UK Politicians Threaten Massive Fines Against Airports Because of...um...Bad Weather
If you're looking for further verification of our "wow, the Brits are kind of whiny about air travel aren't they" thesis from last week, you need search no further than the Twitter feed of the Economist's New York bureau chief Matthew Bishop. The largest city in the United States was functionally shut down to air travel for a day and what's the biggest new media travel story about JFK? How much Bishop complained when he got stuck on the tarmac for seven hours.
And while that would drive us insane too, you'd think that there would have been at least one prominent New Yorker who complained more than a random British guy, or someone from that Cathay Pacific flight that was stuck on the tarmac for ten hours. Apparently not.
More evidence: in order to placate the (barely) metaphorical mobs of pitchfork wielding Londoners, the British government is coming down hard on Heathrow and other airports. UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is threatening massive fines forand we're going to quote the Daily Mail directly, the better to give you a sense of the British mood"inflicting misery on passengers."
Apparently this wasn't just a matter of airport officials being helpless against of one of the worst storms in recent memory. In the minds of many Brits, and of the politicians who are sucking up to them, this disaster was something that airports inflicted on them.
The call for retribution has gotten so bad that BAA is welcoming more government regulation and the threat of heavier fines, just because they're afraid of how bad the public outcry might get. You'd think that this reaction alone might give people pauseif an airport or airline is so desperate to avoid public relations debacles, aren't they already doing just about everything physically possible to avoid thembut that reasoning hasn't stopped our own government from imposing counterproductive tarmac rules. So it's hardly going to halt a push by the regulation-happy Brits.
Ah well, it could always be worse. There could be actual riots breaking out in UK airports, like there are in Moscow.
[Photo: @peteserjeant / YFrog]
· Airports could face massive fines for disrupting passengers' travel plans [Daily Mail]
· Winter Travel [Jaunted]
· Snowpocalypse 2010 [Jaunted]