M.P.’s, Terminal 5 and “national embarrassment”
Cast you minds back. To 6 months ago. When Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opened and there were all those problems. Seems a long time ago since then we have reported that. Like all new openings, there were teething problems and those may have been worse than elsewhere or may have been overblown by the media. Now it seems to be working pretty well and we don’t here many complaints at all.
Within 10 days of the problem, it was pretty widely reported that the problems were due to BA/BAA issues and baggage software problems.
So all hail the Commons Select Committee on Transport who have issued their report on the problems six months after the rest of us knew. They talk about “serious failings,”and “national embarrassment.” In fairness, the committee says that it waited until the problems were resolved before investigating. So it didn’t really take them them six months to find out what the rest of us were pretty sure were the problems.
Why do “official” investigations take so long?
By the time this report came out BA and BAA would have fixed those problems otherwise there would be passengers screaming from the building. Journalists would have booked every room at local hotels and be standing at 5am to tell us grisly stories. So why tell us what we know? When it happens again at another opening, can whoever owns that have learnt from what went wrong at Terminal 5? Probably but not from the report, it will have come from all the other information that was around months ago.
I think its because politicians must be seen to be doing things. If they sit on their hands, us voters will think they are doing nothing even if reports like this take ages to produce. Investigation should be done quickly for it to be of much value. So if they get around to having a report on why fuel surcharges take so long to drop, we will probably be using an entirely different fuel by the time the report is published!