Tag Archives: British Airport Authority

Snow chaos – Management keep their heads down

Phillip Hammond - Messenger boy for big business
Phillip Hammond - Messenger boy for big business

I have been watching the chaos that a few inches of snow has caused in The UK. It is interesting that we never see or hear from a CEO or manager of the private companies involved. When discussing the road we have cometary from a guy from the RAC. When discussing the railways we have a reporter quoting anonymous statements from “Network Rail”. When reporting on air travel BBC1 News had an interview with the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond.

This echoes a problem I had at London bridge last Thursday. The last train to Brighton was cancelled and the display board merely stated “ask for assistance”. From who? The girl at the ticket office suggested I go to Three Bridges but didn’t consider how I should continue to Brighton. Eventually I found three members of staff huddled together out of the way where nobody could take to them. They knew nothing.

It occurs to me that key british infrastructure has now been outsourced to the private sector but that CEOs and Managers of these companies refuse to be held accountable. They are happy to collect fat salaries but refuse to stand up and be counted when their organisations face challenges.

This has become so much an accepted part of British life that the Transport Secretary now goes to meet British Airport Authority and then, like some messenger boy, is forced to answer questions from the press. Mr. Hammond is a politician for God sake! He sets policy. He knows nothing about de-icing aircraft. He should not be held to account for the day to day operational control of infrastructure. Certainly if the infrastructure continues to perform badly he should be held to account but the guy standing in from of the camera on the day that flights are cancelled should be the manager of Heathrow Airport or the CEO of BAA.

The Chief Executive Officer of BAA is Colin Matthews.
The Chief Operating Officer of Heathrow Airport is Nick Cullen.
The acting Chief Executive of Network Rail is Peter Henderson.
The Operations & Customer Services Director of Network Rail is Robin Gisby.

It is time they spoke up.

The Ghastliness of British airports

I have been to Cologne this week. Flew from Gatwick. God how I detest British airports! The Blair/Brown years have morphed every public environment into a disgusting shopping mall. You sit there, trapped, waiting for them to tell you which gate to go to while numerous shops play disparate music at you. What happened to the ideas of a departure lounge? The bread head bastards at BAA realised this was an ideal place to trap the public and flog them crap. Make the environment so awful and unendurable that you are forced to traipse around and eventually relent and buy some piece of crap.
Only at that last minute will the bastards announce the gate and you are allowed to escape and sit in some squalid glass box before being herded into the aircraft.
I frequently travel, mostly throughout Europe, and fairly often further afield and I can attest that British airports are the most disgusting I have ever endured. And let me add that this comparison includes Lagos, Port Harcourt and Charles de Gaulle.

Mean spirited welcome to Olympians

British Airport Authority have said that no reception should be held for the returning British Olympics men and women because of concerns for health and safety. This is consultant speak for “we’re to mean to fork out for organising this”. Instead we’re told that fans should wait for the official reception in October!

Britain has won the most medals ever in a century but some pen pushing bureaucrat thinks we should all wait until October to welcome the athletes home.

I just saw on the TV that in fact there is a reception being held at Heathrow but it consists of a grinning Gordon Brown.

What a mean spirited country we are.