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We’ll take more care of you?

Some of you may remember that when British Airways was formed in the early 1970s out of the old BOAC and BEA their advertising jingle ran: “We’ll take more care of you/Fly the flag”.

As far as Dave and I are concerned, that slogan hasn’t held good for a long time. We’re not terribly impressed by BA’s attempts to pose as the national flag carrier – they’ve been out of state ownership for several years now and, to us, are just one airline out of many.

Not a very good one, either. We’ve had numerous bad experiences with BA cabin crew, many of whom seem to have been on courses to hone their rudeness to new heights. And they’re expensive for what they provide. We’d go so far as to say that if there’s any reasonable alternative to BA (and there usually is) we’ll take it.

And now, it seems, they’re not even able to take care of their own staff, let alone their passengers. The management have just written to more than 30,000 workers in the UK, asking them to voluntarily take between a week and a month off work unpaid – or to simply forgo that amount of salary and carry on working.

BBC News: BA asks staff to work for nothing

Although BA say that hundreds have already responded positively to the request, unions have retorted that improving management would be of more help in easing the airline’s financial troubles.  (BA made a record annual loss of £401m in the year ending 31 March 2009.)

Their boss, Willie Walsh, has apparently already announced he’s going to work for no salary in July. That’s big of him. Considering that his annual salary is over £700,000, do you think he’s really going to miss £61,000 that much?

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

3 Comments

Graeme 18-06-2009, 18:56

It’s interesting how the large conglomerate airlines have problems, yet the smaller airlines like my local Westjet are doing well even with the current financial climate. I think a lot has to do with being top heavy and the staff not being ‘invested’ in the company. If it’s just a place to work, rather than a place where I can contribute and generate earnings for my own stock holdings (employee owned companies seem to do well) then the staff have better attitudes, people like the service and use them, the company them makes money. BA needs to re-organise and cut out some of the upper management deadwood.
Just my opinion.
Graeme

caroline 26-07-2009, 20:26

Well from an insider’s point of view….. Lots of the problems are the CC on the old contracts who earn more than a pilot. The CSDs and Pursers who think they are God and blame everything on pilots and who demand room upgrades in hotels cos a “pilot gets a nice room”. Well excuse me but it’s their signature on the paper if it goes tits up, it’s them who have to get min rest and fly into discreation. It’s them who will always get the stick for society’s problems as the population (fed by newspapers) believe they earn 6-figure salaries and live in Gin and Jagshire.

We said that flight ops should take over control of CC but they refused as they did not want to be at loggerheads with the old guard. That is how much fear the CC management put into flight ops – everyone is scared of them, even WW. He backed down when they threatened strike action and gave them all free tickets, but told pilots he would take them to court. Methinks something is wrong!!

Dave 02-08-2009, 20:31

And I now understand that they’ve just announced a record quarterly loss as well, even after the financial strife they suffered just a few years ago. Shame really, I really used to quite like BA.

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