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.
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?