Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Virgin Atlantic Withholds BAA Fees Over Snow Row  
User currently offlinekeegd76 From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Aug 2009, 108 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9883 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Apologies if this is already covered elsewhere.

Report on BBC this morning that Virgin Atlantic are refusing to pay fees owed to BAA due to its poor response to the chaos caused by last months snow. They won't pay up until an inquiry into the incident is completed. This seems to be primarily aimed at LHR as it was the most badly affected.

BAA's response was to say that 'conditions at the airport provided no basis to withhold fees'.

I know the situation at the airports at the time has been discussed at length on other threads but I am curious about a comment from BA. They said that the de-icing of aircraft was the responsibility of the individual airlines even though the row at the time was less to do with de-icing and more to do with clearing the runway.

Are individual airlines responsible for de-icing their planes? I just assumed it was the airports job.

The article ends with the claim that BAA could 'theoretically' impound Virgin planes for non-payment of fees.

How would that work, by clamping them ?   

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12148145


Nothing comes down faster than a VTOL aircraft upside down.
71 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineantonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 722 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9873 times:

"Are individual airlines responsible for de-icing their planes? I just assumed it was the airports job."

Yes they airlines are responsible for getting their planes de-iced and the airport are responsible for keeping the runways,taxiways and all general roads on the airport clear


User currently offlinegosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9819 times:

Nice way for Virgin to put some pressure on BAA. There should certainly be an inquiry into their performance. I'm sure Virgin will pay the fees soon, but nothing wrong with using this to draw attention to the issue for a little while.

User currently offlineCaptainMeeerkat From Russia, joined Aug 2010, 390 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9789 times:

Quoting keegd76 (Thread starter):
They won't pay up until an inquiry into the incident is completed. This seems to be primarily aimed at LHR as it was the most badly affected.


Kudos to VS for showing BAA that they can't allow a major hub to shut again over a few cms of snow, perhaps this 'cold snap' that we get next year in a new strange weather phenomenon called 'Winter', thats W-I-N-T-E-R Mr or Mrs BAA, will be better prepared for and pax and airlines won't suffer for an ignorant lack of planning.

The image of the VS A346 plane stuck in the snow will no doubt add to their case! I wonder will other airlines follow suit?



my luggage is better travelled than me!
User currently offlinelofty From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9759 times:

Plans can and have been impounded by the Airports, no wheel clamps but will be towed to a remote stand. No plane can move or be towed at LHR without BAA Aprons creating a electronic tow strip which goes to the tower. No strip no tow plane goes no where.

User currently offlinekeegd76 From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Aug 2009, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9671 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting antonovman (Reply 1):
Yes they airlines are responsible for getting their planes de-iced and the airport are responsible for keeping the runways,taxiways and all general roads on the airport clear

I'm assuming the airport provides the equipment/manpower/de-icer and the individual airlines just 'rent' them?



Nothing comes down faster than a VTOL aircraft upside down.
User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1156 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9671 times:

Quoting lofty (Reply 4):
Plans can and have been impounded by the Airports, no wheel clamps but will be towed to a remote stand. No plane can move or be towed at LHR without BAA Aprons creating a electronic tow strip which goes to the tower. No strip no tow plane goes no where.

Yes, but can you really see the BAA taking this stance with a valuable customer like Virgin? And damaging their already "bruised" reputation still further.

Besides, when aircraft are impounded it is usually because of months of nil payments by 2nd (or 3rd or 4th!) tier airlines with a questionable ability to settle their debt. That is completely different from a base carrier witholding payments for a set period of time due to a dispute over the way the airport has handled itself (which IMHO is a perfectly legitimate argument, and one which could benefit the travelling public in future)



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9654 times:

Quoting keegd76 (Reply 5):
I'm assuming the airport provides the equipment/manpower/de-icer and the individual airlines just 'rent' them?

BA have their own De icers.

