Flybe

AirBingley

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2014
397
93
The flybe website has now been updated to reflect current fleet, ex LHR the morning flight is operated by Swiftair, the early evening by Marathon and the late evening north by Flybe. Fares much softer next week so lets see how much they capitalise on this weeks very good on time performance.
 

whoshotjimmi

Active Member
Nov 21, 2010
655
43
Leeds
On here too apparently.

Swissport have exactly the same problem with staff that the airport do with the same Government checks leading to a 12-15 week period from recruitment to being able to work. They are short staffed at other airports too, particularly MAN. Things should start to improve in the near future provided they have recruited adequately. LBA can and will enforce the service level agreement but that would normally be by way of financial penalties. There is little more they can do.
It's a but rich though the captain of the Flybe blaming Swissport for the delay considering their recent appalling record of delays and cancellations caused by going into service before they had an adequate fleet of aircraft to operate the routes and schedule.
As the "uninitiated" person here, I'd point out that I am speaking FOR and AS the general travelling public. So, of course it is the fault of the airport because that is who is visibly responsible. Will anyone be getting on Swissport's Twitter or Google or TrustPilot? If you're unsure about the answer to that, please have a look at LBA's Google reviews for the last few months to see where passengers direct their anger when there are issues with baggage etc.

Again though, despite this, I'd argue that he airport has a responsibility to manage the things they have control over. To an extent, they are able to robustly manage their contract with Swissport. Despite being uninitiated, I'd say that a handling agent, even one that only has access to a single tug driver, should be able to deal with five pushbacks in two hours with no real issues. I believe it is the airport's responsibility to investigate why five flights departed with an average delay of an hour and take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. Based on what I heard and saw, that does not sound like a staffing issue to me. It sounds like bad ground management of a team who stuck religiously to a brief with zero flexibility. If you leave it to Swissport to investigate, nothing will be done and the same things will happen time and time again. If LBA investigates, there is more likely to be a resolvable outcome. In the same way it is their responsibility to manage security, car parks, retail outlets, taxis and so on (again, have a look at Google reviews) to resolve issues. I appreciate it might not be a popular opinion but I'm afraid that is the reality of the situation.

It certainly doesn't deserve to be called an uninitiated one.

I shouldn't have to justify offering an opinion but, if you want some credibility, I managed operational environments in nationwide businesses with a large reliance on the performance of third party contractors for a number of years. In the event that there was an issue with third party performance, who got the blame? You betcha. And who was responsible for dealing with it? Correct again. It didn't matter that THEY were the ones causing the problem, WE were the ones that had to fix it.

I currently oversee the quality performance of third party contractors in educational settings across many sectors in four nations with very different rules and regulations, finding, managing and resolving bottlenecks in service provision and barriers to offering the best possible quality of delivery. And, let me tell you, if I didn't do that as the contract owner, firstly, all of those contracts would regress in quality to the extent that we would either lose the contract with our second party and not be able to recruit enough students to keep it financially viable and, secondly, government regulations would shut us down.

LBA does not need to worry about being shut down because their flights leave an hour late on account of their third party handling agent. However, If LBA is happy to have its reputation dragged through the mud simply because those connected to it feel as though customers are uninitiated, fine. Best of luck to them.

Back to Flybe, the pilot is more than within their rights to inform the passengers of the reason for the delay. In fact, I'd expect nothing less. One of the biggest complaints passengers have with airline delays is the lack of information they receive. But this is the point I was making. Everyone has their part to play when it comes to reputation. Flybe have unquestionably had a damaging impact on LBA recently and LBA (whoever specifically is responsible) has had a damaging impact on the airline on this occasion.

Despite the fact that I had an excellent experience with Flybe myself in May and my friend's experience with them was good despite the delay, their recent troubles have led me to book my next flight with Aer Lingus.

I put my business where I believe it is best served. If Flybe continue their upturn in performance, I might be tempted back. I honestly and genuinely hope that all concerned are able to do it and that Flybe becomes a source of pride and success at LBA.
 

White Heather

Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2009
6,511
255
67
Leeds
As the "uninitiated" person here, I'd point out that I am speaking FOR and AS the general travelling public. So, of course it is the fault of the airport because that is who is visibly responsible. Will anyone be getting on Swissport's Twitter or Google or TrustPilot? If you're unsure about the answer to that, please have a look at LBA's Google reviews for the last few months to see where passengers direct their anger when there are issues with baggage etc.

Again though, despite this, I'd argue that he airport has a responsibility to manage the things they have control over. To an extent, they are able to robustly manage their contract with Swissport. Despite being uninitiated, I'd say that a handling agent, even one that only has access to a single tug driver, should be able to deal with five pushbacks in two hours with no real issues. I believe it is the airport's responsibility to investigate why five flights departed with an average delay of an hour and take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. Based on what I heard and saw, that does not sound like a staffing issue to me. It sounds like bad ground management of a team who stuck religiously to a brief with zero flexibility. If you leave it to Swissport to investigate, nothing will be done and the same things will happen time and time again. If LBA investigates, there is more likely to be a resolvable outcome. In the same way it is their responsibility to manage security, car parks, retail outlets, taxis and so on (again, have a look at Google reviews) to resolve issues. I appreciate it might not be a popular opinion but I'm afraid that is the reality of the situation.

