod off if you're not biz class and rebook online at home, ta muchly. Now if T5 kicks off with a few glitches, there's your clue on how well it'll be handled.

    Screwing transfer passengers should see all that business finallly clear off to CDG and AMS. No need for a third runway.

  11. b166er


    Wonder if it's caused by T5. They must be in final testing for T5 ATM. The baggage system there is fully automated and probably doesn't have to interact with T4 baggage systems, but you never know.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see a pattern

    It's all security related. For your safety, of course.

    First, no liquids in the cabin

    Next, no solids in the hold.

    Soon, it will be no people inside the aircraft. You just pay, turn up at the airport, queue for a while and return home.

    Or board an aircraft wearing an orange jumpsuit...

  13. Tim
    Dead Vulture


    What if those circumstances included travelling in first or club?

    BA makes all of its money from the expensive cabins, unlike some US airlines where business & first are mostly used as free upgrades for frequent fliers. The plebs like us in the back are only there to cover the costs of our seat. It's either luck or deliberate re-tooling of the system that means that premium passengers still travel with bags. Either way it's good business sense not to piss off the customers who are the core of your market.

    Worldwide air travel at £100s a ticket is a modern miracle. There is a tradeoff between price and service which never existed before deregulation: you can go to places on holiday every year that 30 years ago would have been a once in a lifetime trip. If you pay the same as before deregulation you get a much, much better service; if you pay the bottom rate you get there but the trip is a bit uncomfortable. Choose.

    Nobody is forcing you to travel in the back: you could pay more for a better seat, pick another carrier, work for a better company with business class travel as a perk, or just buy a caravan and go on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales instead of Tenerife.

    I would save your anger for the muppets in government and at BAA who are really responsible for making air travel miserable. Those endless security lines, humiliating searches and pointless restrictions on liquids are nothing to do with the airline.

    Sick vulture because it's not flying.

  14. Marc-Oliver Kalis
    Thumb Down

    BA(A) NO Thank you!!!

    I have to say , I have seen so many airports around the world, and no where not even in the African bush, have I come across so much incompetence and inflexibility!!!

    BAA claims to be an international business, but they certainly have absolutely no clue of crisis planning!

    Being a consultant, I would say that any essential system has to be duplicated as far as possible! What sort of business continuity planning is this, when there is a high possibility, that one system can take down nearly my entire operations!!!

    BA could be seen as the equal to incompetence!

    I have flown with many airlines throughout my life and have had good as well as bad experience with pretty much every airline!

    It just seems to be BA that I have had only poor experience with! considering that they are the largest airline in the world, their service is no better than any budget airline!

    How on earth, can you expect passengers to fly "without" luggage on a long haul flight! This just shows, that BA do not take their passengers seriously!

    What about the people wanting to go on holliday, and that have their hotels paid for already etc.

    Because they can't take their luggage, they have to cancel their holidays??

    My goodness, the entire PR team of BA should be fired, as well as the management and replaced with some capable and competent people!

    I have flown BA six times end every time it was a disaster! Most business people I know, have on average one negative issue to say about BA per return flight!

    I have one return flight per week to Germany. I couldn't handle the stress of flying if I where to fly with them...

  15. BIll Jones

    This stroy made me think of this song

    Just get to the end of it

  16. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    That would be...

    That would be... the "T4 buggage system" then?

    /coat /hat

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Just requires balls.

    All BA needed to do here was turn round to BAA and tell 'em that if they couldn't organise the bags themselves, they could shove their security restrictions where the sun shineth until such time as they could. Then apologise a bit and inform everyone that they were going to have to take their own bags to the gate.

    The Government would go apoplectic, but that would just be funny.....

  18. Anonymous Coward

    BAA + govt = no end of stupidity

    Frankly I think the airlines should just have stopped using UK airports until such time as the government gets rid of all these daft restrictions.

    Then released a statement explaining that the reason they are withdrawing from UK airports and relocating to CDG and AMS is due to the majority of politicians in govt being unable to take a threat in proportion and making it impossible to operate in the UK

    Wonder how fast the govt would have dropped the liquids ban and did something sensible like for example focusing their searches onto those likely to try something stupid i.e. not my grandparents for example and perhaps look at realistic possibilities?

    Then again they probably wouldnt give a monkeys as it would be "green" and best for the environment.

    Bloody losers.....IF Scotland ever becomes independent, England can do as they please with Pope brown and his bunch of red and blue cronies. Self serving wasters

    Perhaps once the green nazis fully take control they can use Heathrow as a prison for anyone they deem an eco criminal aka "normal"

  19. Matt Thornton

    Unspecified error...

    I wonder if someone accidentally installed Vista SP1 somewhere...