Quoting CaptainMeeerkat (Reply 3):
Kudos to VS for showing BAA that they can't allow a major hub to shut again over a few cms of snow

Was more then a few, it was about 12cm in less then an hour!!! Could not see a thing outside at one point during it.


User currently offlineSankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9606 times:

Quoting CaptainMeeerkat (Reply 3):
Kudos to VS for showing BAA that they can't allow a major hub to shut again over a few cms of snow, perhaps this 'cold snap' that we get next year in a new strange weather phenomenon called 'Winter', thats W-I-N-T-E-R Mr or Mrs BAA, will be better prepared for and pax and airlines won't suffer for an ignorant lack of planning.

Agreed mostly with you, except that I dont think the initial shutdown during and after the snow was the main issue, most airports would shut down for a while if snow were to fall at the rate it fell at LHR. However it is how long BAA took to re-open LHR, and the conditions within the terminals during the time, is what the issue is.

And VS is certainly withing their rights, IMHO, to withold payment for at least 3 or 4 of the 5 days the airport was shut. BA should do the same.

Remember BAA made over a billion pounds of profit while the airlines struggle, and BAA's inability to reopen the airport in a timely manner resulted in tens of millions of more losses for the airlines. Plus the EU regulations put the onus on the airlines to pay for pax hotels etc in cases like this, while BAA gets off scot free.


User currently offlineantonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 722 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9609 times:

Quoting keegd76 (Reply 5):
I'm assuming the airport provides the equipment/manpower/de-icer and the individual airlines just 'rent' them?

NO, it is very rare that the airport will de-ice the aircraft, except possibly airports that do the complete handling which is quite rare.
The de-icing will usually be done by the airline themselves, usually where the airline has a large presence ie BA at LHR or it will be done by the handling agents .


User currently offlineskord From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 562 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9574 times:

Plus the EU regulations put the onus on the airlines to pay for pax hotels etc in cases like this, while BAA gets off scot free.

One of the most ridiculous, mind-numbingly STUPID laws EVER passed!!!   


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9564 times:

Quoting skord (Reply 10):
Plus the EU regulations put the onus on the airlines to pay for pax hotels etc in cases like this, while BAA gets off scot free.

Which is not the fault of the airport or airlines, so cant really blame BAA, they are more then happy to have laws come in to charge them for something like what happened last month


User currently offlineSankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9529 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 11):
Which is not the fault of the airport or airlines, so cant really blame BAA, they are more then happy to have laws come in to charge them for something like what happened last month

But in the meantime, the airlines can sue BAA / withold payments to them etc and say "so sue me" etc. Which is what VS is doing and others should follow.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9484 times:

Quoting Sankaps (Reply 12):
But in the meantime, the airlines can sue BAA / withold payments to them etc and say "so sue me" etc. Which is what VS is doing and others should follow.

According to the article the contract the airlines have with the airport operator forbid withholding of payments under any situation.


User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4013 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9476 times:

Quoting lofty (Reply 4):

That would be a risky thing to do because they can only to do that if they themselves have not been in breach of contract due to their poor performance.


User currently offlineSankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9451 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 13):
According to the article the contract the airlines have with the airport operator forbid withholding of payments under any situation.

So they should sue them then!

Frankly, BAA should have just done the right thing and agree to share the pax reaccomodation cost with the airlines, or proactively suggested airlines not pay BAA fees for the days of closure. There seems to be no accountability for this debacle within BAA at all. Just foregoing the CEO's bonus is not enough.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9400 times:

Quoting Sankaps (Reply 15):
There seems to be no accountability for this debacle within BAA at all. Just foregoing the CEO's bonus is not enough.

Which is why they have already said they would more then welcome rules which would mean it would have to pay if this kind of thing happens again. Remember BAA lost a bit of money as well, no one flying meant no one parking, no one shopping etc, a big part of their revenue stream.