It certainly doesn't deserve to be called an uninitiated one.

I shouldn't have to justify offering an opinion but, if you want some credibility, I managed operational environments in nationwide businesses with a large reliance on the performance of third party contractors for a number of years. In the event that there was an issue with third party performance, who got the blame? You betcha. And who was responsible for dealing with it? Correct again. It didn't matter that THEY were the ones causing the problem, WE were the ones that had to fix it.

I currently oversee the quality performance of third party contractors in educational settings across many sectors in four nations with very different rules and regulations, finding, managing and resolving bottlenecks in service provision and barriers to offering the best possible quality of delivery. And, let me tell you, if I didn't do that as the contract owner, firstly, all of those contracts would regress in quality to the extent that we would either lose the contract with our second party and not be able to recruit enough students to keep it financially viable and, secondly, government regulations would shut us down.

LBA does not need to worry about being shut down because their flights leave an hour late on account of their third party handling agent. However, If LBA is happy to have its reputation dragged through the mud simply because those connected to it feel as though customers are uninitiated, fine. Best of luck to them.

Back to Flybe, the pilot is more than within their rights to inform the passengers of the reason for the delay. In fact, I'd expect nothing less. One of the biggest complaints passengers have with airline delays is the lack of information they receive. But this is the point I was making. Everyone has their part to play when it comes to reputation. Flybe have unquestionably had a damaging impact on LBA recently and LBA (whoever specifically is responsible) has had a damaging impact on the airline on this occasion.

Despite the fact that I had an excellent experience with Flybe myself in May and my friend's experience with them was good despite the delay, their recent troubles have led me to book my next flight with Aer Lingus.

I put my business where I believe it is best served. If Flybe continue their upturn in performance, I might be tempted back. I honestly and genuinely hope that all concerned are able to do it and that Flybe becomes a source of pride and success at LBA.
One point I would make us that you speak as though LBA are not dealing with the Swissport contractual issues. You don't know that. None of us do. But I can tell you, knowing the LBA management's desire to improve the customer experience, that they almost certainly will be doing. But, neither they nor Swissport can get around the Government timelines for new staff to get clearance. Yes people blame the airport, but that's out of ignorance. They don't know or understand how airports work. Or what contracts are in place.
And my comments are based on my knowledge of how the airport works, acquired from over 30 years on the airport Consultative Committee, and 20 years as a Contract Manager. I know how contracts work too. They impose financial penalties on contractors who are failing to meet the contract terms, but they don't magic up staff that are recruited but not yet allowed to train or work. These are difficult times. The same issues exist at various airports. Airports are subject to the same issues that Swissport is and neither come out smelling of roses in the public's eyes, but now isn't the time for airports to be bashing Swissport when the problem is across the industry and not of their making.
 
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Scottie Dog

Moderator
Staff member
Subscriber
Sep 7, 2016
4,308
360
72
Warrington
Country
Scotland
Thank you Heather for your response and I can fully understand what you are saying. It would appear that what @whoshitjimmi has failed to understand is the need for all airside staff to get the necessary - and time consuming - approval. Once that has been achieved things will hopefully improve for all handling agents across the UK.
 

Easy189

Active Member
Sep 21, 2021
58
33
50
Harrogate
I must also add that ground handling agents such as Swissport really need to vastly improve their pay and conditions. This will not only attract new staff more quickly but also retain staff who become ever more valuable as their experience and skill sets increase. The packages currently on offer are dire. With the current cost of living crisis, staff leakage is a real problem
 

Statto

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2019
124
63
37
Yorkshire
Again though, despite this, I'd argue that he airport has a responsibility to manage the things they have control over. To an extent, they are able to robustly manage their contract with Swissport

What do you mean ‘their contract with Swissport‘ ? The contractual relationship exists between airline and handling agent, does it not ?
 

CM.

Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2021
1,575
133
19
Leeds
LBA does not need to worry about being shut down because their flights leave an hour late on account of their third party handling agent. However, If LBA is happy to have its reputation dragged through the mud simply because those connected to it feel as though customers are uninitiated, fine. Best of luck to them.
I’ve noticed your recent posts on blaming the airport for many things but do you have any idea how difficult it is at the minute? Yes the security shortages are a problem for LBA but recruiting and training takes time as others have mentioned on here and is not a quick 2 minute process.

As for delays there are many other reasons why flights go late it’s not just because of airport shortages it can be slot restrictions,weather Ect or people not showing up for flights and having to take their baggage off which wastes time. Also the flight taking off late from the other side.

As for Flybe their not exactly perfect are they with their cancellations and heavy delays but things seem to have smoothen since they’ve been using the leased aircraft.

As for Swissport I don’t blame the people who work at LBA because they try their best to get planes out. I’d blame their management more.

Of course you’re entitled to your opinion but we’re entitled to challenge your views just like you are with ours.
 
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