  20. Garry Mills

    Choose another desination

    OK, I was thinking of going to Paris, but can I book to HK next week please?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Naked plane

    coming soon no clothes no baggage or electronic goods will you still fly.

  22. Tim

    Simple solution

    Free upgrade to Club or First and then under their rules we can fly :-)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Just saving money

    They've simply realised that for all those folks they allow to check in bags they're going to be paying out more in penalties for lost luggage than they're going to take in on the ticket prices. I'm sure they pass much of that cost onto the baggage handler, but then have to eat the rest.

    Add that up for all of the flights from T4 and it's much easier just to declare that all your passengers can't fly and then make a claim for lost earnings (actual plus future potential) to BAA. They've figured that a few annoyed tourists won't hurt them long-term.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Heathrow sucks ass!

    I've used a lot of airports worldwide, and I have to say, Heathrow is by far the worst!

    The queues are terrible, the staff are retarded and the delays are ridiculous. And please - no one say its because of its size. Both Schiphol and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson are as big and they are a cake-walk in comparison.

    ps. You can always spot the frequent flyers / plane buffs - they refer to places like Paris and Amsterdam airports as 'CDG' and 'AMS'.

    Paris, as its got a better airport.

  25. Chris Matchett
    Thumb Down

    No more BA for me

    That's the last straw. Lukily I booked my Japan flights in May with Virgin but had to break the habit of using BA.

    @Tim: It's one thing if BA were upfront about the restriction when booking the flight - another thing to find out when you have turned up with your cases, spent money on accomodation and reserved precious annual leave with work.

  26. Tim


    "It's one thing if BA were upfront about the restriction when booking the flight - another thing to find out when you have turned up with your cases, spent money on accomodation and reserved precious annual leave with work."

    Absolutely, as I'm about to find out!

    What I meant was (jokingly), turn up and BA could do the decent thing and just upgrade us :-)

    Obviously isn't going to happen, despite all those empty seats now because no one's going to get on the plane without luggage for a long haul!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if you're going on holiday?

    It's okay for BA to say that you can rebook a flight at a later date, but there's every chance your holiday company will not cooperate and rebook. You could also find yourself SOOL when claiming on insurance.

    And remember, Terminal 4 is the *nice* terminal at LHR. The other three are even less fit for purpose.

  28. Mark Pipes


    Let them send your bags, counter to counter, on another carrier, at *THEIR* expense. Then you just collect them at the counter at the distination airport; or better still have them courrier them to your final destination. You get to your hotel, etc; and the bags are waiting for you.

    Hah. Better for them to sodomize their passengers.

  29. Paul Crawford Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Just say no...

    to Heathrow.

    In my experience its just crap, and I simply can't see any good reason to make that place bigger. Even avoiding the obvious aspect of 'greenness', and how the gov claims to want to reduce carbon emissions, its just such an awful design of a place and such a pain to use.

    My choice for any transfers is Amsterdam, as the Dutch seem to know how to run a big airport effectively.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    'glitch hits Heathrow T4 baggage system'

    This makes the whole Skynet thing come into a bit clearer focus, doesn't it?

  31. Anonymous Coward


    No, never CDG! It has to be the only airport in the world that's worse than Heathrow. Especially if you're flying Air Chance. Amsterdam or Frankfurt would be my choices.

  32. Graham Dukes

    Baggage mess at Terminal 4

    Nearly ten years ago, after many disastrous experiences with BA and British airports, I switched all my intercontinental and European travel to KLM , and I continue to find them (and the airport at Amsterdam) more helpful, reliable and pleasant. However, this month after a complex journey with my wife through South-East Asia and Australia in Business Class,, we were obliged to switch our return journey (to Oslo) to travel through terminal 4 and BA. Alas, they were as bad as ever:

    a. All our luggage was lost at Terminal 4 (and most of it still is, three days later)

    b. The main BA lounge at Terminal 4 was out of action "for technical reasons"

    c. The BA staff for the London-Oslo flight turned up at the gate only at the moment the plane should have left and then spent their time laughing with each other. Only when passengers insisted on getting information did one of them take up a microphone and explain that there would be half an hour's delay (which soon became an hour).

    People who comment that economy class passengers get especially bad treatment are probably correct, but business class passengers have no reason to like BAA or BA either. Who on earth dared to choose the slogan "The world's favourite airline?" or to claim that Heathrow was the world's most popular airport?

    Graham Dukes


  33. Xpositor

    Blame it on Emirates

    Somewhat suspicous that T4's baggage handling goes down just as T3's get's upgraded to RFID for Emirates... "Oh, you didn't want me to install it on that machine as well...?"

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