The Competition Commission and BAA

By | Category: Travel news



This morning the Competition Commission has ruled that BAA must sell off Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh Airports. This follows from the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the sale despite the attempts of BAA to say that the travel market had changed quite a bit since the original ruling was given. What will BAA do now? Sell and give in gracefully or try and find justification for continuing its fight?

The Commission will not make its final report until May or June so will BAA wait until then before making a decision? Forget for a moment that the Commission needs another two months for some reason and assume both airports will be sold, Stansted first according to the Commission.

The sale of Gatwick has been one of the best things that could have happened for passengers. For the first time in years there seems to be competition. And investment. Ray Melee, from the new owners at Gatwick said yesterday at the Passenger Terminal Expo that he wanted Gatwick to be the airport of choice instead of the feeder to Heathrow that it had virtually become when it was BAA owned. More importantly it wants to treat passengers as guests and become the first for passenger service. Already the new owners have cleared away the strange security system that could see you sent to one of two floors to go through the system in the south terminal. 19 new lanes will be introduced this year from May onwards including one for those requiring more assistance. Those with hand baggage and who are aware of having to take off jackets and carry laptops may even get their own speedy lane!

So passengers through Stansted and whichever airport in Scotland is sold off stand a good chance of being treated as paying customers instead of the mentality that often seemed to exist in the old days that airports would be great places if it wasn’t for those pesky passengers disrupting things. Now airlines need to realise what passengers have known for years in the south. Heathrow is not the airport of choice. The sooner they start switching flights (like North American ones for example) to Gatwick the better for the blood pressure of a lot of passengers!

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