British Airways - Failing to grasp reality


I'm probably going to New York at Easter for the American-Scottish Foundation's Adam Smith Business Forum and reception on April 6. Who knows, I might even stay for the National Tartan Day Parade on April 10. I like to book in advance so I can get good value – I don't always fly the cheapest, but I can't see the point of paying more than I need to.

One thing's for sure. I won't be checking out British Airways. Here's why:

According to the Unite union, BA cabin crew are balloting for strike action over the Easter holidays. The previous strike action over the Christmas and New Year period was declared illegal by the courts. Steve Turner from the union Unite comments that BA have 'failed to grasp' the proposals put forward by cabin crew. Andy Cook, an industrial relations expert, states that cabin crew do not have a regular dialogue with their line managers.

Plainly, there is no use me checking out an airline that might not be flying over the busiest period of the year. I think more than one set of people has 'failed to grasp' the reality here. The reality is that aviation is a highly competitive business, particularly now when so many people have cut back on their travel plans. One clear way for people working in the business to make sure they don't have a job in a year's time is to give people like me good reason to book with the opposition. Yes, British Airways made huge strides after privatization. Sending all the cabin staff to charm school was a brainwave. But part of the deal was a generous settlement with cabin staff, who are now paid far more than most (all?) other airlines. And some of the nationalised-industry way of managing industrial relations (ie distantly and badly, with 'no regular dialogue') still pervades BA's culture. Sad to see it nosediving into a certain decline.