Punctuality has been a perennial difficulty for British Airways.
Shortly before Terminal 5 opened in 2008, the airline suffered the ignominy of having the worst punctuality record of any European airline.
Once Terminal 5 bedded down, its punctuality proved radically. However, this has proved not to be permanent. The airline has experienced another deterioration in punctuality.
Whilst operating from London Heathrow can often be a cause of poor punctuality, the volume of hand baggage being brought on to the aircraft is cited in a lot of anecdotal observations about flight delays.
Punctuality, known to be very important to passengers travelling on short-haul in particular, is currently back in focus.
Following trials on selected routes, the airline is to introduce new boarding procedures and processes for hand luggage.
BA has long offered “Fast Track” priority boarding (soon to be branded priority boarding) for passengers travelling in business and first class cabins and passengers with Silver & Gold Executive Club cards.
However, the extension of priority boarding to Bronze Executive Club cardholders and high volumes of Silver & Gold cardholders on some routes has resulted in a very erratic experience with long queues for priority boarding.
BA will now invite passengers to board the aircraft in order of the cabin they are travelling in (First, Club World/Europe) and then by Executive Club card status (Gold, Silver, Bronze). All other passengers will be invited to board by row number.
BA will continue to offer early boarding to young families and passengers requiring assistance.
These changes will apply to domestic and short haul flights from Tuesday 18 August and long haul flights from Tuesday 1 September.
Hand Baggage Allowance
BA will continue to allow passengers to take up to two pieces of hand baggage on all flights, a cabin bag and a personal bag.
Passengers will still be able to carry a cabin bag in dimensions of up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm that weighs up to 23kgs.
However, the size of the personal bag (eg, laptop case, briefcase or handbag) must be no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. In addition, with the exception of passengers travelling in First/Club World business class, these bags will have a yellow tag attached to them. All items with a yellow tag attached to them are intended to be put on the seat in front of you, rather than the overhead bins.
BA has indicated that these limits will be applied strictly and any over-sized hand baggage will be checked into the hold of the aircraft and be subject to a charge.
BA will also invite passengers with cabin baggage within the above size limits to check their hand luggage into the hold at no cost on busy and early morning departures.
Further details are on BA’s trade website.
We would encourage passengers to feedback their experiences through the usual customer complaint & feedback channels. Whilst it is unlikely you will receive a personalised response, the overall trends are likely to be noticed by the airline.