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This topic contains 45 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  CathayLoyalist2 16 Sep 2015
at 20:02
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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 46 total)

  • Expat_Consultant
    Participant

    As an alternative, how many people in the UK own chains for their cars? If they did, it would mean they can drive down all those ungritted roads, but how many people think this is a worthwhile investment?

    What happens when they reach the cleared roads?

    Sorry, but your statement seems to neglect that one should only use chains on roads with snow on them or the chains damage the road surface.

    And comparing a decision made by private individuals, to a ‘cost of doing business’ decision made by corporates is not really very realistic.


    Expat_Consultant
    Participant

    Asia Pacific

    I agree, but the silly nature of some of the comments put me off that one.


    davidbell
    Participant

    I disagree.

    A few years ago, I travelled to Venice when it had its usual fog. The BA plane was equipped with something that allows the pilot to land with no visuals below X feet, and the captain made a comment about it, and pointed out that other airlines (ie easyjet/ryan air) don’t have this equipment, and we’d all be on our way to XXX airport. Obviously, because venice can get quite foggy quite often, then BA thought it a good investment.

    How many times over the last 10 years has LHR been disrupted by snow? this year for a few days, and last year for a few days. I can’t recall (althought am happy to be corrected) any other snow cancellations for quite some time. Therefore, it obviously it would not have been a good investment to date.

    How many people have chains on their cars in the UK? i would guess not many, given the reports in the paper, so therefore even individuals do not feel the need to invest in such snow equipment to make it worth while.


    Wildgoose
    Participant

    We may mock the ‘Commies’ but let us not forget that the Russians would have no problem operating airports in the kind of weather we’ve had in the UK recently (did Moscow and St. Petersburg suffer mass cancellations and/or closure? It sure would be good to know). What’s more, I doubt the airports in Russia (or the former CCCP for that matter) have the technology that we have in Western Europe.


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    I don’t actually think it’s really purely de-icing equipment related.

    During any sort of adverse weather, staff themselves are likely to be stranded at home, either becoase they cannot get to work, or because they have to stay home looking after children.

    This has to be factored into operations, both in terms of staff to run the services (and I mean all services, not just flight crew…) and also the fact that many passengers themselves simply won’t turn up for the flight ( for the above reasons or because they just don’t want to travel under such circumstances).

    BA tends to cancel its shorthaul network when these irregular ops occur; it’s not a great situation, but savvy travellers know to book bmi for Domestics when such a situation occurs. bmi’s smaller network means they are simply less affected by such events.

    BA proactively cancels services well ahead of travel. This works to minimise much of the inconvenience we associate with irregular ops.

    Being proactive with cancellations avoids people turning up and clogging up the terminals; this allows people to plan ahead and make alternative arrangements, but also can give the impression that services are cancelled long after the bad weather has dissipated.

    You also mentioned the cost of not running the services; there is also a significant cost for actually running a service which becomes seriously delayed or has to divert. Costs associated with such situations (landing fees, refuelling, repositioning the aircraft, EU claims, insurance claims, extra overtime payments, accommodation and transport) can be considerable, and this should be factored into the mix.

    As it happens, I do think BAA should invest modestly in one or two additional de-icing rigs for the whole airport, with a levy on all carriers.

    But, as we saw in February, and again last week, once a serious snowfall occurs, no amount of de-icing of planes can compensate for stranded passengers, aviation staff or a snow-bound runway.


    davidbell
    Participant

    Sorry, but your statement seems to neglect that one should only use chains on roads with snow on them or the chains damage the road surface.

    Commented noted

    And comparing a decision made by private individuals, to a ‘cost of doing business’ decision made by corporates is not really very realistic.

    Why not? An individual’s “cost of doing business” is travel to get to work. If they don’t feel it’s worth spending the investment to ensure that they can get to work every day in all weather, why do we expect corporates to do the same?

