Virgin Atlantic Airways In Snow Dispute With Heathrow The airline is refusing to pay fees to the owners of London's airport in a dispute about snow clearance. Virgin says it is paying its customers millions of dollars in compensation for flight disruptions after snowstorms hit London last month. But the airline blames the airport for the delays, saying snow clearance was delayed or inadequate.
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Virgin Atlantic Airways In Snow Dispute With Heathrow

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Virgin Atlantic Airways In Snow Dispute With Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic Airways In Snow Dispute With Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic Airways In Snow Dispute With Heathrow

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The airline is refusing to pay fees to the owners of London's airport in a dispute about snow clearance. Virgin says it is paying its customers millions of dollars in compensation for flight disruptions after snowstorms hit London last month. But the airline blames the airport for the delays, saying snow clearance was delayed or inadequate.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

From London, Vicki Barker has more.

VICKI BARKER: Virgin Atlantic's chief financial officer, Julie Southern, says the decision to withhold payment was not taken lightly.

JULIE SOUTHERN: When the service is provided, we have no trouble paying the fees. When the service is not provided for a prolonged period of time and passengers are disrupted as a result, then we think this is an appropriate course of action.

BARKER: Aviation analyst John Strickland says part of the assessment will be whether the British climate is changing, with longer, snowier winters becoming the norm.

JOHN STRICKLAND: Heathrow has had snow equipment, but the key question will be: Will it need more if those weather conditions are going to change for the long term?

BARKER: For NPR News, I'm Vicki Barker, in London.

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