User currently offlinebj87 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9358 times:

Quoting Sankaps (Reply 8):
I dont think the initial shutdown during and after the snow was the main issue, most airports would shut down for a while if snow were to fall at the rate it fell at LHR. However it is how long BAA took to re-open LHR, and the conditions within the terminals during the time, is what the issue is.

I agree, it was inevitable that they were going to shut down the airport while it was snowing because there is no way you can keep miles and miles of runway and taxiways free of snow when it is snowing at that rate. They could have re opened a lot sooner though.

Quoting Sankaps (Reply 8):
And VS is certainly withing their rights, IMHO, to withold payment for at least 3 or 4 of the 5 days the airport was shut. BA should do the same.

This is a typical VS/Ryanair style action. I wish more airlines would do this.

I do have to say it continuous to surprise me how fast a major airport like LHR can be shut down by snow. In countries where there is lots of snow they don't have these massive problems. Maybe it is time for BAA people to go on a field trip to Sweden or something?


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9335 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 16):
Remember BAA lost a bit of money as well, no one flying meant no one parking, no one shopping etc, a big part of their revenue stream.

It's not just BAA who lost money. What about the UK government ? When pax cannot travel (a good number of travellers cancelled their trips or simply gave up) then no APD is payable.


User currently offlinemckvakk From Norway, joined Mar 2010, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9272 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 17):
I do have to say it continuous to surprise me how fast a major airport like LHR can be shut down by snow. In countries where there is lots of snow they don't have these massive problems. Maybe it is time for BAA people to go on a field trip to Sweden or something?

Well, the people handling the snow at OSL (an airport that has never closed completely because of snow for more than a few hours) have stated that they could clear LHR in 30 minutes  



(Then again, we have more snow days plus the worlds largest snow blower: http://gizmodo.com/5725066/we-probab...st-snow-blower-during-the-blizzard )


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9260 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 18):
It's not just BAA who lost money. What about the UK government ? When pax cannot travel (a good number of travellers cancelled their trips or simply gave up) then no APD is payable.

A lot of people had rebooked flights so the government will still have gotten its APD, yes there would have been cancellations, or people buying other flights from other airports (so APD would still have been paid), so it lost out a little, but not that much.


User currently offlineGarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2686 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9129 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 18):
then no APD is payable.

You mean no licensed robbery!



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1508 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9109 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 20):
or people buying other flights from other airports (so APD would still have been paid), so it lost out a little, but not that much.
http://press.ba.com/?p=1611

I hear what you say but BA's traffic for December did fall significantly. I agree that some travellers (especially those who were flying long-haul) may have postponed their trips but casual short-haul passengers (those making shopping trips or undertaking weekend breaks) would have abandoned their plans.

Many 1,000s of air passengers switched to surface transport for domestic and short-haul European trips - remember the queues for Eurostar at St Pancras/Brussels Midi/Paris Nord ?

Also bear in mind that foreign visitors coming to the UK might also (or been forced to) cancel their trips.


User currently offlinekeegd76 From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Aug 2009, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9060 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting bj87 (Reply 17):
I do have to say it continuous to surprise me how fast a major airport like LHR can be shut down by snow. In countries where there is lots of snow they don't have these massive problems. Maybe it is time for BAA people to go on a field trip to Sweden or something?

Part of the reason for this has been the 'alleged' under-investment in new equipment.

For example LGW has put £8 million into new snow clearing equipment compared to LHR's £1.5 million. Now I don't know what the numbers are in terms of how many vehicles each airport has but the article I read claimed that LGW has a lot more despite being the smaller airport.



Nothing comes down faster than a VTOL aircraft upside down.
User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 817 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9041 times:

Does anybody benefit from this, apart from Virgin who gain some column inches and (if they actually pursue this threat) some cashflow?

Passengers just want to ensure this is never repeated again and BAA and the airlines would do better to thrash out the issues behind closed doors.

Just because an airline isn't screaming from the rooftops, this doesn't mean that airlines don't get appropriate recompense from BAA for its failures. That's certainly my understanding from some previous BAA foul ups at LHR.


