Heathrow Fiasco a 'National Embarrassment'

British Airways reeling as terminal chaos continues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 7:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – The chaos is continuing at Heathrow's brand-new Terminal 5, with one British politician slamming the fiasco as a "national embarrassment," the Daily Telegraph reports. More than 50 flights were canceled yesterday and British Airways admitted that the mountain of stranded baggage contained as many as 28,000 bags, well above the earlier estimate of 15,000.

The nation may have suffered a dent to its prestige but its flagship carrier has taken a major blow to its bottom line—which the New York Times estimates at almost $50 million—and a hit in consumer confidence just as the "open skies" agreement between Europe and the US kicks in, allowing new competition for BA in transcontinental flights.