Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

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falkor
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Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by falkor » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:28 pm

Monday 20 December 2010 .Severe weather and snow in the UK and Europe have grounded flights and caused travel chaos in the run-up to Christmas, with an "unprecedented" number of breakdowns, the AA tells Channel 4 News.

As temperatures plummet and snow continues to fall in parts of the UK, travellers face misery in airports, on the roads and on the rail network across the country.

A spokesman for the AA told Channel 4 News it was dealing with an "unprecedented" number of calls and warned that driving conditions in many areas were "hell on ice."

London's Heathrow Airport is among the worst hit of the transport hubs, with thousands of flights cancelled and passengers stranded, and in rail services, Eurostar has been forced to close its queues to new passengers after snow hit its trains.

Heathrow Airport operator BAA warned that delays and cancellations could continue up to, and beyond, Christmas Day.

A maximum of one third of its scheduled flights would be operating between now and 6am on Wednesday, BAA said, despite the lifting of night flight restrictions to try and clear the backlog. Only one of its runways is operating and passengers are being warned

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Nighthawk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:10 am

1: It's winter, doesn't it sometimes snow in winter?
2: The AA can't cope most times, so what makes winter any different?
3: Airports such as JFK, Moscow, Manchester, and other northern airports, they cope in the winter, so why does Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton be any different? :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch:
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Daisy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:59 am

Nighthawk wrote:Airports such as JFK, Moscow, Manchester, and other northern airports, they cope in the winter, so why does Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton be any different? :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch: :slch:
Because Heathrow isn't fit for purpose. It is an old RAF base that has had extension after extension added and is now the Europe's busiest airport.

I think London City/Stanstead/Luton are running ok.

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Chocolate boy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:20 am

Nighthawk wrote:The AA can't cope most times, so what makes winter any different?
Do you know what, the AA are a total joke. I think that they need a massive change in management and a big shake up. Years ago the AA would tell a customer that they were a priority and yet the jobs were being given to contractors when they were an hour old. They would also lose jobs so people would be sat around for hours "Thinking" that they were on the way when in fact the AA had no record.

I have free AA membership with my bank but when they told me I had it free I said they can keep it but apparently its part of the deal. The RAC are not much better. I mean I appreciate that the AA need to claw back some money but what breakdown recovery service charges you to pick you up after a crash?? They're crafty too because the wording on the Lloyds platinum account says AA Accident Management - the service that may include recovering your vehicle to a garage , MAY????. WILL is what you want. They make you believe they will recover you for free but they don't.

Id go with Britannia or Green Flag everyday.

Anyway, Heathrow I'm told has a heated runway and the planes are stuck on the gates so rather than buy equipment that needs maintenance etc, spend the money on heating the ground.
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by The DRA King » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:42 am

I had to double read the first line of your post CB, Then i noticed that you had written the AA not HA :sldoh:
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Chocolate boy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:37 pm

ha ha ha, nice. I re read it and I have to agree. :slbi: :slt:
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by PredatorUk » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:02 pm

Why Is the HA not promoting that fact that unlike all the other travel services in this country we are actual doing quite well, every time Sky News or any of the other networks interview people ref the road conditions its someone from either the AA or the RAC, where are our press officers? They should be out there getting our message across and taking every opportunity and raising our public profile??? Ok local roads are a nightmare as usually but as far as I’m aware from my region we have had very minor disruptions due to the weather and fair play to the ISU and ourselves for keeping the roads moving. Ok I’m not looking for a pat on the back every day but it would be nice to see that our effects are appreciated and publicised rather than being painted with the same brush, the HA should be using this as an example of how good we actually are and reporting this to the taxpayer rather than reporting stories like TO saves owl!