25 steve6666 : No. Exactly. And a lot of risk. Why should BAA care about impounding a few 346s and 747s? That will have a much bigger impact on Virgin than it would
26 Sankaps : Agree that the BAA and the UK Govt lost money as in lost revenues for the period. So did the airlines. But only the airlines were forced (by EU regul
27 willd : I am a big supporter of VS, as some know, however this is just the usual VS spin machine at work, trying to make its customers (current and future) th
28 Post contains images leezyjet : No doubt the BAA implemented their 8X parking fees for any aircraft that stays on the same stand for over 24 hours during that period !!. If you list
29 XXXX10 : Sounds to me just like VS' claim to aqiure Concorde, nothing more than a publicity stunt! It seems incredible to assume that their legal people would
30 lhr380 : I doubt that very much.
31 LHRBlueSkies : WOW!! Hmm, a cold snap that hasn't happened quite like it just has in, oh, let's say about 20 years! Yeah, let's plan for that shall we...! Thank you!
32 bill142 : Seems like a fairly normal business practice. There have been plenty of instances where payment has been withheld when a product or service hasn't be
33 Sankaps : Have you checked the margins of most of the "rebounding" airlines? Certainly nothing to write home about. And their business is a lot exposed to the
34 lhr380 : Thank you that comparison. Will have this to hand next time someone tries to compare LHR to a Euro airport that is used to lots of snow.
35 GDB : That might be news to BAA, surely their ultimate master is their debt laden parent company?
36 SevenHeavy : This is becoming a very fashionable thing to say on this forum. Everytime VS says anything about anything someone comes out with the same old "Virgin
37 lhr380 : This is from the BBC article linked at the top So at the moment, VS are going against the conditions of use. Im sure if this were not the case more a
38 Post contains images SevenHeavy : I saw the BAA press release on the BBC website. Seriously, what else would they say in a press release ....They are hardly going to admit any kind of
39 XXXX10 : I don't doubt that they ARE withholding payments. My point is that I am sure that they cannot legally do this (BAA said this in their response) In th
40 SevenHeavy : Again, what else would they say?? My point was, exactly how can you or anyone else on this thread be so sure the cannot do this? What do you know tha
41 XXXX10 : I take your point I cannot state with any degree of certainty, that they could would loose if this went to court but, no other airline has threatened
42 r2rho : Kudos to Virgin! They have no chance of succeeding, but at least they will draw attention to a problem that has still not been taken care of. If only
43 Sankaps : This is the first time I have heard that BAA paid for any hotel rooms. Do you have anything to back up this assertion? How would pax have known to co
44 aerokiwi : Yes but BAA lost money because of their own lack of investment in equipment and manpower to deal with the snow. Airlines and passengers suffered mate
45 lhr380 : It has invested, but no UK airport has the investment for an airport of its size to deal with a downpour of 5" in an hour on top of the freezing cond
46 Sankaps : I think most people accept that the snow was unprecedented, and that most airports, especially those that never deal with such volumes of snow, would
47 Post contains links aviationweek : BAA has responded to the various negative claims about its handling of the snow crisis. What do you think, too little, too late? Snow fight: BAA respo
48 nasula : If the original poster's comment is accurate, the OSL guys stated that they could have cleared LHR in 30mins. To me that means that they are making i
49 nasula : Thanks. Good data. Seems it took them two hours to clear the runway, which is not bad in face of the circumstances. So the main problem appers to be
50 RedChili : I'm not sure about OSL, but I read an interview with some people from TRD airport, which handles around 3.5 million passengers a year. They said that
51 aviationweek : Yes, and Nigel Rudd told the Telegraph last month that BA grounding its fleet on the Saturday didn't help as they occupied a large volume of stands.
