Are British Airways a Bus Company?

'Nuff said

Are British Airways an airline or a bus company? You’d hope the answer was evident from the name, but I’m beginning to have my doubts. I’ve just done an analysis of the flights I’ve taken with them from Heathrow since 2018:

Morocco 2018. This was so ridiculous it’s laughable, but with a dark shade because it was really quite a bad health and safety failure. We sat at the gate for the outgoing flight and they called us forward by "group number". Instead of going down the ramp to an aeroplane, we had to go down several flights of steps and outside, where a number of buses were waiting. We were directly randomly to buses with no attempt to keep the boarding groups even roughly together. After a long ride we arrived at the plane in the middle of a field, which had two sets of steps set up. One bus went to the front, another to the back. This resulted in people with seats at the back boarding from the front, while some with seats at the back were boarding from the back. "Punch up" doesn’t quite cover it, the average bar fight in a film is better organised. Fortunately we managed to sort ourselves out, but literally "nil points" to the useless BA organisation, and thank the stars that no-one suddenly needed medical attention or worse.

We had two short-haul BA flights in 2019, to Belfast and Copenhagen. I can’t remember either involving a bus, but maybe I’m blanking it out.

Patagonia 2023. After a 13 hour flight from Argentina the plane landed in a field, and was met by a bus. The ride back to the terminal took so long that I noted on my blog that I wasn’t sure whether we’d actually landed at Heathrow, or Northolt!

Belfast 2023. Our scheduled flight was cancelled, and we got bumped to one next morning. Having waited on the tarmac at Belfast for about an hour we got underway, only to land at Heathrow and sit on the tarmac again. Eventually we docked at a gate, and went up the ramp, to be directed down the stairs and out of the building onto a bus. This then drove us round from the "international" side of T5 to the domestic one, a trip which took about 20 mins, despite the fact you could probably walk it in about the same time.

Las Vegas 2023. After a 10 hour flight we parked in a field, to be discharged onto a bus. The ride to the terminal wasn’t quite so interminable as some of the others, but long enough.

4/6, maybe worse.

A few years ago a comedian, I think it might have been Michael Macintyre, lampooned as peculiarly British the phenomenon of the replacement bus service, as seen through the eyes of a foreign visitor:

"But I have ticket for train?"

"Get on the bus!"

I see that BA are honouring the "British" in their name by simply extending this pattern.

View featured image in Album

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *