Wednesday, 8 March 2017

To Fly To.....

BA is to continue its densification policy ,-which will see a 10 abreast layout in its 777 fleet,-  by reducing pitch on its A320 series from 30 to 29 inches.That's the same as Easyjet an an inch less than Ryan Air.

In an accompanying statement the airlines says:" Customers fly with us because we offer quality and value in all areas."

Maybe they were talking about the saleable M&S sandwiches which are proving popular on short haul flights. These may be a bit more pricey than if you buy them in the airport but they aren't extortionate and if the odd quid or two isn't important who wants the fuss of lugging packets of sarnies aboard? The only thing is that if you want the prawn ones we hear they are selling out by Row 8 so to be sure of your choice a quick diversion into M&S landside or other outlets airside at London's T5 could be worth the trouble.

A few people who are taking time off flying BA are some of its new, post 2010,  Mid Fleet cabin crew. They are running a series of strikes in protest at what they describe as impossibly low wages, That's to say ones similar to those of the low cost carriers. "To Fly to Starve" said one banner and some of the afflicted were claiming that they had to sleep in their cars as they couldn't afford the petrol to drive home. Only 50% of Mid Fleet belong to Unite and not all of them are striking so daily operations look little affected. Nearly all long haul flights seem to operating using the non strikers and many of any short haul uncovered are being farmed out to disruption specialist Titan Airways. Some of those choosing, or yielding to pressure (which can be intense and unpleasant as well as long lasting after the event) to strike have only been in the airline a matter of months, maybe even weeks so it is hard to believe that they were under any illusions as to what the package was before they signed up. Strikers lose their staff travel benefits and trust in them being quickly restored when there is a settlement. On this particular occasion they could be disappointed. The BA management doesn't look as if it believes there is anything to settle .Result is the strikers could find themselves out on a limb, either having to accept the corporate rise offered and no change to the baseline from which it is calculated or just leave and find the mythical better job in a supermarket even though that option may not offer quite the same global lifestyle they have been enjoying.

BA,- or its then Chief Executive,- believed that they had bought perpetual love and goodwill from Unite  will by their " Peace in Our Time" deal which threw away most of their cards at the end of the bitter 2010 company-wide BASSA ( sub unit of Unite) strike in exchange for the setting up of the entirely separate lower cost unit called Mid Fleet which would gradually ( very gradually as it turns out) take over the world while the leaving the existing fleets to carry on with their high costs and inflexibilities pretty much as before. It was a mistake.

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