BA Is Shite

BA Is Shite


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

Monday, 31 December 2007

BAA Strike

BAA is making one final attempt to reason with the dinosaurs in UNITE (the union that is pressing ahead with plans to shut down Britain's major airports on the 7th of January).

However, BA still refuse to acknowledge the possibility of any such strike on its website.


Update on the BAA strike sourced from AHN

The British Airports Authority is scrambling to avert strikes at some of Britain's busiest airports and is set to hold talks with airport unions on Monday.

Discussions with the Unite and the Public and Commercial Services unions will be held at an undisclosed venue, in a bid to convince the workers to call off the strikes set for seven days in January.

The mass action will kick off on Jan. 7.

The protest action against proposed changes in the salary pension scheme of new workers is seen adversely affecting operations of BAA's seven U.K. airports, including Edinburgh, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Notably, even firefighters and security staff will join the strike which is also slated on Jan. 8, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19. The airports cannot operate without these personnel. Aberdeen, Glasgow, Southampton and Stansted airports will also join the protests.

If it pushes through, some 1.3 million passengers will be affected, BAA said.

The parties tried but failed to reach a compromise last week.

The unions insisted on the reversal of the pension scheme amendments but BAA refused to give in. Ferrovial, the Spanish owner of BAA, wants to close the company's final-salary pension scheme to new entrants.

Brendan Gold, Unite national aviation officer, said the workers delayed the strike until after the Christmas holiday but are determined to push through with the actions if BAA fails to give in to their demands.

The first day of strike, Jan. 7, will also see a new baggage rule taking effect.

Passengers may carry two pieces of carry-on baggage provided they are at an airport with a new type of three-dimensional scanner.

With workers on strike, confusion is expected to mar airport operations.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

BAA Strike Update

The dinosaurs in UNITE are still determined to have their strike, if the report in the Guardian is anything to go by (see below).

The odd thing is, BA still seems to be in a state of denial about this strike. Go to their website and look at the news page.

There is no mention of the strike there.

Do they not know about the strike?

Gaurdian Article

BAA has asked trade unions to resurrect discussions in the hope of averting proposed strikes that would ground more than 1.3 million airline passengers next month.

It is understood that Britain's largest airport operator hopes to resume talks on New Year's Eve after negotiations broke up without agreement on Thursday. However, BAA is thought to be refusing to meet the key trade union demand of reopening its final salary pension scheme to new entrants. Instead, the group is willing to offer guarantees over the pension rights of current employees, which the Unite and PCS unions believe are under threat.

Four days of strikes are due to take place on January 7, January 14, January 17 and January 18, affecting the travel plans of at least 1.3 million airline customers.

Unite represents 5,800 BAA employees including airport fire service and security staff. Airplanes are prohibited from using airports that have no functioning fire service. As a consequence BAA's seven UK airports, including Stansted and Gatwick, would be shut down during the strikes.

A BAA spokesman said:

"We will continue to do all we can to resolve the dispute. We want to engage in further discussions with Unite."

A Unite spokesman said the union wanted further talks, but reopening the pension scheme to newcomers remained the "main issue of concern", still leaving both sides at loggerheads.


On BA all customers are treated as equal, except some are more equal than others if this report in the Daily Mail is anything to go by:

British Airways was accused last night of giving preferential treatment to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay after allowing his son to fly with him on a New Year family holiday to Thailand on an invalid passport.

A businessman, whose passport also breached international aviation rules, was barred from the same flight.

As the multi-millionaire star of TV shows Kitchen Nightmares And The F Word checked in at Heathrow with his wife Tana and their four children on Thursday night, staff noticed his eight-year-old son Jack's passport was 18 days over the six-month expiry date rule for international travel.

They told Ramsay that the boy could be denied entry by Thai immigration officials when the family landed at Bangkok.

But Ramsay, who had booked six £6,000 first-class returns, said he would risk it and boarded the flight with Tana, Jack and the boy's sisters Megan, Holly and Matilda.

However, the furious business executive, whose passport was also due to expire in less than six months, was not allowed to board.

Asking not to be named, he said last night:

"There's one rule for Gordon Ramsay and another for everyone else."

The passenger, from West London, had been visiting his wife's relatives in America and the couple were planning to spend New Year in Thailand.

He eventually cleared his passport with Thai authorities and flew out on Friday night on another BA flight.

He said:

"Technically, they were right, but it seemed harsh, as I had been cleared to fly from Boston into London.

I heard BA staff saying Gordon Ramsay's son had just got on the plane and his passport had less than six months before it expired – which put him in the same position as me.

I took the matter up with the customer services manager.

He said he had been on the plane to check the passport of Gordon Ramsay's son and that, in fact, it was in order.

I can't believe he lied to me. I will be writing a letter of complaint to BA

British Airways said:

"Because Jack was part of a family of six about to go on holiday, the decision was taken to allow him to travel.

The risk that he would be denied entry to Thailand was fully explained to his parents, who said they would accept the risk.

This was a very difficult decision and we accept that another customer, who was denied boarding on the same flight, might regard it as unfair.

However, we remind customers that it is their responsibility to ensure they have the correct passport and visas before travelling

A spokesman for Ramsay refused to comment.

Friday, 28 December 2007

BA Accused Over Price Fixing

British Airways has been accused of colluding in setting prices of fuel surcharges and other levies in the provision of air freight services.

BA confirmed it received a letter of complaint from European Union regulators, alleging that it was part of a suspected air freight cartel.

The complaints were also sent to Germany's Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Scandinavia's SAS.

The airlines have the right to respond, but if found guilty, they face fines.

The European Commission that it had sent official letters, known as statements of objection, to a number of air freight firms, concerning "violation of EU rules on restrictive business practices".

Officials did not name the specific airlines involved, but BA, Air France-KLM and SAS confirmed they had each received the European Commission letter.

It follows a lengthy investigation on both sides of the Atlantic dating back to early 2006 to discover whether airlines broke competition law by operating a cartel in the air cargo sector.

But EU officials stressed that the statement of objection did not reflect the final outcome of the investigation.

The airlines have all committed to co-operate fully with the authorities.

Source BBC

Monday, 24 December 2007

The BAA Strike

Why is BA still continuing to sell tickets to customers for flights on the 7th of January, without warning their customers that there will be a BAA strike that will close down all BAA airports on the UK on that day?

BA claim that this is because "these strikes usually never happen".

However, insiders from BAA have told the media that they will let the strike go ahead and have no intention of acquiescing to UNITE's (the union behind the ludicrous strike threat) demands.

Therefore why are BA continuing to sell tickets for UK flights on that day, without warning their customers of this strike?