BA Is Shite

BA Is Shite


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

Friday, 16 November 2007


British Airways (BA) may be facing a bill for millions of euros after paying compensation to travellers affected by planned industrial action.
Dutch firm EUClaim has said it plans to take BA to court in the Netherlands in order to win compensation for "all passengers" affected by the problems.

BA said it was surprised by the move, as there was a confidentiality clause and it had not admitted liability.

The case stems from a planned walkout by BA cabin crew in January.

BA declined to comment on a report in the Times newspaper that it had paid the travellers £430 each for cancelling their flights.

Source BBC

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

BA's Ghost Planes

Having upped fuel surcharges, BA is also flying empty planes across the Atlantic.

The airline industry is truly a law unto itself!

Source Telegraph:

British Airways is shuttling dozens of empty planes across the Atlantic because it has a shortage of cabin crew, it has emerged.

The "phantom" services have been flying between Britain and Canada and the US over the past two weeks in order to retain valuable slots at London's airports.

Several BA passenger flights took off without a single passenger, using up thousands of tonnes of jet fuel.

advertisementThe news emerged as the airline passed on the soaring cost of oil to customers by increasing its fuel surcharge on all flights.

Environmentalists accused the airline of "hypocrisy", saying the strategy underlined the aviation sector's indifference to the fight against global warming.

On Nov 4, BA flight 179 crossed the Atlantic to New York completely empty.

Another passengerless jet, BA flight 176, later flew back from the US to Heathrow airport.

According to ITV News, two further empty planes left Heathrow at the weekend - flights 093 to Toronto and 279 to Los Angeles.

At least two other empty flights - including one from Gatwick to Houston, Texas - have departed in recent days, it was reported.

A spokesman for British Airways admitted the airline had been having problems rostering cabin crew.

"We are trying to minimise disruption to customers," he added.

BA operates the empty services to avoid losing its take-off and landing slots under "use it or lose it" rules at the London airports.

Some of the aircraft are thought to be Boeing 747s, which when full carry between 500 and 600 passengers. Every return flight from London to New York generates about 1.3 tonnes of CO2.

A spokesman from Greenpeace said: "It's pretty outrageous that BA are flying these empty flights half way across the world whilst saying they’re trying to cut down on CO2 emissions.

"They should be setting a leading example. Thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide are being leaked out needlessly just so they can keep their slots

Meanwhile, BA announced fuel surcharges would go up from £8 to £10 on short-haul flights, while passengers on flights of up to nine hours face a £48 fuel charge – a £10 increase.

BA raised the fuel surcharge on longer flights by £15, adding £58 to the price of a ticket.

Last night the airline said it had no alternative but to increase the cost of air travel, with some speculators prepared to bet on crude oil prices doubling by December next year.

Earlier this year it emerged that BMI, which operates as a British Airways franchise - was also running "ghost planes", between Cardiff and Heathrow.

BMI announced in March that it would scrap the six-times-a-week shuttle when it switched to a new timetable.

The flights were run by British Mediterranean Airways (BMed), a struggling carrier that operates as a British Airways franchise and runs services under the BA brand to destinations including Beirut and Teheran. It was taken over this year by BMI.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Baggage Absent

The new phrase to describe lost baggage is, according to The Times, "Baggage Absent":

World-weary travellers who have lost their shirts, trousers and shoes thanks to the carelessness of British Airways' baggage handlers could be about to get their revenge.

The latest figures on lost and delayed luggage show that BA, or Baggage Absent as it is rapidly becoming known, mislaid a staggering 358,476 bags over the past three months – 30 pieces of luggage for every 1,000 travellers, or 10 bags per jumbo jet that don't get on board or get misrouted. That's a lot of holidays ruined or business meetings missed. But a bright spark has pointed out to us that travellers have the power to get their own back.

According to figures available on the Civil Aviation Authority website (almost impossible to find on BA's), the maximum compensation for seriously delayed baggage is £764 per passenger, as set by the Montreal Convention. Now that may not seem such a huge amount, given the amount of designer gear you can squeeze into a Samsonite, but multiply it by the number of times BA is exposing itself to this sort of claim and the figure for possible compensation is eye-popping: close to £280m for the quarter, or £511m for the past six months. Which, spookily enough, is not far off BA's £593m pre-tax profits for the same period.

As a spokesman for BA spluttered:

"I think we would have heard about it if it was costing us as much as that. It would have wiped out our annual profits in just one quarter."

Well, exactly. But if your passengers are all losing their shirts, why shouldn't you lose yours?

Source The Times

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

BA Among Worst In Europe

British Airways performed worse than any other major European airline, with more than two in five flights running late, according to figures released yesterday.

Not only did BA's punctuality figures leave it languishing alongside the Portuguese and Greek carriers, it was also among the worst airlines for losing baggage over the summer.

The latest performance league table, covering July to September, was released by the Association of European Airlines.

It was published within days of BA announcing that it had notched up a 25 per cent increase in profits for the first six months of the year.

This summer, while difficult, was the first in several years when Heathrow avoided major disruption at the height of the holiday season.

But the performance figures for this year were even worse than those for 2006, when British airports went into meltdown after the thwarting of an alleged plot to down transatlantic flights.

Only 58.8 per cent of short haul flights arrived at their destination less than 15 minutes late - nearly six per cent fewer than the same period last year.

The long-haul performance was even worse, with 45 per cent of flights reaching the terminal more than quarter of an hour after they should have done.

This figure again, was marginally worse than the previous year.

A startling number of BA flights also departed late - nearly 40 per cent in the case of short haul services and 41.3 per cent for long distance trips.

Again, this was worse than July to September last year and BA was also amongst the worst when it came to cancelling services outright.

With a cancellation rate of 1.5 per cent, only a handful of carriers - including Alitalia and Croatia Airlines - dropped more flights.

BA also was amongst the worst performers when it came to lost luggage with the airline mislaying 30 bags for every 1,000 passengers it carried.

This is the equivalent of around 10 bags on a full jumbo jet.

The only crumb of comfort for BA was that the Portuguese airline, TAP, was even worse when it came to losing luggage, mislaying 35.1 bags per 1,000 passengers.

While in many cases the lost luggage was reunited with passengers several days later, this was not always the case.

Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph disclosed that lost bags were being sold at auction.

"BA said they were putting measures in place to deal with the problem, but things do not seem to have got any better over the past six months," a spokesman for the Air Transport Users Council said yesterday.

Last night a spokesman for the airline said performance would improve when Heathrow Terminal 5 opens next March.

"These statistics have to be put into context. We operate out of one of the most congested airports in the world and the UK is the only country in Europe with restrictive hand baggage rules which put more pressure on hold baggage carried," he said.

"A security alert which closed T4 airside and landside, followed by extreme weather (floods and thunderstorms) in July, led to the cancellation of some 600 flights and a build up of baggage.

''Through this period we were also dealing with record levels of hold bags and transfer bags - at least 15 per cent up - because of the one bag hand baggage rule

The spokesman added: "We are working hard to improve our performance and September's figures were a lot better than July and August."

Source Daily Telegraph

A 25% increase in profits coupled with joining the ranks of Europe's worst airlines, well done lads!