T5 compensation will cost BAA millions

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The Independent Online

Two months after Heathrow Terminal 5's disastrous opening, its operator, BAA, is set to compensate angry retailers and caterers at the airport, with the bill totalling millions of pounds.

Companies running shops and restaurants at the new terminal remain in discussions with BAA over a compensation deal following British Airways' decision to delay transferring its long-haul flights to T5 until June.

More than 50 retailers and 20 food outlets are thought to be seeking redress because of the hold-up, which will mean only 40,000 passengers going through the terminal each day, rather than the 70,000 promised.

Rupert Clevely, the chief executive of Geronimo Inns, which operates a pub in T5, said he expected a resolution soon. "To be fair to BAA, they have been very good – this hasn't been of their own making. We expect all this to be sorted out within the next couple of weeks."

A spokesman for BAA declined to comment on whether the operator would push to reclaim costs from British Airways.

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