Monday, February 25, 2008

Not so Great Britain

For a country that used to rule an empire on which the sun never sets, it's a long way to fall, but I think the final votes are in: Great Britain has the world's worst major airport in London Heathrow.

If it wasn't enough that (alone of all the world's airport operators) BAA has imposed it's own more restrictive hand luggage policies because it's too damn cheap to hire enough security staff, now we have British Airways telling customers they can't check any bags!

Imagine turning up at Heathrow to fly home (say to Denver, as I've done three times in the past six months) to be told "sorry guv, you'll need leave the suitcases behind"!

The crazy thing is that unlike most cities where there's an element of natural monopoly to the airport business, London actually has huge amounts of traffic along with two major airports (Heathrow and Gatwick) and two not so insignificant ones (Standsted and Luton).

The obvious solution is to have them compete with each other. Of course that's not so obvious to the bright sparks pretending to govern Britain who in their infinite wisdom continue to let BAA operate all four airports at a standard which can only be categorised as a global embarrassment.

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