Free tickets Farnborough Airshow

Vulcan with Red Arrows in V formation

Vulcan with Red Arrows in V formation

Boeing Dreamliner

Boeing Dreamliner

… we would like to invite you to apply for a pair of complimentary tickets – FIA12

For two weeks Farnborough residents suffer horrendous head-splitting noise as warplanes fly overhead.

For one week roads are sealed off, roads gridlocked. A journey of 10 to 20 minutes takes two hours.

Local residents closest to the airshow are being security checked into and out of their homes, have to provide ID. A foretaste of the London Olympics?

As a sop to local residents they are offered two free tickets per household. The area in which this is being offered is less than the last airshow two years ago (when first introduced) and the tickets are restricted on a first come first served basis (which has now been exceeded).

Local residents have to go to a web address, fill out their post code, how many tickets, in whose name, provide address, e-mail, mobile number (if nothing else a trawling exercise to gather personal information on local residents). Finally an on-line pdf invoice which presumably one prints off and takes to reclaim ones ticket.

What if you have no printer, what if, you go back later and find the pdf invoice is no longer there, has timed out?

A telephone number, 01252 532800, several options, and several tries to get through. Ticket sales say not them, try a different option.

Eventuality a singularly unhelpful female who says you should have picked up the tickets beforehand, you cannot now get in, as all tickets have gone.

You have an invoice, or had, that says you have tickets, they are even in your name.

No, says the woman, you should have picked them up before, did you not read the letter.

The eight numbered bullet points say how to apply, give telephone number if a problem, say pick tickets up from gate B. Nothing about picking up tickets in advance. The rest of the letter two pages of detailed fine print on road closures and diversions, then a third page of maps showing road closures and diversions. The on-line form said nothing about picking up tickets in advance.

Unhelpful female said some had picked up tickets in advance. Pushed for someone to deal with the problem, gave an e-mail of someone who it was claimed was handling complaints re tickets.

There is going to be a lot of very angry local residents on Saturday and Sunday who turn up expecting to get in, and find they are denied access.

The Farnborough Airshow is promoted as a fun day out for the family, kids go free.

It is not, it is an arms fair, dealers in death. In modern warfare, civilians and especially children, suffer the highest casualties.

Tickets on the public days are £41 each! Kids go free.

The public get a raw deal. Many of the stands are empty. They do not see the information on how effective at killing are the goods on display. If they are there for the flying, any local resident will tell them you get a better view from outside.

North Camp Station is offering the tickets cash only at somewhat less than £41 each.


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29 Responses to “Free tickets Farnborough Airshow”

  1. jmaquarrie2 Says:

    Glad to see we aren’t the only ones in this situation! You were right – we showed up today with a ticket, which included no details about picking up beforehand – but rather implied we could pick up tickets on the day.

    Eventually we swingled our way to the CEO’s mobile number – and even he couldn’t help “the event organizers are refusing the budge from official policy”. Now we are out of options and after a week of horrendous noise & disruption we are left angry and upset over missing an event we wont have another opportunity to see for 2 years.

    Looks like local residents have been royally screwed this time around.

  2. jmaquarrie2 Says:

    P.S. Do you have a copy of the original postal letter? we binned ours after we were told our tickets were reserved. we really need to get hold of a copy so we can officially complain

  3. keithpp Says:

    I would like to thank you, in advance, for your patience and co-operation during this period … As a gesture of thanks to the residents of North Camp for the part they play in making our Airshow a success we would like to invite you to apply for a pair of complimentary tickets to enjoy the spectacular during the public weekend. Hope to see you there. — Shaun Ormrod, chief executive, FIA2012, letter to local residents

    The problem that has occurred is entirely of FIA2012’s making.

    For two weeks the lives of local residents is made hell with the horrendous noise, for one week roads are blocked.

    Closure of local roads is a private discussion between FIA2012 and Hampshire County Council. No consultation with local residents who are the affected party..

    The only road that should be closed is the main Farnborough Road (A325) outside the airfield where local residents gather to watch the planes (and getting a better view than those who have paid £41 each to get in).

    Yesterday (Saturday) the No 1 bus went direct non-stop Farnborough to Aldershot along the main Farnborough Road, leaving passengers stranded in South Farnborough and North camp. No information was provided by the bus company on this.

