Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

White Waltham

Old 27th Jun 2009, 17:18
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: THE PEANUT BAR
Posts: 137
White Waltham

Keep it short but it would appear pilots only welcome if arriving by air............... by car, as I was today, in the area with my son we were refused entry but welcome by air!! (not being a member of the club) Have been flying in for lunch/breakfast on average 3 times per month for the past few years. Firsy flew in 19 years ago....

Question: I could have been potentialy 40,000 + worth of punter who would now be looking elsewhere...................... Which is exactely what I did 20 years ago after being ignored by reception staff at another ( long gone) club............. Do we ever learn?

As an aside I was intending to eat lunch there and I believe the restaurant is not part of the club and so revenue lost for a third party.
KERDUNKER is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2009, 19:12
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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I can understand your frustration; indeed the WLAC website West London Aero Club - Bar and Catering states:

The bar offers a warm welcome to all members and visitors. Breakfast is served from 8am until noon and is worth flying in for. In good weather we can offer the delight of eating alfresco on the lawn in the front of the clubhouse, stay long enough and you will experience one of the most beautiful sunsets in the country.
To me, this is somewhat ambiguous - 'visitors' does seem to imply that anyone 'visiting' is welcome whether arriving by land, sea or sky. OK, perhaps forget sea.

A polite note to WLAC requesting clarification would seem appropriate. Mention that you were rather disappointed to have been refused admission, particularly since you have been a regular flying visitor for quite some time.

Equally, one can well imagine that uncontrolled numbers of visitors would seriously annoy Club members and that, of course, should be respected.

I once planned to fly to WW to meet a friend for lunch (she of Pink Headset fame!) who was driving from London. The weather was horrible, so I drove instead. When I arrived, I signed in and went straight to the bar manager and said "I was intending to fly in to meet a friend who's coming here for lunch, but I've had to drive due to the weather - will it still be OK for us to have lunch?". No problem. And the fish and chips were great!!

But WLAC could usefully clarify the club house admission rules on their website, I do agree.

I've been going to WLAC for nearly 40 years - I plan to go there on the 40th anniversary of my first ever visit as a ULAS student later this year. It's always been a wonderful place!
BEagle is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2009, 19:33
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
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Got to agree the visitor policy is bizzare. Anything that gets cash behind the bar can only be good given how often the caterers bail out. I understand the policy started when certain members could not get a seat because of 'outsiders' If the club members didn't drape their coats and bags over every spare chair then stand at the bar all day the issue may be different.

You could always say you are thinking of learning to fly and want some information. That should get you past the gatekeepers. You could also join as a social member, or say you are on your way to pay your landing fee- that will throw them.

I must say they have become much more customer focussed recently having got rid of several of their sales prevention tools. (Quote often heard: "You can only fly here if you are good enough....")
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Old 27th Jun 2009, 23:12
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Join Date: Jan 2000
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Posts: 137
Thanks for making me feel better.............. I do think that it is one of the best places (airfields) to be by a long chalk.... was gobsmacked....... calm now........... but I must say that I fly all over the world and spend down time seeking out and visiting local flying clubs and have never been turned away............. How much money has been inadvertantly lost to another club or to aviation, period with this policy......... compare this attitude with:


Shoreham
Popham
Sandown
Bembridge
Compton Abbas
Headcorn etc etc

Visitors should be encouraged, after all if not potential customers they could become the next protester against what is deemed to be an elitist pursuit.
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Old 28th Jun 2009, 08:06
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Reading UK
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It was the Summer Ball at White Waltham yesterday and I know that they were snowed under getting ready for that. That could have been the reason that you were refused entry.

I will bring this thread to the attention of the airfield management today and seek some clarification.
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Old 28th Jun 2009, 12:43
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sth Bucks UK
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A business that thinks it's OK to turn people away in this economic climate?
Unbelievable!
There's no such thing as a business with too much work, only ones that are poorly organised can't cope.
stickandrudderman is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 13:37
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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As a member of WLAC I would be embarrassed if a visitor was turned away without good reason and I would hope that an appropriate level of hospitality was extended.

WLAC is not like your average flying club though. To compare with Kerdunker's example of Shoreham, which I also use regularly, WLAC is closer to a traditional private members' club. At somewhere like Shoreham, despite having very good facilities and being very accessible to visitors, there is virtually no spirit or community feel. Club members barely know each other and have little more in common than just paying bills at the same tills.

WLAC does provide have a strong sense of commumnity, camaraderie etc. People get to know each other and socialise together. Sometimes it even reminds me a little of my time on RAF squadrons or in an Officers' Mess. Shoreham just does not compare.

