BA Is Shite

BA Is Shite


The latest news and views on British Airways, the world's "favourite" airline.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The BA Strike, Unite, Willie Walsh et al

My return flight from Beijing yesterday gave rise to an interesting discussion with a member of BA staff, and indeed a number of observations about the "quality" of BA.

Seemingly, if the member of staff is to be believed, the much vaunted vote for strike action (due to start on 21 December and last during Christmas) was based on "misinformation" being disseminated by the BA union (Unite) to the staff; the staff member used the word "conned".

I am told that the staff were given to believe that the strike action would be a series of one/two day strikes, over a period of time, not a 12 day strike over Christmas.

Why would this be a problem?

Aside from the obvious issues of further destroying the BA brand, the other key problem would be the fact that BA staff themselves would find their Christmas flight plans "inconvenienced".

Ironically, despite the fact that staff tell me that Walsh is not respected (and by some staff loathed), the injunction stopping the strike has been in the best interests of the staff (who want to travel during Christmas).

Regarding my own experiences of the Beijing/Heathrow flight yesterday; here are a few observations:

1 It took off one hour late.

2 The pre meal canapes were foul, I spat one out into my napkin it was so bad.

3 The inflight sky phone did not work in my seat.

4 One of the back panels of another chair fell off during the flight.

5 The inflight TV (not movies) shows were the same as those shown on the outward journey to Beijing on Sunday.

6 The touch screen TV was filthy, and needed to be pressed very hard to actually function.

7 It took an interminable length of time for bags to appear on BA's "ultra efficient" baggage belt in Heathrow terminal 5.

8 There were no baggage carts, in view, at terminal 5 baggage reclaim.

From my biased perspective as a "passenger" (or as BA would have us believe "customer") the brand is tired, and the equipment/facilities in need of a serious overhaul/upgrade.

As a "national flag" carrier it is not something to be proud of.


  1. The web title suggests your mind is made up.

    I fly regularly using BA. About a 6 hour flight. The flight has almost always been on time - any delays are usually the hold over Heathrow. The staff have been good. Meals (in economy) have been ok - nothing to write home about, but they fill a gap. The aircraft doesn't seem to be falling apart. The movies have always been different on the way out compared to the way in. Terminal 5 is outstanding compared to the rest of Heathrow and many other airports I've been through.

    All in all, I'm deeply fed up with the ludicrous strike, but I like flying with BA.

  2. Most air travel is something that's endured rather than enjoyed IMHO, whatever airline you fly with, but I agree that BA is one of the worst for efficiency and don't-give-a-toss attitude. We avoid them now.

  3. I'd hesitate to blame BA themselves for a 1-hour take-off delay. Given the weather issues on this side of the planet there's every possibility the plane you got on was an hour late arriving.

    My experience of BA is limited, in fairness. One flight from Tokyo to Heathrow in April and one from Heathrow to Glasgow a few weeks back. I can't complain about either. On time, great staff, good food, clean planes and the cheapest price available on both routes.

    On my experience I'd not hesitate to recommend them.

    Better than that globespan company I flew to Tenerife with last week...