When a flight gets cancelled, most travelers draw the most direct line to the blame. The airline is almost instantly the “bad guy” whether they had anything to do with the flight cancellation, or not.
Heathrow Airport is forcing airlines to cancel more flights, as the airport’s systems fail and it struggles to attract staff capable of handling full scale demand. This comes after Heathrow tried to pull a fast one on price regulators, pretending travel demand would not recover, so the airport could ask for higher “per passenger” fees to charge.
I think enough is enough, and it’s Heathrow Airport, not the airlines, who should have to call and break the bad cancellation news to passengers and get them all rebooked. It’s entirely their fault, not the airlines in this instance.
Passengers should know its the lousy UK airport that’s ruining their trip, not airlines trying their hardest to get back on their feet and connect the world.
Heathrow Is An Insanely Greedy Operation
For decades, Heathrow Airport’s wealthy owners made money hand over fist — but prioritized billions in shareholder dividends over any meaningful upgrades to airport facilities, all while cutting employee terms and pay.
The Heathrow passenger experience lacks most European Airports, and is miles off the standards found throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
A major misconception among the general public is that Heathrow is a public service, like the Tube. It’s not. You should expect a lot more, because It’s not a public service — it’s a massively profitable private business, which should fund a world class passenger experience.
Spoiler alert: it hasn’t.
Heathrow is owned by a complex structure of investment subsidiaries acting on behalf of the Chinese state, and Qatari Investment Authority, among others.
Heathrow shareholders have milked every last ounce of profit and potential for dividends, even during the pandemic, while skimping on the facilities and experience.
Airlines have spent fortunes trying to spruce up the sub-standard airport spaces and systems to make the most of what they have, all while Heathrow Airport attempts to use flawed data to command higher passenger fees, which would force airlines to pay more to the airport for each ticket sold.
Heathrow Should Own Cancellations
Passengers are waking up furious to a new wave of flight cancellations, none of which are the fault of airlines this time. They did their best to invest and ramp up operations in time for summer, yet Heathrow Airport did not.
In a fair and just world, Heathrow would be investing in call centers and training right now to service the passenger needs of every flight they forced to be cancelled. Instead, airlines are taking heat for problems they didn’t create.
It’s wrong, and is only adding new stress to already stressed operations. Heathrow is responsible and should be responsible for dealing with the customer service.
If you’re caught up in this most recent wave of cancellations at Heathrow, remember it’s the airports fault, not your airline this time. And if you’d like to see a better airport, perhaps let the CAA know how you feel about the operation.