If you were on board Lufthansa’s flight LH4729 from London Heathrow yesterday, then you’d have been left in no doubt about why the aircraft left Terminal 1 well after its scheduled 13:55 departure time.
In a marvellously restrained cabin rant (listen here) the fed-up A320 pilot ignored don’t-mention-the-war-on-terror conventions, pinning the blame squarely on Heathrow security procedures and encouraging his passengers to kick up a fuss with operator BAA:
“It is my pleasure to welcome you on board on behalf of the entire crew for the flight to
Frankfurt. I’m extremely sorry about travelling so late today. The reason for the late arrival of the crew at this aircraft was that we were held up in a security post here at for almost 45 minutes. Heathrow Airport
“For some reason the checks that we have to go through now unfortunately were extremely unefficient (sic) today, taking much longer than usual, and that is the reason for the late arrival here. I will, of course, report the situation to all Lufthansa’s departments concerned with that – but if you want to give us some help here, please direct your complaints to British Airport Authority because this is actually a situation that nobody should accept for granted here.
“We’ll do everything we can to take you now to
Frankfurtas quickly as possible under these circumstances and I hope you will feel comfortable on board in spite of this.”
Now the Internet is prone to all sorts of misleading mischief but I’ve no reason to believe this recording is anything but genuine, and a quick look at flight-tracking data suggests that LH4729 did indeed leave at 14:32, some 37min late, and that the crew managed to make up some of that time by arriving 18min behind schedule.
No word from BAA on whether it’s received any German-postmarked advice on where it can shove its metal detectors.