A spot of snow and...

Old Jan 18, 13, 5:00 am
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A spot of snow and...

...BA has cancelled every flight from LHR to Scotland until at least 15:00, and I wouldn't hold out much hope for the rest of the day (if you're going to ABZ, you may as well just give up and build yourself an igloo in Hounslow for the night)

Interestingly, there are still loads and loads of other departures and arrivals into LHR. Yes, there are a few delays, but less than half of all flights have been cancelled. But for some reason, BA is prioritising long haul flights over anything domestic and European. Funny that.

Wonder if the Competition Commission considered BA's SOPS in case of IRROPS. Wonder what VS will do when they are slot constrained by a spot of snow - cancel the flight to JFK or to MAN? Let me think for a nanosecond...

Reduction in choice and service levels? Never!

#reasonstomissbmi
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Old Jan 18, 13, 5:34 am
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Are sure the issue is with taking off? As opposed to landing?
Both runways are open here.....
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Old Jan 18, 13, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by Steve Oh View Post
Are sure the issue is with taking off? As opposed to landing?
Both runways are open here.....
The South runway at LHR is closed for snow clearing and the North runway is in dual mode!

Last edited by OPebble; Jan 18, 13 at 9:38 am
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Old Jan 18, 13, 7:31 am
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Thought so.

No point in a plane taking off if it can't land anywhere.
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Old Jan 18, 13, 8:01 am
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I suggest this thread be moved to the correct forum for further analysis.
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Old Jan 18, 13, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by Steve Oh View Post
Thought so.

No point in a plane taking off if it can't land anywhere.


No, I'm saying that EDI is operating normally, and there are take off and landing slots available at LHR, albeit they have been rationed between the different carriers

If you have ever travelled to Scotland in winter, you'd have known that only people who didn't mind having their flight cancelled booked to fly BA. Sooner or later, bmi would have got you to London

Post-merger, no such luck. All of bmi's former slots are allocated to maintain the integrity of BA's long haul operations

I'm not making any judgement on whether that's a good or bad operational decision, but it's merely an observation that domestic/short-haul travellers are worse off without bmi
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Old Jan 18, 13, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by kt74 View Post
...BA has cancelled every flight from LHR to Scotland until at least 15:00, and I wouldn't hold out much hope for the rest of the day (if you're going to ABZ, you may as well just give up and build yourself an igloo in Hounslow for the night)

Interestingly, there are still loads and loads of other departures and arrivals into LHR. Yes, there are a few delays, but less than half of all flights have been cancelled. But for some reason, BA is prioritising long haul flights over anything domestic and European. Funny that.

Wonder if the Competition Commission considered BA's SOPS in case of IRROPS. Wonder what VS will do when they are slot constrained by a spot of snow - cancel the flight to JFK or to MAN? Let me think for a nanosecond...

Reduction in choice and service levels? Never!

#reasonstomissbmi
Well, that strikes me as eminently reasonable to prioritise long-haul over flights to Scotland. Quite apart from the number of people affected when cancelling a long-haul versus a short-haul, if there are no flights to NYC, how are you going to get there? Swimming?
By comparison, you can still get to Scotland by train.
Note that flights to BHD, which is domestic but which, unlike Scotland, is more difficult to get to other than by flying (yes, I know..., ferries), are mostly still running.

FWIW, BA still has two flights scheduled to fly to EDI today and the last flight is a 767, presumably to mop up some of those that were on cancelled flights earlier in the day.

As to building igloos in Hounslow, I wonder whether you have heard about that newfangled thing called "hotels"?
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Old Jan 18, 13, 8:33 am
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The thinking behind cancelling domestic flights in favour of keeping long haul services going is an obvious one.
Doing it in favour of keeping some short haul Euro services running may look poor to the customer who wants to get to EDI but the logic behind it is you can get to EDI/ABZ by transferring to LCY or LGW services or as a last resort by train.
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Old Jan 18, 13, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Note that flights to BHD, which is domestic but which, unlike Scotland, is more difficult to get to other than by flying (yes, I know..., ferries), are mostly still running.
Mostly running, yes, though oddly EI seem to be able to keep better to schedule during IRROPs on the same route (admittedly today both carriers have one rotation cancelled).

BA haven't performed fantastically at BHD through the IRROPs I've seen this season. I think the key difference between them and bmi is that the contracted ground staff seem to be able to do little, yet bmi's staff had enormous latitude to do whatever to get you on your way.
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Old Jan 18, 13, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Well, that strikes me as eminently reasonable to prioritise long-haul over flights to Scotland.
Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
The thinking behind cancelling domestic flights in favour of keeping long haul services going is an obvious one.
Actually, I don't think you'll find I was disputing the logic of cancelling Scottish flights if you were in BA's shoes. If I were BA, I might well do the same. That's why this discussion is not on the BA board

What I am lamenting is the fact that there is no longer a choice of airline out of LHR, and that, when bmi was around, it used to get an allocation of slots for its shorthaul flights, and therefore you were generally guaranteed to be able to get there. I lose count of the number of times I've been able to take a bmi shorthaul flight while my colleagues flying BA were fuming and/or ended up stranded

I am well aware of the fact that bmi was not financially viable, etc, etc, etc. It's just a shame no similar choice exists now

As an aside, if the CC were really serious about issuing a remedy, then from a reliability point of view, I'd definitely have awarded the LHR-EDI/ABZ slots to EI instead of VS...
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Old Jan 18, 13, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by kt74 View Post
What I am lamenting is the fact that there is no longer a choice of airline out of LHR
But that is not really a question of a choice of airline per se. If you had only one airline with a complete monopoly at Scottish airports, you would have a higher proportion of flights to Scotland operating if that airline had a larger proportion of its flights on short-haul and, specifically, to Scotland like bmi used to have. It was not so much an issue of bmi prioritising domestic/short-haul over international/long-haul but rather that more of the overall bmi schedule fell in the former category than BA's.

You could have 10 airlines at EDI and therefore plenty of choice. If all of them had a similar long-haul/short-haul mix as BA, it is likely that they would have similar priorities in irrops.

As an aside, if the CC were really serious about issuing a remedy, then from a reliability point of view, I'd definitely have awarded the LHR-EDI/ABZ slots to EI instead of VS...
uh? There was no awarding of slots by the cc. BA had to make slots available to new entrants who wanted to operate on the route but, beyond that, it was a private, commercial decisions by the airlines concerned. EI could have operated these services if they wanted to. They were not interested or, at any rate, not as interested as VS were.
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Old Jan 19, 13, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
uh? There was no awarding of slots by the cc. BA had to make slots available to new entrants who wanted to operate on the route but, beyond that, it was a private, commercial decisions by the airlines concerned. EI could have operated these services if they wanted to. They were not interested or, at any rate, not as interested as VS were.
Really? About as private and commercial a decision as you get with the European Commission... Paragraph 4, and I quote, Virgin "was competing for the slots with Aer Lingus"

Originally Posted by NickB View Post
You could have 10 airlines at EDI and therefore plenty of choice. If all of them had a similar long-haul/short-haul mix as BA, it is likely that they would have similar priorities in irrops.
Precisely my point. If the EC was going to award slots to anyone, it should have been to an airline with a higher short-haul mix. Irrops, which at Heathrow seem to happen, you know, when it's a wee bit cloudy, never mind fog or snow, will just mean that Virgin protects more of its long haul flights, and you end up with the same zero choice of short haul flights as before

Anyway, we are where we are. As I said before, I'm simply lamenting bmi's loss
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Old Jan 19, 13, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by kt74 View Post
Really? About as private and commercial a decision as you get with the European Commission... Paragraph 4, and I quote, Virgin "was competing for the slots with Aer Lingus"
You are correct. My bad. I had a look at the decision clearing the merger and there is indeed an allocation process by the Commission assisted by an independent assessor .

Precisely my point. If the EC was going to award slots to anyone, it should have been to an airline with a higher short-haul mix. Irrops, which at Heathrow seem to happen, you know, when it's a wee bit cloudy, never mind fog or snow, will just mean that Virgin protects more of its long haul flights, and you end up with the same zero choice of short haul flights as before
That is a rather strange decision criteria. So, according to you, the key criterion in determining whom the slots should go to is whether the airline will have different priorities in irrops?
The actual criteria on which the decision had to be based were to determine which carrier provided "the most effective overall competitive constraint on services from/to Heathrow on European Short-haul City Pairs (and on the Identified Long-haul City Pairs if applicable), without regard to the country in which the Applicant(s) is licensed or has its principal place of business." In determining this, factors to take into account included capacity and frequency of service, pricing structure and service offerings and offering to feed third party carriers to/from Heathrow.

It seems to me a rather more rational set of criteria, from a competition point of view, than the "how do they deal with irrops?" criterion that you suggest.
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Old Jan 21, 13, 5:35 pm
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Question

EI might not have been interested although its somewhat ironic EI will be operating VS's domestic services.
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