LONDON, UK - August 10th, 2018: view of Heathrow airport with stormy skies and British Airways airplanes at their stands

The term flag carrier carries responsibility. British Airways is not one, but global concerns presented an incredible opportunity to make its case as to why it could be considered one, and why other UK airlines may not be necessary. It failed, miserably.

As the flying face of a nation, become a flag carrier means doing the people proud, leading the world in innovation, connectivity and being a positive force in times of need. These are the deeds that earn a prospective flag carrier suitor the “preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations” which define the name.

As we speak, Willie Walsh, head of BA parent company IAG Group is negotiating with the government, in hopes of stalling or preventing an airline bailout of any kind. Walsh, IAG and BA want other UK airlines to fail before help arrives, so they can pick up additional slots and bolster their position in the UK, as they did with the collapse of Flybe.

If it weren’t for the airlines behavior in the last few weeks, I’d almost consider going along with it, but British Airways and British Airways alone has proven why competition must exist. I wanted this to be the airlines great, shining moment, but it’s been anything but.

Employees are worried, customers are left blind and there’s no sign of that improving any time soon.

As fears of a global pandemic sunk in, the airline disabled “Yammer” an internal communications platform, so its 45,000 staff could not raise concerns about operating flights to covid-19 hot spots, or the fact that there’s no screening of passengers. Those concerns have now leaked to the press, making matters far worse.

The same cabin crew, staff and British Airways own pilots are scared, and they don’t have a way to communicate and share stories. Many tell GSTP they’re utterly frustrated, including many who are BA “die hard” loyalists.

Before the pandemic took full hold of the world, British Airways urged the government not to intervene and assist Flybe, resulting in over 2000 job losses. Of course, the airline ended up with a $100 million windfall in take off and landing slots, awarded directly to the airline, without bidding, when the collapse came.

British Airways is now hoping EasyJet, Norwegian, Virgin Atlantic and anyone else that stands in their way goes bankrupt, by urging the government not to act. At the same time, if this crisis drags on longer than expected, there’s no guarantee that BA could survive without a future bailout, which would present the ultimate irony.

Does the government then bailout the company that said no bailouts? For a flag carrier maybe, but as of this moment, British Airways is not.

LONDON, UK - August 10th, 2018: view of Heathrow airport with stormy skies and British Airways airplanes at their standsIf the airline hadn’t behaved like such villains during this crisis, I might have entertained the “may the strongest airline survive” mentality, but they have, in my opinion, failed their flag carrier audition in dramatic fashion, by duping worried passengers and alienating their own staff.

If there was ever a case made as to why competition should exist, British Airways made it, on behalf of their airline competition.

I say this as one of the few people who defended the airline through the last two years. I believe the airline has been on a positive trend, announced some clever things and seemed to finally be getting around to getting it right. In many ways, they still are, but you’re only as good as your weakest link, and right now the weakest links make unacceptable seem unacceptable.

It’s how you behave in times of crisis which define character. It’s easy to be “nice” when things are nice, or when business is good, and BA is behaving poorly.

Like… making someone pay a fare difference when a foreign government plans to strand them abroad, and they have no legal option to travel as intended. They did that, numerous times to Brits abroad. Or convincing people to take vouchers, without showing them whether the voucher would be for the full amount.

Even newly issued vouchers still don’t actually show an expiration date or amount. You must flood the already flooded call center to find out…

During it all, British Airways went out of its way, literally, to keep customers from knowing they were legally entitled to refunds on cancelled flights, and then made it impossible for those who did know, to actually process one or get in touch. The airline coded its refund page to hide the refund button when the pandemic emerged.

When BA’s India call center closed, the situation became even more untenable. The irony.

You could be chivalrous to BA and say that this was to save their airline, but airlines in far more dire positions haven’t shied away from the truth. Why? Because it’s wrong, airlines aren’t the only ones struggling and people who are legally entitled to cash they may desperately need shouldn’t struggle to find it returned to them.

If someone stole money out of your pocket in your time of need, would you let it go?

Many people requesting their legal refunds have likely lost jobs, or will soon. How can an airline with any conscious do this to people? It’s not very “flag carrier” style behavior. Of course, this is the same airline group that put “show me the f*cking money” in one of their investor decks. Nice one, Willy.

With the exceptions of Iberia, which is also an IAG airline, and United and Lufthansa, virtually all other airlines have been leaders in customer service, transparency and trust – letting people know they’re entitled to a refund when the airline cancels, but incentivize people not to cancel via voucher bonuses or upgrades.

Or at the very least, they’ve been reachable and aren’t fudging the law.

a glass of wine next to a windowBritish Airways is virtually unreachable by phone, has not invested in tech which allows text message or Whatsapp communications and is doing everything in its power to hide – with your money – until it can make some more.

