London Heathrow LHR complaints

Can airport security staff assault passengers? - part - 3

Sunday, 12 April 2009 14:46

Following a response from Heathrow Airport LHR that can only be described as innadequate the passenger wrote back asking Heathrow LHR to escalate the complaint to the next level of management.

Here is what the passenger said . . .

12 April 2009
Dear [name removed]:
Feedback reference XXXXXXX
I am in receipt of your letter dated 7 April 2009. After reading your letter a number of times I wonder whether the letter that I received was intended for a different recipient because it addresses none of the issues that I raised.

My letter was about assaults, a serious criminal offence. Your response does not address this in any way. You suggest that ‘being aware of what to expect could make your next travel experience better'.
Both my wife and I are well aware what to expect in airports, in the last 12 months we have flown in excess of 40 segments each, we see first-hand what goes on in airports. It is precisely because I know what is involved in airport security procedures that I wrote to you. I know the difference between being searched and being assaulted. Despite what management may think, security staff do abuse their power. Your comments were not helpful, they were counter-productive and patronising.

You will be aware that UK airports are liberally festooned with notices warning passengers that verbal abuse of airport staff and assaults on airport staff will not be tolerated. As a matter of equity verbal and physical assaults on passengers should not be tolerated either, and the management of the airport has a duty to ensure this.

You have not taken my complaint seriously. I request that my original letter, together with your response and a copy of this letter be escalated to the higher management of your organisation where they can be considered by someone who appreciates the gravity of their contents.

As part of the response to this letter I would like a written statement explaining exactly what your airport management define as a verbal assault and a physical assault on a member of staff so that I can use that in the future as the basis of determining whether I am assaulted and that you ensure that passengers are treated that same as you expect passengers to treat your personnel.

Yours sincerely,

[name removed]

The response from BAA London Heathrow Airport LHR is here, and suggests . . .

Heathrow Airport does not care what passengers think;

Heathrow airport does not treat passenger complains seriously;

Read BAA Heathrow LHR letter that the passenger thought inadequate

Read the original complaint


Can airport security staff assault passengers? - part 2

Sunday, 12 April 2009 14:34

Here is how BAA Heathrow Airport LHR responded to a passenger complaint about being assaulted by security staff . . .

BAA heathrow response to customer complaint about assault by security staff

Heathrow Airport

Passenger Communications Floor 1, Heathrow Point West 234 Bath Road

Middlesex UB3 5AP


07 April 2009
Feedback Reference Number: XXXXXXXXXX

Mr [name removed]
[address removed]

Dear Mr [name]

Thank you for your letter dated 2 April regarding your experience at Heathrow Airport last year.

The security regulations in place at Heathrow are administered by the Department for Transport. We work closely with them to ensure all their requirements are met.

In line with these regulations our staff may be required to carry out a body search at security. To ensure the safety and security of all passengers it is necessary for these searches to be thorough. I can assure you our security staff are trained extensively to perform body searches and a you can request to be searched in private if you wish.

If you need any further information on security regulations at the airport you can log onto I know it doesn't help now, but being aware of what to expect could make your next travel experience better.

Thank you for taking the time to write. I hope that next time you travel through Heathrow you will have a much better experience.

Yours sincerely

[author name removed]
Passenger Communications Advisor BAA Heathrow

Read how the passenger responded and asked BAA to treat this complaint seriously . . .

Read the original complaint


Can airport security staff assault passengers?

Sunday, 12 April 2009 14:20

Is it possible for security staff at airports to assault passengers?

This is a question that needs to be answered urgently by the UK Department of Transport. Millions of passengers travel through UK airports each year and every one of them is subjected to security searches. Every passenger who triggers the metal detector is 'body searched' which means that a security person of the same sex feels them.

How is the passenger to complain when they experience innapropriate pressure on parts of their body or fingers and other parts of the searcher being placed within their clothes?

This is a serious matter that needs immediate clarification.

Read more: Can airport security staff assault passengers?


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