Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
If you were a manufacturer of roller luggage last week is one that you would like to forget. Don't judge the events of what happened in the UK as a British problem. The anarchists, and the rogue states that support them, know no national barriers. They might try and attack London one day, Paris another and then perhaps some remote city in China. From a commercial point of view the knock on effect appears to be bad news for Heathrow as the hub of the world”s international airlines, but in fact it is a global crisis.
The comments that follow relate to business travel but the draconian measures that the British government quite rightly introduced last Thursday affect all who use scheduled airline services. The old saying about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer is true here too. The booming executive jet market will now grow even faster whilst those at the back of a long haul aircraft will find life even more tiresome. The cost of air travel has reduced dramatically over the years. We all want to do it in comfort and as safely as possible. Brilliant engineers have made the aircraft safe. Sadly the lunatics have escaped the asylum. It is nothing about religion. The Nazis did not care who they destroyed, nor Stalin. Or for that matter the tyrants of history. The war in Iraq is a civil war fuelled by its neighbour. The 21st century despots have to be beaten for us all to live in a civilised world.
For the business traveller the current loss of the hand luggage facility is serious. We all travel with the roller bags which not only contain the inevitable laptop and hard copy working material, but often our clothes and personal effects. The old check-in system is being eliminated by the use of online services. Every traveller, except for the shortest of short haul, will now need to drop off his luggage and gain a receipt. More queues. We don”t trust the airports”baggage facilities. We often need to make quick connections at the other end, or we require to be out of the airport as speedily as possible. No waiting at the luggage belt for us. If it is in business class that we travel the amenities bag will help but for the vast majority no such luxury is provided. For the hard working cabin crews the effect is greater. Whilst we sometimes feel envious of the five-star hotels they may stay in, the last thing they need is to wait for their luggage too at the end of a transatlantic flight with a return journey 24 hours away.
Praise must also be added here to the security services world wide. They are always in a ”no win” situation but it does seem that they have done remarkably well. The government too has made some tough decisions.
Sure things haven't gone 100%. When do they ever in stories like this? Airports are cracking at their seems, staff are being pushed to their limits and domestic and international travellers are having to wait in long queues in stuffy airports not always well informed. Our thanks to everyone who has had to put up with so much this week but just carried on. But surely it”s worth it? Unlike the majority of the British press we will not moan and moan about these things. It is a small price to pay for democracy.
The past week will hopefully be a learning experience for all. It will be expected that sometime in the next couple of months the stakeholders in the contingency plan arrangements will sit down together and ask themselves what they can learn, if, unfortunately, rather inevitably, there is another attempted attack such as this. And some of the minutiae of the plans will change.
Good will come out of the problems that beset us. New technology will for the most part eliminate body searches. Knowing that their hand baggage is to be more thoroughly searched people will travel with less. All this will speed up security.
Flying has got safer over the years as technology and engineering has improved. We have to be vigilant to ensure that it continues that way. In every generation there have been anarchists. They must not win.