Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow expansion campaign email to customers

January 17, 2008 at 6:27 am | Posted in Adding capacity at Heathrow, Campaign, Climate change, Environment, Heathrow, Heathrow expansion, Virgin Atlantic | Leave a comment

The email I received a couple of minutes ago from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club titled

January Why Fly?: New York in the new year for GBP256 rtn

includes the following statement:

A bigger, better airport
We believe that Heathrow should be expanded, reducing delays both in the air and on the ground to improve your airport experience – provided that this expansion meets strict environmental criteria. Do you agree?
Find out more

Of course, most passengers do not care one jot about climate change, but do care a lot about “delays both in the air and on the ground” as well as anything that helps “improve your my airport experience”. The provision “that this expansion meets strict environmental criteria” makes people think that climate change is taken care of, but it is NOT!

When asked, “Do you agree?” of course most customers are going to click to “Find out more” and will vote in favour of expansion.

Incidentally, that Find out more leads you to this page, which includes a paragraph on Environmentally responsible expansion that is less than the whole truth, I can tell you:


You’ve probably heard that the Government has recently announced plans regarding the expansion of Heathrow – thanks for your interest in finding out more.

As a company we will be supporting the Government’s proposals to expand Heathrow, which will:

  • provide more take-off and landing slots on the existing runways (mixed mode) and
  • deliver a shorter third runway.

Benefits to passengers

Whilst developments such as a dedicated Virgin Atlantic terminal within T3 at Heathrow are exciting, we believe that expanding Heathrow will deliver unquestionable benefits for our passengers:

  • reducing the delays you experience both in the air and on the ground;
  • and significantly improving your airport experience by reducing congestion in the terminals.

We also believe that expansion of Heathrow is vital to ensure the future prosperity of businesses and industries both in London and for the rest of the UK. Heathrow is already a significant contributor to the national economy and the estimated benefit to the economy of a third runway at Heathrow is expected to be in the region of £7bn a year.

Environmentally responsible expansion

However, as a company we recognise that we cannot compromise on our responsibility to account for the environmental impact we have. That’s why we’re pleased that the Government has demonstrated that the expansion of Heathrow can take place without exceeding strict noise and air quality limits. In addition, here at Virgin Atlantic we are doing all we can to develop innovative solutions to ensure that we minimise our impact on the environment.

Have your say

It is vital that the Government hears from our customers who will experience the benefits that the expansion of Heathrow will deliver. That’s why we would like you to take part in our quick online poll.

We also encourage you to respond to the Government’s online questionnaire so that your views are considered directly by the Government; this should not take more than 15 minutes.

Many thanks for your support!

For more information on the proposals for the expansion of Heathrow, the benefits these proposals are anticipated to deliver and the environmental conditions that must be met please visit the Government’s dedicated website where you’ll find an executive summary of the Government’s proposals along with much more in information.

Exec Summary

More information


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