Giving business a bad name


bagYou need only look down any High Street or supermarket to see what an excellent job business does in providing us with a vast range of goods and services at prices we are quite prepared to pay. Just occasionally one of them gets it spectacularly wrong and abuses their position, making not only an easy target for itself, but bringing opprobrium down on the whole business community.

Step forward BAA, which runs 6 UK airports. They required liquids or gels to be shown in less than 100ml containers in the ziplock plastic bags they provided. That was bad enough, but probably provoked less grumbling than their willful and pointless confiscation of millions of nail scissors.

Now one of their bean counters has had the brilliant idea of not providing the plastic bags. They are still required, but now you have to buy them four at a time in plastic balls from a slot machine at a cost of £1. I saw it at Stansted last week, and noted that every single passenger complained. Some even abused the staff, who were shamefaced and full of apologies at the effrontery of it. It is presumably done to “save money,”but the goodwill they are losing has a cost, too, as do the slot machines and the throwaway plastic balls passengers have to buy.

This is an obvious abuse of monopoly position and utterly discredits BAA. They would be well advised to locate which of their team thought up this idea, and have them transferred to the RMT union whose members work on London Underground. There they might learn something about public relations.