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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

British Airways: fast becoming the world's least favourite airline?

An empty terminal 4 at Heathrow spoke volumes today. British Airways was unexpectedly running a full service, having finally sorted out the industrial dispute with its cabin crew that should have been resolved weeks ago, but the passengers had shown their displeasure by offloading themselves onto other flights.

And predictably BA wasn't going to reimburse people who had to pay for more expensive flights, or cover hire car or hotel cancellations.

This most incompetent and arrogant of airlines will soon be renamed the world's least favourite airline, particularly if its lucrative business passengers discover that actually the other airlines considerably outperform BA.

Both John and myself never choose to fly BA. I'm going to the US later this week on business, and I chose to travel on United. My second choice would have been Virgin.

BA has forgotten what good customer service is about. It still has warehouses full of baggage dating back to November which have little prospect of being returned to their owners. BA claimed at the time it was caused by the fog and breakdowns in the carousels at Heathrow. The truth however was that BA has systematically got rid of baggage handlers over the last few months and doesn't have enough to clear the backlog.

Until BA rediscovers the brand values that won it acccolades over 10 years ago, I'll be continuing to fly with other carriers - and if today is anything to go by, I'm not the only one.

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