PEELING PAINT

It’s good to hear that we are not alone in our criticism of London’s Heathrow Airport. The latest to lambast the shoddy and inefficient airport is American Airlines Inc. which last month said the U.K. should break up BAA Ltd.’s monopoly over London airports including Heathrow and Gatwick because the services are so poor that […]


It’s good to hear that we are not alone in our criticism of London’s Heathrow Airport. The latest to lambast the shoddy and inefficient airport is American Airlines Inc. which last month said the U.K. should break up BAA Ltd.’s monopoly over London airports including Heathrow and Gatwick because the services are so poor that carriers are shifting flights to other cities.

Don Langford, managing director of services in Europe and India for American Airlines was quoted as saying by Bloomberg that "Heathrow is so bad that we’ve shifted some capacity. There’s peeling paint, missing light bulbs, duct tape on the floor and all manner of poor housekeeping in our terminal.”

There’s pressure on BAA, which is owned by Grupo Ferrovial SA of Spain, to get its act together as Britain’s Competition Commission considers a forced breakup while the Civil Aviation Authority reviews the prices it charges to airlines. In addition to American Airlines, British Airways and EasyJet also criticized BAA but stopped short of backing calls for a breakup.

BAA’s lame excuse for its dreadful performance is that it is struggling to cope with years of underinvestment. Th at hardly explains the missing light bulbs and the duct tape on the floor.