Wednesday 22 December 2010


The travel chaos at Heathrow Airport and St. Pancras Station in London this week has been unbelievably inhuman. Thousands of people stranded, sometimes for days, some waiting for hours outside in sub-zero temperatures, with no information, no comfort and no apparent concern. The British Airport Authority advised people not to turn up at an already overcrowded airport and travel companies told them that if they didn’t turn up they couldn’t claim an alternative flight or refund.
There must be a better way of dealing with this type of emergency. For a start TREAT it as an emergency, not a corporate “cover our ass” exercise with conflicting advice.

I must again apologise for being a little naive, but this should not have been left to serendipity. There was plenty of warning of impending massive snow falls. Airport, train and tour companies should have acted as one. Travellers could be “filtered” by text offering rescheduled bookings.

Anyone that HAD to travel could state their case, go on a realistic priority rating waiting list and given a time to arrive at the airport/station to take their chances with any planes/trains available. You would think that in these days of superfast communication a system like that shouldn’t be beyond the wit of corporate idiots. No – strike that out. It probably is. They prefer to hide their heads in the sand and hope that it will go away.

If olny they would tell the truth. I was impressed by one woman from a hospital who admitted that despite all the warnings they had been totally unprepared and were now going “back to the drawing board” to rethink the whole thing. One of the solutions was to have a list of people that lived near enough to be on call, transport to get others in instead of individuals having to struggle in on their own and provisions for staff to stay overnight. The patients must come first. Bravo.


Sueann said...

Travel at this time of year is iffy at best!!
Good luck

Eliza said...

So agree with you. Have a great christmas x said...

I know, but it has been compounted the last couple of Christmases by horrendous weather that the UK is just not handling well SueAnn said...

And you have a good Christmas too Eliza.

Jay said...

Mmm. I can see both sides of the problem because there were definitely people travelling hopefully without any real plan and clogging up the works as well. But yes, the way people were left outside in sub-zero temperatures was simply unacceptable. And those words are always uttered, sooner or later. They get a round of applause and a derisive cheer in our house.

Which words? 'Lessons will be learned'. You know what? They seldom are.

The hospital you quote should be given some kind of award!