This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Heathrow’s third runway primarily benefits wealthy travelers headed out on holiday, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), an independent corporation that regulates aviation.
Aviation tax reform campaign group Fellow Travellers analyzed two decades of CAA passenger data to discover that wealthy international leisure tourists were the primary source of pressure behind Heathrow’s recent expansion. The report directly contradicts the government’s statement that a third Heathrow runway would boost the UK economy.
The findings went live just before Members of Parliament are to vote on Monday, June 25, on whether or not to formally approve Heathrow’s runway expansion plan. The British government finally gave preliminary approval for the new runway in June, after years of stalling, with transport secretary Chris Grayling stating that the move signaled commitment to “boosting our economy for future generations.”
Yet the Fellow Travellers report, titled “Runway for the Few,” claims the data shows that “the relative importance of business travel has been dramatically overstated in the discourse around airport expansion.”
“The claimed economic benefits of airport expansion do not factor in the negative effects of outbound tourism,” the report begins. “In 2016, the UK’s tourism deficit was almost equal to the total direct contribution aviation makes to the UK economy, and policies aimed at increasing total air traffic are highly likely to lead to the sector becoming a net financial drain on the UK.”
The report went on to state that UK-originating business travel has decreased by one-third across all major London airports, while 30% of vacationers who earned more than $300,000 took at least 12 flights in 2016, and wealthy British travelers who owned overseas property flew nearly twice as much as those without second homes overseas, according to Fellow Travellers.
“When you factor in the climate change costs of Heathrow expansion — as the government have not deliberately not done — this project looks like an absolutely disastrous investment,” said Leo Murray, author of the Runway for the Few report.
Featured photo by BrasilNut1 / Getty Images
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees