TC agent reports: Will Heathrow be too small for a post-merger BA?

Travel Weekly’s ten ‘agent reporters’ will be giving us their perspective on the Travel Convention 2010 throughout the event

It was good to hear BA chief executive Willie Walsh speak to the trade – and have a dig at his old sparring partner by crediting Michael O’Leary with “inventing the internet”!

The British Airways/Iberia/American Airlines venture could be a great way forward if the three airlines have synergy with inflight service, transfers and customer service, although I think this will have to be worked on.

But I also hope BA remains intrinsically British.

The potential downside of the merger is that Heathrow may become too small and Madrid may become the main hub for Europe. I think it’s definitely worth fighting for the third runway at Heathrow.

Despite some positives from Willie Walsh’s speech, [BA sales and marketing director] Drew Crawley took my breath away.

His comments that customers stranded in Paris during the ash cloud could have used more initiative to get themselves home seemed to me to be saying that if you have a passport and travel with BA but then get stuck, you’re on your own!

I’ll leave you to take what you will from his comments…

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