Terminal Trouble

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Talk about a crash landing. In what was to be a powerful PR blitz, British Airways has postponed its upcoming ad campaign for London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. Using television, newspaper and the Internet, the Bartle Bogle Hegarty-produced campaign was to showcase the new terminal. However, the $8.7 billion facility has suffered alarming setbacks since its March 27 debut. Hundreds of flight cancellations have occurred due to computer malfunctions within the terminal's innovative, 11-mile-long baggage conveyor system. Twenty-eight thousand bags have now been separated from their owners, almost doubling original estimates by the airline. Escalator, elevator and paid-parking-ticket-issuing machine breakdowns have also plagued the terminal. "Our priority is to resolve these problems and deliver the level of service our customers expect from us," Alan Proud, a British Airways spokesman said. Sixty-eight million travelers pass through Heathrow annually, which has a 45 million capacity, attesting to the airport's reputation as being dirty and congested. British Airways competitors American Airlines, BMI, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic have experienced significant spikes in reservations since the T5 problems. The multimedia campaign will be suspended until later this year. Proud added, "We are confident that it is the right campaign and will be as successful then as we thought it would be now."
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