Heathrow passengers given cold shoulder during bad weather

22 December 2009

As expected, a little bad weather and the whole country is utterly, utterly shagged. Our European neighbours continue driving up and down mountains and flying planes in worse conditions without grumbling or their news channels showing continuous loops of snowploughs at dusk. The blizzards and sub-zero temperatures have shut down London's airports and caused crippling delays in the past few days.

But do they care whether the weather has messed up your Christmas? Travel V3 - the blog of soon-to-launch travel website OfferMeATrip.com - asks why the likes of Heathrow Airport seem more interested in pursuing their own agenda than one that may benefit their customers. For example, this is a screenshot of Heathrow's website from this morning:

Bitterwallet - Heathrow Airport website

As Travel V3 points out:

What is the communication priority of this website considering the placement and design of the different messages? Shopping, or information for customers?

Does this website reflect a company that is focused on getting people from A to B as effectively as possible, or a company that wants to screw as many pounds as possible out of a captive audience?

Delayed and cancelled flight information does appear on the home page, but below the fold of the screen. At times like this, if consumers are turning to Heathrow's site to find out how banjangoed their Christmas plans are, you'd think they'd provide more immediate information than meaningless vagaries ("...some disruption is occurring here and at other airports...") that come a poor second to a shopping promotion ("Heathrow is the perfect place to shop for all your presents"). Is Heathrow an airport or a shopping centre?

[Travel V3]

TOPICS:   Travel   Christmas


  • House, M.
    I say the same about National Rail Enquiries ... with their new design the text on the service updates is usually masked below a Flash banner about something wholly irrelevant.
  • Nobby
    It's both. Much of their income comes from shopping. Even more so for the regional airports where budget airlines cut the amaount they pay to be hosted there.
  • Lumoruk
    Easyjet have cancelled hundreds of flight and refused to compensate us due to the weather, while we paid €300 to transfer onto Aer Lingus who along with British Airways and Austrian Airlines continued flying. Who am I meant to take this up with?
  • dados
    EasyJet have shafted you,to answer your question you have taken this up the shitter
  • stelios
    Lumoruk, email me direct and I'll look into this for you.
  • Hi O.
    This is not news. It's been known for years that Heathrow is an expensive shopping centre with a small airport tacked onto it....
  • PennyStocks
    thats insane Lumurok, must be illegal somewhere, I live here with nice snow storms, but I expect to fly in /out when I want within reason.
  • hank
    BAA is principally an operator of shopping malls - running airports comes a log way second. Anyone who's been to Heathrow Terminal 5 can see this.
  • dunfyboy
    BAA are money grabbing fuckers. Fact.
  • bigboy
    yes but as the uk public are tightarses and wish to fly from A to B for £1.50p, airports have to increase their revenue and profits from shops. Dont like it? pay more
  • Nick
    fold of the screen???? this isn't a newspaper, if it is "below the fold" try getting a better monitor and increase your reolution from 1024x768 if you looking at websites at 1024x768 you should be used to alot of veritical scrolling.....
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. I like the purple coloured lights at Terminal 3 Departures.
  • Inactive
    easyjet = 20% cancelled flights, they don't give a shit, other airlines have continued to fly OK. All airports are shopping malls, not just Heathrow.
  • Mark
    "Don't like it? pay more" Heathrow already charge some of the highest airport taxes / landing fees in the world. I've absolutely no objection to, and fully support the idea of airports supplementing or subsidising fees through retail. What I do have a problem with is that in BAA's case it seems that their primary focus is retail, and moving people around comes a poor second. To be successful long term a firm needs to focus on its core. BAA do not. They also let the country down rather badly by failing to deliver key infrastructure. "try getting a better monitor and increase your resolution from 1024×768" Do you work for BAA? Because that is the kind of attitude one expects - It is the customer's problem, not ours.
  • Dictionary
    What is 'banjangoed'?
  • Nick
    "Do you work for BAA? Because that is the kind of attitude one expects – It is the customer’s problem, not ours." No I dont I am afraid, I am a web designer, if you are seriously running 1024x768 loads of websites would require you to scoll, can you imagaine digg in 1024x768 with no scrolling???
  • Hack
    digg? you mean reddit, surely?
  • Lemon
    Digg is the licenced PC game from Fred West Inc. Its a bit like minesweeper, but better.
  • Radio C.
    [...] great point from Bitterwallet, in an article by former radio-chap Paul Smith, pointing out that London Heathrow’s website is too sales-heavy and not the service it should have been during the recent snow. Media UK’s traffic showed a [...]
  • Maritsa
    Great Post. Can you email me back, please. Awaiting your Answer.
  • world s.
    Thanks for the helpful post, i'll keep checking back and hopefully i shall see more of the same. :)
  • Nothing C.
    Same this year. Heathrow is shut down for multiple days with stranded passengers sleeping on the floors.
  • peter g.
    Whats the betting these very so called experianced executives get a bonus this year, and be on the Queens honors list. For what?

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