Why is it so hard to follow the protocol?

I took a flight with British Airways today from Heathrow to Copenhagen. I am not going to review the flight or the airport experience, as I have done a lot of that recently with the #7flightstoABZ – suffice to say the airport and lounge were quieter than expected, and the flight was fine.

But, there were three things that really bugged me today – all things that are promised but not delivered.

1 – Cabin luggage

The rules state that you can have one cabin bag of whatever size the website says, plus one additional hand bag or laptop bag that must go under the seat in front if given a yellow tag. People tend to be taking bigger bags into the cabin with them, particularly with the increase in hand baggage only fares. This can lead to issues of space, and not being able to get your bag into the locker. As I like to go in the exit row if I can, I cannot put things on the floor, so overhead space is very important.


Why, then, despite having clear rules, was this guy able to get on with three big bags?! His travelling companion had a further 2 and both were wearing coats, so will have taken up a lot of space in the lockers.

2 – Priority boarding

On a flight to Copenhagen, it should run Gold and Club Europe first, then Silver, then Bronze, then everyone else. There are even priority lines which say who should go where. So what I don’t understand is why they don’t turn people away who are not following instructions? There were loads of people queuing up at the gate long before boarding was called, which is annoying in itself, and they prevent the people at the back with priority from getting on. Get the people out of the line who shouldn’t be there, and the whole thing will run a lot smoother.

3 – Priority bag tags

As the Copenhagen sojourn is really a positioning flight for our trip to San Francisco, we had a fair bit of luggage so checked in two suitcase. Both, for some reason, were given priority tags – which was a nice bonus. Except that they weren’t treated as such; one arrived pretty quickly, but the other was 15 minutes later. If they are priority bags, they should surely both have arrived at the same time.


Three simple things – three simple rules. How hard is it to follow them to make the whole passenger experience better?!

2 thoughts on “Why is it so hard to follow the protocol?

  1. Interesting post! I can really relate to your experiences. I don’t know what’s going on with cabin baggage checks anymore either. When I took an EasyJet flight 2 years ago (I had a medium-sized backpack and tiny purse for documents), they demanded that I cram the tiny purse into the backpack – 1 piece of luggage meant 1. Now, one could get away with it and probably add another bag or so. And the priority boarding…During a recent flight, many people also started lining up before regular boarding started and then stared daggers at me when I went to claim my priority boarding (some didn’t even want to let me pass).


    1. You’re right. For me, it is all about managing expectations – if you say you’re going to do it, do it. If you’re not going to do it don’t say you will. It’s not difficult, but means people don’t get annoyed when it doesn’t happen, and are pleased when it does!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s