    Local residents are offered complimentary tickets as a sop for the misery they have to endure, FIA2012 then renege on that offer.

    FIA2012 were warned on Thursday they had a problem, and told to sort it out. They did nothing.

    The e-mail given as a contact for complaints. No response.

    If Shaun Omrod knew there were local residents at the gate trying to get in, he could have authorised access. He should have personally gone to the gate, escorted in and offered his apologies.

    What of the personal data that has been collected on local residents who applied for tickets? We need guarantees that this has been destroyed.

    FIA2012 could have sent a letter to local residents with complimentary tickets giving access to any day, including trade days. They did this for some residents (though not trade days), why not all residents?

    FIA2012 have nothing but contempt for local residents, and this ticket fiasco is but a further example of that contempt.

    Yes, I still have a copy of the letter sent to local residents.

  4. jmaquarrie2 Says:

    Thanks for the above info. to reiterate my earlier comments, the event, at least for some residents, has been a shambles.

    I don’t know if there were any other residents trying to get in while we were there, but I highly suspect there were.

    Can you confirm on the original letter that it states we will need to pick up the tickets at least 4 days in advanced? I don’t recall reading this but of course receiving the letter 2 months in advance & then reserving our tickets online meant the letter went straight in the bin. Any further notifications we received should have explicitly mentioned the collection process. The online reservation ticket we were given strongly implied we could pick the tickets up at the event on the day.

    We were able to speak to the event CEO, however after consulting other organizers we were told that they would not break their policy to deny entrance to those that hadn’t picked up their tickets earlier in the week. This makes me think there were many others in the same situation.

  5. keithpp Says:

    The letter consists of invite, two pages of fine print on road closures, fourth page two maps. It may well be hidden in the fine print there is the relevant information (pick up tickets in advance), but unless you were interested in reading about road closures you would not find it.

    The important point is that it is not contained within the eight bullet points of how to apply for tickets, nor on-line did it say pick tickets up in advance.

    It is the norm when attending an event, if you order tickets in advance, held in your name, to collect when attending the event, not a week in advance. As for example I did when I attended a concert last night.

    There is no excuse for this behaviour by FIA2012 as they knew as early as Thursday they had a problem, and as the unhelpful person I spoke to had all the answers (basically our fault not theirs) they were already well aware they had a problem.

    She said some had picked up their tickets. In other words not all, not many.

    FIA2012 would have known they had a problem when they saw that the numbers who had picked up their tickets was less than the number who had registered on-line.

    Their policies are not set in tablets of stone handed down by God. They set the policies, they can change the policies.

    What we have seen is arrogant contempt by FIA2012 towards local residents.

    For those who could not get in, they should pay the face value of the public tickets on the gate, plus compensation for the hassle, waste of a day etc. A round figure of £100 sounds reasonable to me.

    • Joshua Quarrie (@jmaquarrie) Says:

      £100 would be ok – if it also includedn top of that the lost income of my partner who has had to take the day on unpaid leave to visit the show, £20 for fuel driving back from the airport, wasted time etc etc etc etc.

      I wish I could gauge the true extent of those residents affected – however we are such a small proportion of the total air show visitors I doubt we will never know.

      • keithpp Says:

        I would imagine a significant total of those local residents who applied for tickets were affected as no one would have had reason to read the rest of the letter. And the on-line application that had to be filled out (an excuse to trawl for info on local residents) did not say one had to go to Gate B the week before to pick up tickets.

        I suggest raise with your local councillor, but bear in mind they get as many free tickets as they want and are advised not to declare as ‘perks of the job’.

  6. Olly M Says:

    I’m a North Camp resident who received the comp ticket letter, registered on the website and followed the instructions to collect my tickets on one of the specified dates (as per the email after registration).

    On Saturday 7th July I went to the Gate B (as per the email and map) which was closed & the bridge over the dual carriageway wasn’t information was posted there where to go.

    I met a few other residents also trying to find how to get in to collect tickets..

    I eventually gave up (I asked at The Aviator Hotel who also knew nothing) as the 10am-2pm time slot had passed.

    After ringing the number on the letter and going through the various options I ended up being told that they couldn’t help me as I’d missed my slot.

