Insights from the UK and beyond
Too many shops, too many queues, not enough staff — the complaints are well-rehearsed and calls for the company to be broken up grow louder after every fresh disaster. At least they could get rid of Gatwick, and possibly Stansted too, the critics say.
But BAA itself insists breaking it up would jeopardise its planned programme of long-term investment at Britain’s airports.
Its former chief executive Stephen Nelson told the Competition Commission a year ago: “Our analysis is that the fundamental problem for passengers is lack of capacity, not the structure of BAA.
It has been touted as the answer to delays air travellers have been coping with at Heathrow but the chaotic start of business at the airport’s cavernous new Terminal 5 bodes ill for an end to passenger misery.
But is Heathrow the worst? In the 2007 Skytrax World Airport Awards no British airport made the top 10, which instead included Hong Kong, Munich and Madrid airports.