BAA's Daredevil Boss Dives into a Fierce Dogfight; Terminal Boredom: Passengers Fall Asleep after Many Hours of Enforced Delays at Stansted Nerves of Steel: Stephen Nelson, Left, Pictured with BA Boss Willie Walsh, Did a Bungee Jump at Bloukrans Bridge, Above
Byline: TOM MCGHIE
He has taken part in the world's highest bungeejump-a708ftplungeat Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa. He has cycled 508 miles non-stop on aroute crossing Death Valley in America. But now Stephen Nelson, whose companyruns Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, is taking the biggest risk ofall.
He has thrown out the management maxim dictating that the customer is alwaysright and decided to turn the tables in the blame game on to his biggestclients - the airlines.
After months of fevered criticism for levels of service that have according todetractors transformed Heathrow, the UK's premier gateway, into a nationaldisgrace, BAA - owned by Spain's Ferrovial - has decided to take on itstormentors.
Chief executive Nelson and his senior team at the beleaguered company are sofed up with carrying the can for all the ills at their airports - ranging fromdirty loos, mucky carpets and broken escalators to baggage delays, hugecheck-in queues and lost luggage - that they have decided to take aim at theiraccusers, the airlines.
Financial Mail understands that Nelson is now considering publicising a nameand shame league table in an attempt to deflect the criticism. This willclearly identify the cause of the delays, whether at check-in, immigration orsecurity.
BAA is confident that the airlines, which are responsible for baggage handlingand check-in facilities, and the Home Office, which staffs the immigrationdesks, will be shown up as the real villains.
BAA is expected to consult airports regulator the Civil Aviation Authority andthe Government about how the league table will be compiled and it is sensitiveto the fact that a name and shame policy could become the source of yet moreconflict.
Its main target inevitably will be British Airways, which dominates Heathrowand which has incensed BAA by calling for it to be broken up. Airlines arguethat if Gatwick is sold, its management will compete with Heathrow and thatwill mean lower charges. At present it costs about [pounds sterling]10 per passenger to land aplane at Heathrow and only [pounds sterling]5 at Gatwick.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: BAA's Daredevil Boss Dives into a Fierce Dogfight; Terminal Boredom: Passengers Fall Asleep after Many Hours of Enforced Delays at Stansted Nerves of Steel: Stephen Nelson, Left, Pictured with BA Boss Willie Walsh, Did a Bungee Jump at Bloukrans Bridge, Above. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Mail on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: September 23, 2007. Page number: 3. © 2009 Solo Syndication Limited. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.