It was time when British Airways showed the world the future of travel with the opening of Heathrow Airports spectacular new Terminal 5. Opening on the 27th of March 2008, inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth (the second), the terminal completely failed in the first two weeks of its operation. Insufficient staff training and testing, coupled with a disruption in the Terminals IT systems led to around 500 flights being cancelled.
SEGEMENTED ANALYSIS (What went wrong):
Logistics and Planning:
Rather than properly training the Bag Handlers and staff members, they were simply shown around the whole Terminal. Where in weeks ago before the terminal was inaugurated they should have been trained with trail runs. Due to lack of training they found it difficult to navigate through the Huge building causing inconvenience to the passengers. Duties should have been delegated, and training should have been conducted in a specialized manner with people doing only their assigned tasks.
Technical and Human Errors:
The computer systems didn’t recognize staff ID’s
Doors meant to be open were locked.
17 out of the 18 terminal lifts were jammed
The transit system meant to move passengers broke down.
Carousels, escalators, walkways and electronic screens all failed. f.
Baggage handling system (capable of handling up to 12000 bags an hour) crashed by 11 am All of the above mentioned problems occurred because the whole terminal had never been tested in a “live” terminal situation. There was lot of miscommunication from one department to another also technicians were not alert as to what were the terminal requirements.
Lack of leadership and Hubris:
One week before its openings BAA declared “We have a world class baggage system that is going to run perfectly on day one”. Despite the hitches reported by the baggage staff, the management was complacent and over looked all technical problems. Also the BA office that should have sorted...
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