    How much more are we all collectively willing to pay for this extra level of service/guarantee? Given the way everyone’s flocked to the LCC, then probably not much.


    davidbell
    Participant

    wildgoose,

    let us not forget that the Russians would have no problem operating airports in the kind of weather we’ve had in the UK recently

    Yes, but they have snow for an extended period of time, not for 3 days! They can justify the costs of having such equipment.


    davidbell
    Participant

    Thames flood barrier was used in anger on 95 occasions between 1982 and January 2007

    And how many days has it snowed over the same period? My memory doesn’t go as far back as 1982, but certainly in the last 10 years or so it’s been very little.

    As another poster pointed out, the issue is one of “opportunity cost”. Given that money is not unlimited, then what is the best use of it? Spending more on snow equipment for those few days every 10 years or so or more security, better ATC to get the aircraft up/down quicker etc. This debate is getting a bit silly, because people are assuming that money is endless, when in reality it is not. If you must argue that there should be snow equipment, then state that you are prepared to pay more for having this privelege, or that you are happy to trade off longer security queues or what ever you think should be traded off.


    AsiaPacific
    Participant

    Guys,
    I am a bit lost here… who is paying for the de-icing equipment ? BAA or BA ??? As I thought it would be the airline BA…. so how then does making decisions on longer queues for security and more equipment for ATC even become an issue as they are airport operator costs… LHR is already one of the most expensive places to land I think in the world in terms of taxes ( probably wrong about that?) , they also have a pretty poor record over the years of disruptions to passengers for a whole host of reasons… so isn’t it time that a few people recognised its shortcomings, actively worked and campaigned constructively make the appropriate changes to allow LHR to remain competitive internationally as a hub. At the moment it is somewhere that many travellers actively avoid if possible esp with connections. In order for its reputation to be restored its pretty important to understand the deficits and problems and address them head on. Otherwise this continuous “oh, we haven’t got the money, or we couldn’t possibly have planned for that”, or some other lame excuse will end up damaging the reputation of a once great airport irreparably. This doesn’t mean that everything LHR does is rubbish , it does do a lot of things well, but by heck there is so much it could do a damned lot better too…. time to recognise that fact by a few too !!!


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    1. APD taxes go to the government which fritters them away on such things as £300m spent on laptops for the poor to catch up on the latest Hollyoaks using their (state funded) BBC iPlayer

    2. Landing fees are retained by BAA plc which as a private company has no public service mandate whatever

    3. To its credit, the government has recently begun to break up the former state monopoly of BAA, hence the recent sale of Gatwick to – urm – the owners of London City Airport (who run a tight shop, but doesn’t exactly diversify airport ownership in the South East)

    4. London remains the busiest international airport in the world, processing 63 million people last year. While there are two US airports which are busier (Chicago and Atlanta) these are both significantly larger and also handle a much larger proportion of Domestic travellers than LHR. A few days of snow will hardly dent this, and is not significant in the scheme of things.

    It seems the economists among us get it, others not so much….


    davidbell
    Participant

    AsiaPacific ,

    To be honest, I have no idea whose responsibility to pay for it is, my naive guess would be the airport as a service to the airlines.

    But it doesn’t really matter, the principle is the same. Are we willing to pay more (through airfares), or have something less (if it’s the airport’s responsibility, then longer security, if it’s the airline’s responsibility, then less food/what ever).


    alittle
    Participant

    Noticed this old post and thought it might be useful to know that the law around this stuff has been clarified by the European Courts of Justice now. You can either write a letter directly to the airline using this template, or use a flight delay compensation service to get the money back for you. Hope this helps!


    MrMichael
    Participant

    I did not see this post first time around….it was before my time. But hey, what a great debate.


    openfly
    Participant

    According to my mate in BA ops at Waterside….”BA are in the poo”!!
    The loss of the 777 at LAS was the final straw. So many aircraft across the fleets are broken that they just can’t cope. They have all Titans fleet chartered to relieve the problem. Even more degradation of service. The CityFlyer operation also is constantly needing help from operators with spare capacity. Pots of empty sectors costing shed loads of money.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Even the LCY CW service seems to have its reliability issues…..

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