BAA faces stinging criticism at Commons’ snow review
Friday, December 9, 2011
Heathrow operators BAA have today faced scathing comments from airlines including BA and Virgin at the Transport Select Committee hearing into last December’s snow chaos.
Heathrow Meet and Greet parking specialists Stress Free Parking has today learned of the grilling Heathrow operators BAA underwent at this week’s Commons’ review into last December’s snow chaos.
Airlines BA and Virgin were among the most outspoken at the Transport Select Committee hearing, insisting that BAA’s lack of organisation was the primary reason for the extended disruption.
In the run up to Christmas 2010, heavy snow fell across the South East, bringing services to and from Heathrow Airport to a complete standstill for days on end. Thousands of passengers were left stranded and airlines lost many millions of pounds as a result.
Both BA and Virgin called for the government to introduce new guidelines that would enable Westminster to fine airports for poor performance - something which they claim would prevent a similar situation from arising in the future.
At yesterday’s hearing, BA Operations Director Andrew Lord said: “At the end of the day, if the airport operators do not provide a service to us it is our customers that suffer and that is a situation that is not acceptable to us.”
Virgin Chief Executive Steve Ridgway went on to add that communication between BAA and airlines had been poor compared to Gatwick, which he said worked more closely with carriers to minimise the severe weather disruption.
In their defence, BAA Chief Executive Colin Matthews told the committee: “We had planned for six centimetres of snow, in the event we got far more than that. We should have had a plan which envisaged much more snow.”
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