British Airways' New Hi-Tech Baggage System Routes All Luggage To A Big Pile

British Airways is having trouble with its new baggage system—namely, that it doesn’t actually sort and route the baggage to the correct flight. On Sunday they claimed that 15,000 bags had missed their flights and were now being stored at Heathrow. However, the UK’s Aviation Minister said yesterday that the number was closer to 28,000.

When BA was called out on misreporting the number of lost bags, it claimed it was difficult:

A spokesman said: “Taking a snapshot is difficult, but we estimate that the number still to be reunited with their owners is now slightly over 20,000.

Referring to Mr Fitzpatrick’s figure of 28,000, BA’s spokesman said: “It’s not a figure we recognize.”

The UK’s Aviation Minister has yet to issue an apology for presenting such an unrecognizable figure.

Bags of Terminal 5 embarrassment for BA” [The Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    You could have people show up naked and just give them togas to make going through all the security checkpoints much faster.

  2. SBR249 says:

    “It makes our security load a lot lighter,” says one security official in the US, “and you’re actually helping the local economy if you just buy your clothes when you reach your destination. I mean, that’s why we give out stimulus checks.”

    Why not just eliminate their security completely by not traveling at all? Do away with all that airplane, automobile railroad nonsense. You can even stimulate your local economy all the time with the money you’ll save!

  3. esd2020 says:

    So now April Fools Day includes making up quotes in otherwise accurate posts? I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

  4. ColoradoShark says:

    Those Brits are so far behind the times.
    The new Denver International Airport screwed up baggage worse than this more than ten years ago.

  5. Beerad says:

    @esd2020: That’s kinda what I thought. Seems odd, though. Could the whole article be shenanigans? The rest seems legit.

  6. Pink Puppet says:

    @esd2020: I agree. The deliberately silly posts were cute, but that’s just inappropriate.

    Consumerist, why do you want to make your regular readers go elsewhere?

  7. vastrightwing says:

    How about not flying at all? It will help our local economy and keep your sanity all at the same time.

  8. nutrigm says:

    More “fixing what ain’t broke”… Really feel bad for all the brishit airways customers..

  9. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    I guess I’m in the minority, I thought it was funny.

  10. mackattack says:

    Ben, ‘The Onion’ you are not. Give it up.

  11. sir_eccles says:

    Personally I avoid Heathrow like the plague. A good tip is to check out some of the regional airports as they often have lower landing fees. Bristol is great for getting to New York if you’re in south Wales. Manchester is a pretty good airport too and benefits from not being run by BAA.

  12. picardia says:

    I thought it was funny too, and the “quote” isn’t attributed to anyone in particular.

    I suppose the blame-the-victimites are getting their panties in a wad because this day is for ridiculing them. I mean, EVERY day is for ridiculing them, but today especially so.

  13. mousemonkey says:

    I’m guessing that TSA quote is an April Fool’s joke, but I kind of hope it isn’t. I wouldn’t put it past TSA agents to be that stupid, but at least they’re funnier than we’ve been giving them credit for!

  14. Trai_Dep says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: naked people boarding only. With an express line for Hotties. (Cough) With nipple rings.

  15. tikuahote says:

    When our flight out of Heathrow was cancelled due to airport-wide computer problems, we had to paw through huge piles of luggage to find our bags…and no-one was checking baggage receipts! Stranger than fiction…

  16. BartClan says:

    Kudos for the WKRP tribute! ;-)

  17. chiieddy says:

    This news is OLD.

    Anyhow, the problem was actually training. BA didn’t bother to train their baggage handlers on the new, high tech system. On the first day Terminal 5 was open, the baggage handlers couldn’t find their way to their stations. By the time they got where they needed to go, the result was the mess going on at Heathrow right now.

  18. Orv says:

    When has Heathrow *not* had baggage handling problems? Didn’t Monty Python do a song about it back in the 1970s?

  19. jodles says:

    it actually wasnt the training…they did a bajillion test runs. it actually had to do with letting the employees into the baggage handling area to move the luggage. i flew out of t5 on thursday and our luggage was not on our flight, after the pilot lied and told us it was.

  20. Smooooth says:

    Hahaha, April Fools! You almost got me, Conglomerist, but we all know airlines never have any problems with luggage!

  21. trujunglist says:

    20,000, yes, possible.
    22,000, maybe, yeah.

    28,000… I’m not even sure what that is, is it some sort of tomato based spread or cheese dip? some sort of chemical compound? I just don’t recognize it, not at all.

  22. Pink Puppet says:

    @picardia: My panties are just fine. I’d just be happier if they kept fun things separate from serious things.

    Kaketaku does this sort of thing much better than Conglomorist, really. ;)

  23. inno says:

    AAaah I’ve lost all ability to tell what’s real anymore!

  24. nycaviation says:

    It gets better: they’ve actually resorted to hiring FedEx to help sort and deliver the mountain of lost bags.

    British Airways Brings in FedEx to Reduce Bag Backlog [Bloomberg]

  25. Mr. Gunn says:

    pinkpuppet: Lighten up, Francis. Half the things they print are BS even on a normal day.

  26. criticalsole says:

    My sister happens to be right in the middle of this British Airways luggage debacle. After helping her with trying to get her luggage back let me tell you why you should NEVER EVER fly British Airways.

    (My little sister flew from the US to London on British Airways a week or so back).

    When we called the British Airways luggage lost customer service line we were immediately put on hold for 20 minutes. Then when we had the good grace to talk to a human, it was an extremely stupid one. They told us that her luggage was at Heathrow airport being sorted, and that by tomorrow at 4:30pm they would deliver her luggage to my sister’s hostel in London.

    Um..try again, her luggage never arrived and she was forced to pay for another night at the hostel. So once again we called British Airways about the luggage and they said whoops, our mistake the luggage will come the next day by 4:30pm. We should’ve known it was a setup by this incompetent airline.

    Um..yeah, tricked and lied to again. Luggage didn’t come again and she was forced, once again, to put up in that same hostel. This time forfeiting her train ticket to Italy to wait for the luggage. Which of course we have no idea if British Airways is ever going to pay compensate her for. Yeah, how about a call, or an update, or any news on where her missing luggage is.

    Guess what..the luggage didn’t come again. So again we called the British Airways asking for a supervisor, who preceded to tell us to check the Website for the most recent updates on her luggage. Yeah, dipcrap that would only work if the website was even remotely up to date.’s March 31st and your website was last updated on March 27th. Seriously, who gave this guy a supervisor role anyway.

    So this time we called back right afterwards, and at least this person had the decency to just tell us the truth. I quote, “We have no idea where your luggage is”, end quote. That’s right, NO IDEA. That’s how one of the major airlines in the world deals with lost luggage. Let me paraphrase “You are SOL, thanks for flying see you later.

    Consider yourself warned.

  27. factotum says:

    But are they “taking it seriously”?

  28. Blueskylaw says:

    Referring to Mr Fitzpatrick’s figure of 28,000, BA’s spokesman said: “It’s not a figure we recognize.”

    According to my dictionary of lawyer and politician statements, the phrase “It’s not a figure we recognize” means it might actually be higher.

  29. yargrnhoj says:

    I just received the last of my three bags back from BA, three weeks after we put them in their less-than-capable hands on 3/28. Still waiting for my $3000 reimbursement for all of the clothes we had to purchase for a week in Europe. All we got from BA in terms of compensation so far is an apology form letter from their now-fired director of operations.