Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bush's Trip Inconvenienced 40,000 Travelers

With President Bush's approval ratings hitting extreme lows both domestically and abroad, you'd think he'd want to take some steps to perhaps improve his legacy. According to a post by USA Today's Ben Mutzabaugh, however, it appears as though he can't even make a round trip flight to London without inconveniencing thousands upon thousands of people.
President George W. Bush's recent stopover in London slowed the travel of nearly 40,000 fliers at Heathrow Airport, according to British Airways CEO Willie Walsh. Heathrow airport operator BAA confirmed today that 32 arrivals and 36 departures were canceled as a result of Bush's trips into and out of Heathrow on June 15 and 16, The Associated Press writes.

"BAA, the airlines and other business partners at Heathrow did everything in their power to minimize disruption at the airport during George Bush's presidential visit," BAA says in a statement. "Despite our best efforts some disruption did occur, for which we apologize to passengers affected." BA CEO Walsh took a dimmer view of the disruption. "The decision to allow President Bush and his fleet of aircraft to fly into Heathrow rather than a military base was one all of Heathrow's users could have done without," Walsh is quoted as saying in BA's employee news letter. "I am also angry that this was allowed," he adds.
Now I think we all understand the importance of protecting the President of the United States, but it seems like it should just be common sense to fly into a military base so that tens of thousands of people don't have to suffer as a result. One has to imagine that many business meetings were missed as a result and that many busy families were robbed of the precious few moments they can spend together on vacations. While the world will go on and these inconveniences hopefully didn't result in any devastating effects, Bush's little trip provides us with yet another glimpse of why so many people are frustrated with his presidency.

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