    I tried going to Gate B on the 1st (trade) day of the Airshow, the staff there were vague about resident tickets and suggested I ring an enquires number who also couldn’t help and gave me another number to ring, it turned out to be Farnborough Tourist Information!

    They knew as much as I did, had had quite a few similar calls and were very fed up with the ‘organisers’..they had been advised residents could collect tickets on the gate on the day.

    I took all the paperwork with me (including printouts of the invoice I’d got after registering) to the ticket office on the 1st public day..

    I explained the sequence of events to two sympathetic ticket staff who said they’d had at least 20 residents with similar problems come to them in the last few hours..

    They also said they’d tried to contact the organisers and either got no answer or that all the residents ticket allocation had been taken, there were no more tickets, should have collected them on the specified dates etc..

    The staff said that our only way in was to buy tickets and to hope for a refund..they suggested asking for compensation on top..

    By now there were half a dozen other residents trying to collect tickets, one who had the airfield at the bottom of their garden & weren’t deemed to be eligible for comp tickets..

    Everyone who phoned was met by the same answer..all tickets have gone, should have collected in advance (apparently Gate B had a second entry on the far side of the airfield but this was not apparent from all the info we were given)..

    I couldn’t take the chance of ‘perhaps getting a refund’ so didn’t buy a ticket like most of the others…

    All in all it was very, very frustrating!

    It added to the irritation and disruption when it should have mitigated it!

    It felt like the residents were the lowest priority and there was a totally unsympathetic inflexible badly thought out policy in place.

    Sorry, long rant over…

    • Joshua Quarrie Says:

      Thanks for the extended info! looks like many people were affected…terrible.

      Do you have a copy of the email you received with details to collect your tickets in advance? I only received 1 email and it had absolutely no information on picking up tickets before hand! We also had a ‘Q jump number of 0, which obviously was never going to work!

      the only information I received is included below…

      Dear Joshua Quarrie,

      Thank you for registering to attend the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. Your registration for a Free Local Residents Pass has been accepted.

      **Important Information about pass collection – please read carefully**

      Your pass will be available to collect on site, please bring a printed copy of this email, photographic proof of ID and proof of address with you to the show. Please note that entrance to the Airshow may be declined in the absence of any one of these items.

      Automated kiosks and/or desks for collecting passes at the show are present at Entrance Gates A, B, F and I.

      Your personal “Q-Jump” number to collect your pass is: 0

      If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact the Airshow organisers using the details on the left.

      Kind regards,

      The Farnborough International Airshow 2012 Team.

      • Olly M Says:

        This is the only email I received, nothing like the one you got it seems…

        Email as below:

        Organised by

        Farnborough International Ltd
        ETPS Road
        GU14 6FD
        +44 (0) 1252 532800


        We have recieved your application for two complimentary tickets for the Farnborough international Airshow.

        Tickets are available for collection from Gate B ticket office at the times indicated on the map below. Please allow 48 hours from the receipt of this email before collecting your tickets. Remember to bring with you valid proof of address to validate your application and redeem your tickets.

        We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and patience and hope you enjoy your day at Farnborough Airshow.

        Thanks and regards,
        The FIL Team

        Gate B Ticket Office Opening Times

        Fri 29th June 3pm – 7pm
        Sat 30th June 10am – 2pm
        Sun 1st July 10am – 2pm
        Fri 6th July 3pm – 7pm
        Sat 7th July 10am – 2pm

  7. keithpp Says:

    Sadly FIA212 have shown nothing but contempt for local residents.

    As a sop to local residents for two weeks of misery, they offer complimentary tickets, then renege on that offer.

    They were well aware they had a problem with the complimentary tickets, but chose to do nothing about it.

    Those manning the telephone lines were singularly unhelpful. The e-mail contact given for ticket complaints lacks the courtesy to respond.

    The world’s arms dealers, merchants of death, have a higher priority than local residents.

  8. Joshua Quarrie Says:

    FYI I received a quick response from today – however this was only to apologies and tell me my email was being passed on to the Ops department.

  9. keithpp Says:

    Anyone who has had a problem please contact Stephanie Cockroft at the Farnborough News.

  10. keithpp Says:

    I wonder how successful a Human Rights action would be against FIA2012 the right to a quiet family life?