52 aerokiwi : Yeah that old chestnut, this time with exclamation marks. But as pointed out... So care to explain away Gatwick's preparedness (ie, investment)? Care
53 LHRBlueSkies : Read the press! Plus I was working during that period and saw all the comms coming out. Of course, if you don't want to believe that and just keep ba
54 CaptainMeeerkat : This has already been discussed in another thread, which i gave up fighting with members about this issue! BUT, this happened last year also if you w
55 aerokiwi : BAA does not pay the airlines to provide a service - the airlines are the customer here; the passengers are the airlines' customer. Understand the re
56 Sankaps : Sorry, I have been following the story quite closely in the press and nowhere have I seen it mentioned that BAA was paying for hotel rooms. Can you p
57 r2rho : If the money they lost due to snow is less than the amount they would have needed to invest to avoid this situation, BAA could even turn an effective
58 Post contains links and images mckvakk : That's the one i was thinking about. I remembered a bit wrong i see. It was a runway and TRD not OSL (although OSL is mentioned as a probable world l
59 lhr380 : A lot of that was passengers fault. Not heading the news to not come to the airport but coming anyway. They showed one couple on the news complaining
60 Post contains links and images keegd76 : Report on BBC that the severe weather cost BAA £24m. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12169340 I wasn't flying over Christmas but I assume someone
61 SevenHeavy : I would agree that the BAA had a good presence in the terminals and were very supportive. That doesn't excuse the fact that regardless of what kind o
62 lhr380 : LGW, be it much smaller, and with apparently more snow clearing equipment according to one poster, im pretty sure that closed for a day or 2 as well
63 LHRBlueSkies : no, all the media told paxs to contact their carriers first before going to the airport...some people just don't listen, or understand what that mean
64 nasula : The original poster did say:"(and comparable european)". Like FRA for example. Would you call that comparable? Or is LHR just so unique in the world
65 RedChili : You need to remember that many passengers spent literally HOURS AND HOURS on the phone trying to contact their airlines, without managing to come thr
66 Post contains images keegd76 : Well I was expecting someone who works in T3 to jump in and denounce you for claiming they abandoned their passengers. What is the procedure for clea
67 lhr380 : And why was that? No one expected such a massive downpour of the white stuff. The call centres for my airline had extended opening times, and more pe
68 SevenHeavy : I'm well aware of that but it is simply not true to suggest that airlines would not have been able to operate even if the airport was functioning. 1.
69 CaptainMeeerkat : Quite right, let's compare apples with apples so. LGW, as mentioned, managed to survive relatively in tact. And I don't buy this 'it's smaller, has l
70 frmrCapCadet : Communications to passengers likely needs changing. What with airlines having all of these 'gotcha' penalties and rules stacked up against passengers
71 Post contains links LHRBlueSkies : Where have I implied any such thing? When has LHR shut down for rain? Fog is different, it's not the airport that reduces flow, it's ATC. the two may
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Virgin Atlantic And United Near Miss Over London posted Tue Sep 5 2000 02:14:35 by GUNDU
Singapore Airlines May Sell Virgin Atlantic Stake. posted Sat Jan 1 2011 06:41:04 by virginson937
British Airways Or Virgin Atlantic Advert? (Photo) posted Sat Mar 27 2010 15:23:30 by Bozo
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class History Question. posted Mon Mar 22 2010 11:19:27 by readytotaxi
Time For Virgin Atlantic To Join Star Alliance? posted Fri Mar 5 2010 14:58:50 by rjpieces
Virgin Atlantic To Refit LGW Fleet posted Tue Feb 23 2010 13:20:16 by leezyjet
Virgin Atlantic To Serve Accra posted Tue Feb 23 2010 09:19:45 by louA340
Virgin Atlantic 747 In FRA Today posted Wed Feb 17 2010 05:49:42 by sydaircargo
When Did Virgin Atlantic Launch IAD Service? posted Sat Jan 30 2010 18:51:54 by RJpieces
Would Virgin Atlantic Start Service To Moscow? posted Wed Jan 27 2010 03:35:47 by JFK787NYC