Open Jaw: Readers' views on the BA dispute
Saturday 10 July 2010
BA makes lots of money from staff travel as it fills seats that would otherwise go empty. Staff are on standby until the check-in desks close and are allocated seats if any remain empty. They pay 10 per cent of the full fare plus all the taxes, charges and surcharges – making BA staff travel one of the most expensive in the industry.
A typical fare to USA west coast on staff travel is £190 while the tax paid to the Government is only about £50. Even a child of 10 can do the sums and see that BA is losing money from removal of staff travel. All this could be reversed tomorrow if Willie Walsh would see the error of his ways and give it back, settle the dispute and get on with rebuilding the staff morale and the broken relationships as a result of the dispute.
Shareholders of the world, take back your companies. Stop the out-of-control spending and obscene salaries by out-of-control boards and out-of-control management like Willie Walsh. When will the vast majority of you ever see the kind of money CEOs are being paid nowadays to do mediocre jobs at best, with the confidence of a board which thinks he/she is the only person who can do the job?
I had BA Heathrow-Amsterdam flights booked on a strike date through Air Miles. When the strike dates were first announced I bought, as a back up, a single with Flybe from Southampton for £3 which was £35 after tax. Air Miles contacted me on the Tuesday prior to my Saturday flight to say my lunch-time flight was cancelled but they could book me on the 8.30am flight. I then cancelled the Flybe flight and requested a refund of the taxes that would no longer need to be paid to the Treasury. Flybe refunded just £3. I feel that's as scandalous.
The British public has absolutely no sympathy for cabin crew. Families look forward to and save hard for their two-week holiday with loved ones, only to have their plans destroyed by Unite members – who claim they strike for the passengers' greater good!
What has this dispute done for crew other than lose their seniority and highlight how well they have had it? If you no longer like the conditions at BA then work elsewhere.
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