A runway, a rucksack, heightened security, just one idiot?

My trip to London on Wednesday and Thursday was meant to be simple and run-of-the-mill. I had even planned to meet up with @irascian and @olivers thanks to the power of Twitter. Indeed I did meet up with Ian and Oliver, however my meeting with Oliver was rudely cut short because some clown, idiot, tube decided that his rucksack had to be deposited at the end of one of Heathrow’s two runways. He managed to carefully place this rucksack within the airport grounds during a state of BAA’s heightened security.

Whatever his intentions, he managed to force the cancellation of a lot of domestic flights. I’m not hugely interested in the international flights that were cancelled – I was on a domestic to Edinburgh. It didn’t take me long to realise that the end-game for me involved staying over in London for another night. I re-arranged my flight to depart the next morning at 0755 – resigning myself to the fact that I had to find accommodation (huge thanks to @zimakki and his other half for that).

However what really infuriated me about this incident was that I was no longer able to record a short video teaser with @olivers for DDD Ireland. Yes, it was great catching up with Oliver for a beer, however we were unable to grab some recording time to make a 5 minute teaser video. It will happen, I hope to pop down to Oliver’s place of residence, taking my Sony HDD camcorder such that I can record his teaser video!

BAA, please pass your compensation requests on – make this idiot pay for it. Give him a job in your customer service department. But don’t pay him; make him take the worst customers, the ones that shouted at British Airways who bore the brunt of the cancellation woes. Make him deal with those folks, he’ll soon realise the power of democracy and the state of our nation. It wasn’t British Airway’s fault, yet still a handful of customers “kicked off” at their customer service team. Wrong on so many levels – the minute you annoy a customer service representative, you’re lost. Resign yourself to the fact that “shit happens”. You’re staying in London for another night or you’re getting a 8-10 hour coach ride home to Edinburgh. Live with it.

However, whilst he might have been an idiot, we have to consider the fact that overall airport security was stated as being “heightened”. Whatever that means… It surely means that muppets like this can’t just traverse the perimeter fence, saunter up to the end of the runway and then drop his rucksack. Surely not. Heightened security. You gotta be kiddin’ me?

He might be an idiot, a muppet or whatever. But please, surely airport perimeter security are sailing in the same boat? They must be feeling a bit red-faced right now.

This incident saw one of the runways closed for a while. It might have been useful to have that third runway that everybody’s ranting about…but that’s another blog post and should be considered rhetoric.

The icing on the cake: I returned to Edinburgh on the 0755 flight some 14 hours after my first flight was cancelled. Imagine my surprise when I found out that my baggage had been left behind at Heathrow…It turns out that flights from Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow had baggage issues – the queue at British Airway’s baggage services was very long indeed. Out of the hours from Thursday 1700 to Friday 1100, I must have spent 4 of them standing in queues. But anyway, baggage is being located and couriered to me in due course.

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