Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas postponed

Certain of our relatives were at Heathrow on Friday, due to fly out to us for Christmas. Mrs S and I spent the day in Vancouver, where we were supposed to pick them up and take them to our home to celebrate the good old festering season. Their flight was cancelled.

It was scheduled flight BA0035 to Vancouver, yet we were told at one stage that there were 'no cancellations'. Bull-shit.

We were told that the runways were clear.

Then we found out that because of the lack of planning, Heathrow has only enough gear to run one de-icing crew. Why the hell said crews weren't used more effectively I don't know. Now if anyone had asked me, which is unlikely as I'm only a single voice in the blogging wilderness, instead of having the de-icing crew move round all the terminal, wouldn't it have been better to set up a single de-icing station on the taxiway, and route all outgoing aircraft through it? Ten minutes a plane and 130 litres of de-icer. Or did someone forget to order sufficient de-icing fluid to 'keep costs down'? Surely there was sufficient warning? Oh gosh! Silly me! It's supposed to be the 'hottest year ever'! Yeah, right.

Here's how they do it in Minnesota.

Also, I was under the impression that all modern aircraft had on-board de-icing capability because it gets pretty parky at thirty plus thousand feet. Although when flying into the UK in October on a 767, I noticed patches of thin ice on the outer wings as we began our descent.

Fortunately, my family members have secured a booking for later in the week, providing you lot in the UK don't suffer from the 'wrong kind of snow'. God alone knows where their luggage has gone to. Or maybe we'll be confronted with that 1970's joke spoofing one of BA's advertising slogans; 'Breakfast in London, Dinner in New York - Luggage in Barbados'.

We had hoped to kick off the holidays this weekend, regrettably we will have to keep the champers on ice for another few days. What I don't want to hear is more excuses about failing to prepare for a known cold weather event. Ahrrggh! I need a drink.

Update: Have spoken to temporarily marooned relatives, and according to them, the desk staff were not very happy with the situation and made some rather disparaging remarks about the short sightedness of their management. No names, no pack drill.


The Filthy Engineer said...

Bill. We're British don't you know? We have to have something to keeo a stiff upper lip about.

Bill Sticker said...

Nah. I've worked it out that the British 'stiff upper lip' isn't doggedness in the face of adversity. It's because the bloody thing is frozen.

Why do you think our male ancestors were so keen on facial hair?

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