These benefits of membership come at a fairly considerable price but one which overall I consider to be worthwhile. As a paying member I would be somewhat put out if I could not make full use of the facilities because the club was swamped by non-paying visitors. I am sure that the bar and lawn would become an absolute free-for-all if access was unrestricted.

I am sure this was not the case when you visited and I would hope that as many guests as possible could be welcomed in but a line would have to be drawn somewhere.
Torque Tonight is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 13:41
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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No problems for me

I've recently joined - I visited at during a weekday a couple of times beforehand and found it very friendly. Not been there during a busy day yet though.
rusty sparrow is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 15:06
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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What's the problem. It is a members only club. If you fly in you pay landing fees & therefore you are welcome to use all the facilities. Why not pay to become a social member if you pop in there by car. The rules there are different but the airfield is different & is a fantastic place to relax & enjoy.
percy prentice is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 20:10
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A little less conversation,
a little more aviation...
 
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Originally Posted by percy prentice View Post
What's the problem. It is a members only club. If you fly in you pay landing fees & therefore you are welcome to use all the facilities. Why not pay to become a social member if you pop in there by car. The rules there are different but the airfield is different & is a fantastic place to relax & enjoy.
Absolutely - and I understand there have been a number of cases recently of random members of the general public turning up and generally treating the place like a public picnic park, which has led to a slightly more structured approach to checking membership.

Of course, Bentley the club Collie was originally hired to check that everyone was adhering to the membership policy, but the fatal mistake was allowing him to write his own job description - as I've remarked elsewhere, the result was 17 pages of closely typed A4 text (difficult if you've got paws) which repeated the words

"Throw the ball.....throw the ball...throw the ball..."

...and, 17 pages later....

"...just throw the bleeeeeedin' ball, will you?"
eharding is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 20:20
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Join Date: May 1999
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....and I understand there have been a number of cases recently of random members of the general public turning up and generally treating the place like a public picnic park....
Wretched oiks! Don't they know their place? I hope that their ignorant behaviour won't cause any unnecessary restrictions on others.
BEagle is offline  
Old 28th Jun 2009, 20:42
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A little less conversation,
a little more aviation...
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bracknell, UK
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Wretched oiks! Don't they know their place? I hope that their ignorant behaviour won't cause any unnecessary restrictions on others.
It's OK Beags, there's no chance you'll be mistaken for a random oik - your photo has been circulated to Bentley and the new Deputy Security Collie - she's the one you need to worry about....
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Old 29th Jun 2009, 00:30
  #13 (permalink)  
 
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new Deputy Security Collie - she
Bryn would like a full description, photo and introduction as soon as possible please
He's still having difficulty posting here but can log in without any problem.
I have driven in twice now (a much safer option than having me try to land there) and been made very welcome. I was, however, meeting friends who are members there.
DX Wombat is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2009, 13:42
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Ummmm. Once a long time ago when I was flying almost incessantly at WW, one Maurice Looker gave me free membership to the club in perpetuity. Wonder if that still stands?
PPRuNe Pop is offline  
Old 29th Jun 2009, 14:55
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Some interesting points raised by this thread.

Certainly, if you have paid to join a club then you expect the benefits of a private club.

But aviation is very good at scoring own goals and excluding the public will not help when fighting Nimbys or when trying to increase club membership/aviation enthusiasm.

Is there nowhere that a public viewing enclosure could be created? GA should be encouraging public interest.
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Old 29th Jun 2009, 18:18
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Public viewing enclosure - I though that was what the car park was for??
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Old 30th Jun 2009, 07:06
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"Throw the ball.....throw the ball...throw the ball..."

...and, 17 pages later....

"...just throw the bleeeeeedin' ball, will you?"
Oi Harding, you got a problem with that?
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Old 30th Jun 2009, 08:41
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KERDUNKER:

You could always have offered to pay the usual landing fee and then you might have been more welcome.
JW411 is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2009, 11:24
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Oi Harding, you got a problem with that?
He probably wanted that as his own job description but he'll no doubt forgive you if you buy him a curry*.
*At least once a week for the foreseeable future
DX Wombat is offline  
Old 30th Jun 2009, 13:34
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Reading
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My experience of WW mirrors that of KERDUNKER.

I popped in about a month ago to view the notice board & grab a cold drink & was told that I couldn't.

Never been back since & never will. There may well be some interesting shares available but who's going to find out about them? Not me!
Martin @ EGLK is offline  

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