This small site was built after two horrendous flights taken in January and February of 2011 on British Airways. During the first, I turned on my light to find bugs crawling on my blanket and a bedbug-blood-spattered shirt. On the return journey, I left my 10-hour flight to find my body covered with 90 bug bites. The worst part was the nonexistent customer service throughout the 10-day ordeal.
I vowed never to fly British Airways after our daughter was stranded in London with no money when British Airways would not allow her to board her flisht to Athens, because the paper extending her residence permit was written in Greek. She usually flew with Olympic Airways, but thought it might be a pleasant change to go via London instead, but it proved to be a very unpleasant one.
And friends who were stranded in London because of snow storms last December report that the few inches of snow on the runways were the least of the problems.
British Airways cannot process re-bookings at their Heathrow counters. You have to do it by phone or online. Within an hour or so, both the BA phone system and their online site had crashed due to overwhelming demand. I am fairly certain their in-house IT systems also crashed, because agents at the counters were able to provide no information.
The next day (we slept on the floor of the terminal) was even worse. There were thousands of people standing in queues for every imaginable thing. Nothing could be done, because there were no scheduled flights. I bought a cell phone, called my sister in Cape Town, and told her to rebook us. I stood in line for three hours to find an hotel in London, and we left the airport. I could not contact BA until the next Wednesday, neither by phone nor online. We did not get out of London until Christmas night.
What was supposed to be an overlay of a few hours for a connecting flight became an eight day ordeal.
When the airport did start operating again, most departing flights were half empty. Since the IT systems were down, they could not match passengers to flights. And, many flights were canceled because planes were in the wrong places.
Heathrow had to be rebooted. It was not simply a matter of clearing a few inches of snow from the runways.