Sleepless in Heathrow


It all appeared to be going so well.  The “Delivering the New PR” conference was a success (based on the feedback from the attendees I talked to). 

I took a cab to Heathrow with Neville and Elizabeth in plenty of time for my flight. We dropped them off at Terminal 4, and as we were making our way to Terminal 1 a thunder storm hit the Heathrow area.  I assumed this would delay flights in and out – but I didn’t realize by how much. 

I was due to fly out on a BMI flight to Dublin at 19.10 however it quickly became apparent that it was delayed.  We were still sitting there at 22.30…. 

In that entire time there was only one BMI announcement and that was to inform us the flight had been delayed until 19.50.  The rest of the delay updates only came when passengers actually walked up to the BMI desk at the gate and asked for the latest information -  which BMI kindly shared – and luckily those passengers were kind enough to pass on the message. 

At 22.30 they announced that our flight was cancelled due to “operational” issues.  Chaos ensued with passengers flooding the desk, we all had to register there and then, go back out to the departure atrium, queue at the BMI ticket desk for over an hour.  There was then another half an hour waiting for a bus to take us to the hotel and then about three quarters of an hour checking into the hotel.  I finally go to my bed at around 01.50. 

A long day…. 

PS: The BMI staff I dealt with were pleasant and efficient, however my complaint centres on why there wasn’t clear and regular public communication regarding the status of the flight? In fairness to Aer Lingus – who had similar delays – they made a point of providing regular updates on the progress of all their delayed flights.  It’s better to say too much than too little particularly when people are stuck in an area that resembles something like a blitz shelter.