This week: Vancouver wins, Bangkok loses and London is in question

This week we have three news stories that have all one thing in common: the airports the articles are about are regulars of our little weekly news round-ups. We’re talking about Vancouver, Bangkok and candidate number one – drum roll please – Heathrow Airport.

Let’s go through them in that order: It was good news this week for Canada’s Vancouver Airport (IATA: YYR) who won the award for best North American airport through reviews from thousands of customers, all of whom actually traveled through the airports they rated. The article from the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that customers of eDreams, one of Europe’s largest online travel agencies, who travelled by plane during 2011 were asked to rate and review the airports they visited. The overall worldwide winner  went to Korea’s Incheon Airport (IATA: ICN) while Europe’s trophy was handed to Munich (IATA: MUC).

Bangkok who we talked about last week regarding the reopening of Don Mueang Airport (IATA: DMK) got the short end of the stick this week. Reuters reported that the much larger and newer sister airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport (IATA: BKK) is beset by two-hour immigration queues, passenger numbers far beyond capacity and a crisis over management. The article also said that even before it was christened in 2006, aviation experts predicted it would reach capacity in just a few short years. Some officials vowed the airport would be expanded to handle as many as 100 million passengers, but that never happened, Reuters concluded.

And now to our “problem child”, London Heathrow (IATA: LHR). Well, it was always going to happen during the lead up to the Olympics: critiques of the English airport are rambling on about how it will fail during the biggest sports event this year. Yesterday the Washington Post wrote that four of Britain’s leading airlines said the government must do more to prevent severe delays and disruptions at London airports during this summer’s Olympics. The concerns were raised in a letter to the government by British Airways, bmi, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic concerned that an Olympic surge in passengers means any security alert or bad weather could cause chaos unless special arrangements are made. The article then said that the airlines believe disruption can be minimized if air traffic controllers agree to change their usual practice and give scheduled flights priority over charters and business jets. We’re quite sure this wasn’t the last time we wrote about it; trust us!

With that, have a great, travel disruption free week!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by abaransk]