This week: puppy delays departures, baby closes terminal – really!

Well, well, we have all the ingredients for a very juicy airport news round-up this week: there are babies and puppies as main actors, for locations with have our favourite spots Heathrow and New York plus there’s also a little side story just to get things rolling on a number of levels.

Let’s start with a bang: London Heathrow (LHR) is getting increasing pressures this week for its ongoing issues over lengthy immigration queues in the lead up to the Olympics. CNN reported of waits of up to three hours on Thursday night for non-European Union arrivals. More delays at immigration control were seen Friday night, according to UK media reports. According to the article in the CNN, the British Airports Authority (BAA), which runs Heathrow, said recent delays had been unacceptable but that it had no control over passport control. The ball is now with the Home Office to solve the bottleneck and clear the path for more positive headlines.

We stay in the United Kingdom and also with BAA which this week sold one of their airports. It was the Scottish airport in Edinburgh (EDI) that changed ownership. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that BAA will sell its Edinburgh terminal to U.S. buyout firm Global Infrastructure Partners Ltd. for 807.2 million pounds ($1.3 billion) after antitrust regulators ordered a breakup. Interestingly the buyout firm already owns the previously BAA-sold Gatwick airport (LGW). We therefore predict increased competitive activities between the two companies, which – of course – is exactly what the regulators were aiming for.

Aren’t puppies and babies cute? Well, it depends. Babies aren’t that cute when they kick and scream for hours, nor are puppies making a mess of your living room. However, those weren’t the concerns we heard this week from two New York based airports. Hang on a minute, airports, babies and puppies? What is this about, you might ask yourself at this point? Great question. Let us explain. First, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) made headlines earlier in the week when departures were held up at the airport while workers rounded up a dog that ran on to a runway, reported The New York Post. Apparently, the pooch, a 30-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy named Byrdie, got loose as she was being loaded on to a Delta flight to Memphis.

Then on Friday USA Today reported that a terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was shut down for over an hour after officials discovered that a baby hadn’t been properly screened. Terminal C was evacuated and passengers had to go through security screening again. We think this was a slightly exaggerated move. What do you think?

That’s all we have for now – have a great new week with well behaving puppies & babies!

[Picture from Flickr – Some rights reserved by katybird; edited by LateDeparture]