Anyway I think we are all doing a good job as always - thou I’m slightly biased :slclap:

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Race Track » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:28 pm

PredatorUk wrote:Why Is the HA not promoting that fact that unlike all the other travel services in this country we are actual doing quite well, every time Sky News or any of the other networks interview people ref the road conditions its someone from either the AA or the RAC, where are our press officers? They should be out there getting our message across and taking every opportunity and raising our public profile??? Ok local roads are a nightmare as usually but as far as I’m aware from my region we have had very minor disruptions due to the weather and fair play to the ISU and ourselves for keeping the roads moving. Ok I’m not looking for a pat on the back every day but it would be nice to see that our effects are appreciated and publicised rather than being painted with the same brush, the HA should be using this as an example of how good we actually are and reporting this to the taxpayer rather than reporting stories like TO saves owl!

Anyway I think we are all doing a good job as always - thou I’m slightly biased :slclap:
The press officers are there, but if Sky/BBC/Ch4 etc want to speak to someone with a more "animated" view on things, then it makes better viewer ratings doesn't it. No-one wants to hear someone saying, "keep calm, we are doing a good job" - but everyone loves a bit of drama, panic and flame grilled interviewee.

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Nevr you mind » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Gotta be honest RT, I agree with Predator. News is news and we SHOULD be talking to the press regardless. The only we hear about the HA is the gritters, never the TO'S.
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Race Track » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:58 pm

Nevr you mind wrote:Gotta be honest RT, I agree with Predator. News is news and we SHOULD be talking to the press regardless. The only we hear about the HA is the gritters, never the TO'S.
I don't think you understand me. We can only talk to the press, if they want us to talk to them. We can ring them up, send out press releases, bulletins, background briefs, but if the press don't want to listen to us then they don't. They are not obliged to print what we send/tell them. A Press Officer can't just ring BBC Newsdesk and ask for a 60 second slot on the 6 O'Clock news. From everything i've seen, they are doing a pretty good job (for their role).

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by icmouse » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:00 pm

Sack the press officers the are no use to anyone, except sat on their backsides and telling people how good they are, that will save a bit of money.

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Vostapo » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:17 pm

icmouse wrote:Sack the press officers the are no use to anyone, except sat on their backsides and telling people how good they are, that will save a bit of money.
I'm puzzled as to why such posts (full time that is) even exist in these current economic times, IMO PR for public services is not 'essential' to the core functioning of the respective organisation. On the rare occasion that communication with the media is requested AND IS DEEMED NECESSARY then why not have a suitably trained person in each region who can handle the matter as part of their normal duties. Reeling off a few sentences of 'official company policy' is hardly rocket science after all!
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Race Track » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:42 pm

Generally, those trained people would be busy handling other things when it goes pear-shaped. The press officers have to be on call, and i doubt anyone working would want a probing at 3 in the morning when they have other things to be worried about. I know they do take a lot of inane enquiries from the press when it kicks off (stuff that exists in published press releases, yet they still ring up). I was told of one instance where a press officer asked the hack if they had the press release in front of them. They replied yes, and then continued to ask questions that existed on the press release. They do take lots of email and phone enquiries when we are busy out there, and i wouldn't want to deal with the press at that time. In fact, i think the media would latch on to unexperienced/ubtrained officers and rip them to shreds - which in the long run would make us look REALLY bad, when in fact what we have now is a very small bunch of well trained and experienced people keeping a lid on things, and doing a good job at that in difficult circumstances (press looking for scapegoats).

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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Chocolate boy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:01 pm

RT, not too sure about that (but then I'm sure you realised I wouldn't be). Our press officer does next to nothing all day. Apparently he is busy in offices around and about but we NEVER have press releases from him. In fact the only time we had was when we pushed and he had to but we did most of the work.

There is no reason why he couldn't ring a news room and give out info, it doesn't have to be them ring us all the time. We are a public service just like the council, who I might add are always in talks with the news, along with many other public bodies.

Make contact, make new press friends and reel off stories. If they don't then like icmouse says, why bother having a press officer if they don't talk to the press but sit around getting £30.000 to do f all.
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Re: Snow causes unprecedented travel chaos

Post by Race Track » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:14 pm

It might be isolated to your PO, as i know ours does all that you say. We still don't see much of the end effect, but we see what goes out to the press.

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