Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Well now, there’s a surprise.

As British Airways (BA) or as I prefer to call them Bloody Awful, proudly proclaim that the Unite strike over pay, conditions and job cuts will only affect around 60% of customers in the internal UK market, it has emerged that 90% of BA’s Scots flights will be hit.

According to the Herald: The carrier insisted that from Saturday through to next Monday the majority of its flights remained in its schedule but travellers to and from Scotland looked set to bear the brunt of the inconvenience.

Who would have thought it?

Just 2 of the 46 scheduled flights between the two capitals will go ahead this weekend. Only 1 out of 36 between Glasgow and London, and 7 of 26 between Aberdeen and Heathrow will operate. So to brag, as Mr Walsh does, that the majority of his flights will be running is a little disingenuous, especially when his company is called British Airways. Perhaps he should reconsider its name. English Airways has a ring to it, don’t you think?

Willie Walsh, the charmless chief executive, and all round bad egg, has apologised, being careful to do what all people trained in communications always do (I think they may forget that, by now about ¾ of the population has had this training and so see through it). He stressed that he is “deeply sorry that our customers are the innocent victims of this cynical attack on their travel plans by the leaders of Unite”. So does that mean that he is not sorry for the fact that anyone unfortunate enough to have to, or stupid enough to choose to, fly with BA has been inconvenienced by the management part of the complete failure that is British Airways.

I’m coming down on neither side. I’ve flown British Airways and they are, without a shadow of doubt, at least at tourist class, the worst airline I have ever flown. I have no idea what their service is like at Business Class, or First Class, although, in fairness, I have heard that it is much better, but at Tourist Class it is worse than the local bus service in Dundee, and that’s bloody awful.

Compared with other European companies, including such companies as Tarom (Romania) it is just plain (no pun intended) bad. Compared with Emirates or Singapore Airlines, it is in a whole different world. It’s a, of course, a typical British attitude that the First Class/Business Class people should be very comfortable and the cattle class can be treated like.... well, like cattle.

I’ve used them on Flights between Edinburgh and Paris and I can assure you that the service was awful, the staff rude and unpleasant and the food was inedible (a dry cheese sandwich and lemon cake, no choice! and a plastic beaker of washing up water masquerading as coffee).

Strikes are usually rough on everyone. The staff probably have some points and it’s even possibly that Walsh has some. The only light note in this one is watching Brown and Adonis (was there ever a more inappropriate name?) squirm as they chose between their business friendly personae with Walsh and the fact that Unite is their biggest donor... all a few weeks before an election!

My main gripe here is the fact that, once again Willie (as appropriate a name as Adonis is inappropriate) Walsh seems to have ignored Scotland in his calculations.

As I say, what a surprise!

Pictured: Images of BA (not like I've ever seen them), Emirates, my favoured airline, and Tarom, which is surprisingly good (and has lovely meals)!


  1. Once again for British read English.

    How come good airlines like Swiss Air have gone to the wall while trash like BA have not?

  2. They probably will go to the wall Munguin. It won't matter really. They are not the UK carrier, they were sold off. They are a private company and not a very good one at that.

    They deserve to go to the wall. Other companies will take up the slack....

    I have a friend who travels first class to America on a regular basis, and choses Virgin Atlantic. I guess even BA's First Class service can be bettered.

  3. I have been waiting for the implosion of BA and put the Hex on them some years ago. I had already done so on Sabena and Sterling Airlines so I do have form here.

    The cabin crew are arrogant and full of their own importance whilst the management are incompetent and desperate to cling to near the near monopoly of routes they were handed upon privatisation. They have served Scotland disgracefully and during the period when I was running up 100,000+ airmiles per annum I gave them nowt. I used KLM out of Edinburgh and Amsterdam as my international hub.

    Let the bastards go down, it was they, all of them from top to bottom, deserve.

    After that, let us get stuck into that other disserving monopoly, BAA. They need a fresh Hex from me.

    I live in continental Europe and still fly 3 or 4 longhaul flights per year. I could fly BA to London and then longhaul with them, at a price, I guarantee less than the equivalent out of Glasgow or Edinburgh, but my experience of BA and BAA makes that impossible unless I had absolutely no option. Gatwick and Heathrow are zoos with a contempt for the human cattle they process bordering on animal cruelty.

    In fact BA have now given up the route from my local airport to London and surrendered to Easyjet, Ryanair and now Jet2com in summer.

    It appears that it is not just me who is voting against them with their feet and bahookies.

    Hell mend them.

  4. Excellent post Bugger.

    I agree that BAA are horrific too. Heathrow is how I imagine Hell to be. I mean CDG is hardly a nice place to be, but compared with Heathrow it is a joy.

    If BA go broke, which is what they deserve, the slack will be taken up by other companies. The planes will be sold on and the best staff will be re-employed...

    Hex away matey..... let's have an end to the wretched thing.

  5. Now here's a thought Tris, not mine but one of my readers.

    Could this strike be a big dummy for Gordon? Scenerio, Charlie Whelan (Gordon's bestest mate) kicks off the Unite business and pushes it to strike level.

    Gordon steps in at the last minute and saves BA.

    Just a thought.

  6. Ah Subrosa........ More than a possibility. It's a sneaky nasty dirty trick. The possibility of the action has made thousands of people worry about their trips, including one honeymoon I noticed being covered on the news...

    But then, as you say St Gordon of Nowhere appears and solves the problem that has been bugging the company and the union for years... and hey presto, the tube looks like there is at least one thing he can do without it turning to dust in his hands.... Fiendishly cunning.... well fiendish anyway.

    And in return Gordon fixes it for that bloke (I expect he's a bloke) who is married to Mr Hardperson.

    Everyone is happy.... well, OK, happy is probably the wrong word.

    I wonder if it was Meddlesome or Camp Belle who came up with that one....

    Mind you, knowing old Gordo, something will go horribly wrong.....