Friday, March 14, 2008

Heathrow a black hole for baggage?

I arrived yesterday from a overseas trip, transferred at LHR. Travel agency thinks that 1 hour 20 mins is enough to transfer from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1..you can maybe already guess the rest of story.

The flight I arrived with to LHR was delayed. The plane had to wait for a landing slot 20 minutes after the original arrival time. Then we parked into some remote part of the airport with a bus transfer to Terminal 4. Now I had 40 minutes to the original takeoff time. Had to wait the bus transfer for 5 minutes and then 10 minutes of circling around the runways. Arrived to Terminal 1 25 minutes before the takeoff of the continuation flight, 5 minutes before the official "gate closure time".

Then the always ever llovely Flight Connections Centre. This facility processes I guess a six-number figure of passengers every day. Luckily my flash of the boarding pass with practically no time left provided me access to the Fast Track -route, wich took around 8 minutes, all with laptop, shoes & belt away.

Managed to reach the gate 10 minutes before takeoff. The plane was not about to pushed back from the gate immediately, so I asked from the gate attendant if my bags are on track with me. She said that they have already registered at Terminal 1 handling..so I felt very lucky indeed.

My luck subdued at Helsinki Airport baggage area. No sign of my bags and the lost baggage handlers
didn't see a sign of them at their systems..

So I arrived on Thursday. First time I saw something of my bags was on Sunday morning when one of the bags was seen on transit from Paris (!!) to Helsinki. I received it Sunday afternoon. There was already an indication that the other bag was about to arrive from Heathrow the same moment but no..the flight for that
bag was transferred to Monday. As I am writing this, no firm sighting of the second bag..4 days after my arrival.

Just wondering how much does the lost baggage sorting cost to the airlines. I think it is partly to them to
blame..why they allow booking continuation flights with marginal possibilities to reach the next flight if
there is the slightest problem on transfer. 1 hour 20 minutes from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 at LHR is pure insanity.

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