    I wonder how many local residents are aware that the safety regime that applies to business aviation at Farnborough Airport is relaxed during the Airshow as were it enforced it would be impossible for FIA201 to take place?

  11. keithpp Says:

    It seems odd different people received different e-mails.

    I thought I had received a confirmation e-mail, but I have trawled through and can find nothing.

    Maybe I am confusing it with the on-line invoice, which was at the end of the long application process. My computer desired to install updates and rebooted. I saved the address, but when I looked later, it was not there.

    That was why I rang FIA2012 with a query of how to get in without an invoice (they would have my details from the application), that was when I learnt there was a problem. Had I turned up with the invoice, I would have been denied access. The on-line application made no reference to turning up in advance to collect tickets.

    And why should local residents have to turn up in advance to collect their tickets?

    If FIA2012 wished local residents to have complimentary tickets, why not include with the letter? A handful of local residents did receive complimentary tickets with their letter.

    Forcing local residents to apply on line was an excuse for a data gathering exercise on local residents, with the carrot of free tickets. free tickets they did not receive.

    • Joshua Quarrie Says:

      If an online invoice was provided, I would probably closed the page as in 99.999% of all other cases, a link to that invoice would have been sent to my email address along with explicit details of how and when to pick up the tickets.

      • keithpp Says:

        I agree, one would have assumed so, but when I looked today, cannot find.

        That is why I saved the address of the invoice.

        In a way, it is lucky I was unable to access the invoice, as it meant I learnt in advance residents were not going to be allowed in. Otherwise I would have turned up, with my invoice, expecting entry.

        But it also means FIA2012 knew in advance of the weekend that they had a problem. Not only that, I told them it had to be sorted. They did nothing!

  12. keithpp Says:

    I wonder what salary Shaun Ormrod, chief executive, FIA2012, is on? Will he be collecting a massive bonus?

    Does anyone have his mobile number?

    It seems he is yet another ignorant person at FIA2012 who lacks the courtesy to reply to his e-mail.

  13. keithpp Says:

    The situation even worse than first thought.

    I learnt today of a man (not a local resident) who bought a ticket on-line. Travelled to Farnborough by train, arrived at the gate with printed documentation, including a copy of his invoice, and they refused to let him in on the grounds he did not have a ticket!

    • Joshua Quarrie Says:

      It’s a shame more affected local residents haven’t found this blog page – I would be very interested to hear of any more cases where the Air show messed up for residents

      ++more voices will add flames to the fire

  14. John Says:

    Has anyone had anything more than a holding reply stating that their email will be passed on to customer services?

  15. keithpp Says:

    Let us do a little dissection of the Shaun (no help whatsoever) Omrod letter and render into plain English …

    The letter clearly stated tickets issued on a first come first served basis …

    We had no intention of compensating residents for the nuisance we caused.

    on specific dates

    The eight bullet points on how to apply for tickets made no mention of need to pick up tickets on specific dates, in advance of when attending. Nor was there mention on the web application.

    And why should local residents be inconvenienced by going and collecting tickets in advance? This is not the norm when booking tickets for an event.

    I am sure you can appreciate the popularity of the Airshow means that we have to draw the line somewhere with our complimentary ticket allocation

    We had no intention of giving out complimentary tickets to local residents to who we cause a nuisance.

    not as clear as could have been … the process could have been more robust

    We cocked up and I have just contradicted my previous paragraph.

    The letter sent out was a standard letter, he could not even be bothered to address the points raised by individual residents.

    In essence Shaun Omrod does not give a toss about local residents and FIA2012 continues to stick two fingers up to the local community.

    Questions for Shaun Omrod:

    How many households were invited to apply for tickets?

    An invitation which there was no intention to honour.

    Why was the number of households less than the previous Airshow (for which there was not a restriction on numbers)?

    How many households applied?

    How many tickets were issued?

    Rushmoor chief executive Andrew Lloyd is none too happy that FIA2012 has a reneged on a agreement with Rushmoor to compensate affected local residents.

  16. keithpp Says:

    Two years on, and lessons have still not been learnt.

    Local residents every two years have two weeks of hell, local businesses suffer, and yet, instead of offering compensation, Farnborough International Airshow is now insulting local residents by offering them buy one get one half price on ticket sales.

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