To summarize, as British Airways is trying to hold other airlines heads under water, they’re duping the British people, their customers abroad and even their own employees.

If not for other airlines in the market, we wouldn’t have any picture of what an airline could or should be during these times, and we certainly wouldn’t have a bidding war of benefits to encourage people to let the airline hold the cash. Aer Lingus kicked off the bidding, then American, Virgin, and every day customers are being presented with stronger cases to support the airline industry.

And then there’s communication.

While virtually every other travel brand found the time to announce extensions to benefits earned via credit cards or frequent travel, British Airways has not. The airline has been largely silent, even as to the extending of American Express 2 for 1 vouchers by 6 months, which wasn’t communicated.

Update: since the publishing of this article, British Airways sent the following to members of its Executive Club…

Steps we’re taking to support our Executive Club members

We are writing to impacted Executive Club members to let them know that we’ll be lowering all Tier Point thresholds [by 30%] for all members due for renewal in April, May and June. This means members will now retain their status for another year, regardless of any flying activity.

Also, for Gold Upgrade Vouchers and Companion Vouchers (or Travel Together Tickets), earned through a British Airways credit card, we’re applying a six-month expiration extension to vouchers in our members’ account. They don’t need to do anything, this will happen automatically. Members can view any existing vouchers in their account. This applies to:

Six month extension to unredeemed Gold Upgrade Vouchers and Companion Vouchers (or Travel Together Tickets), earned through a British Airways credit card.

Six month extension to redeemed Gold Upgrade Vouchers and Companion Vouchers (or Travel Together Tickets), earned through a British Airways credit card, that were applied for travel from 1 March 2020 or thereafter.

Six month extension to Companion Vouchers (or Travel Together Tickets), earned through a British Airways credit card due to trigger in next three months, up to 30 Jun 2020.

Those in the Executive Club Gold, Silver or Bronze loyalty tiers have had zero communication of whether benefits would be extended, renewed or offered opportunities. Yes, the airline has other priorities, but there are people making six and seven figures a year in the loyalty department who haven’t even fired off an email. Their job is loyalty, not the other issues the airline faces.

It’s understandable that the airline may not have a concrete answer as to how it will address loyal customers needs, but a letter stating that considerations are under way and everyone will be looked after is the standard delivered by every other travel brand.

Many airlines have already granted extensions of 6 months to 1 year gratis, or communicated a system where the airline will be there to help travelers maintain their perks. It’s not just once a year holidaymakers that are feeling the burn, it’s the most loyal customers too.

All of these things mean one thing, to me. I’m glad there are other airlines, I’m glad that some have moral compasses with which to follow, and I’m glad British Airways isn’t designated as a national carrier. If this was to be that defining moment where the airline could have lead by example and made its case – it failed miserably.

If it were to receive preferential treatment from any government, it would be without merit. When airlines compete, we win.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. The days of flag-carriers are over… it remains a comforting concept, but we need to move away from this stance, it is not realistic anymore.

    All airlines are simply airlines/companies trying to exist. Underhanded tactics re refunds are deplorable and no one should settle for anything less, nor be diddled into thinking that you must accept a voucher. Thank you for the workarounds you provided re Javascript.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Spot on! Cruz takes no paycut; Walsh takes a token 20% cut to his £3 million package (I used to work on executive pay and have no problem with high pay when it’s appropriate). Meanwhile, pilots take a 50% paycut, and staff is neglected as you point out. Passengers struggle mightily to get the cash refunds they’re entitled to. In my case, BA sent me a voucher even though I never asked for one! The managers and directors of IAG and BA should be ashamed of themselves.

  3. You’re incorrect: BA have communicated. To urge me to spend Avios in their online tat bazaar. I’ve long considered BA the management equivalent of the Human Centipede, and in times of crisis it highlights their structural weaknesses and managerial shortcomings.

  4. What exactly is the UK government going to do with Norwegian? Add to that it’s more easyJet that has caused that has caused the government to change course and not offer a massive bailout. easyJet handed out millions to its shareholders whilst claiming to need a bailout. BA have not handled this brilliantly but the fact that they want Virgin to go bankrupt should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Every airline wants less competition so don’t complain when an airline sees an opportunity for less of it

    1. I don’t see what argument you’re making?

      I’ve already discussed EasyJet’s incompetence in all of this.

      My argument is clear: airlines need competition, or we get the “not handled brilliantly” you refer to as a bottom line. I’m stating that if there was ever a time for an audition to be a good force for UK travelers, this was the time – and they failed. Simple as…

      1. I also think that these are NOT normal times. Is it also then fair for airlines try to take each other out of business in times of war, famine, or other global crisis? If this was a financial 2008′ situation caused by greedy people, perhaps it would be more forgivable, but this is a time when the world is struggling on so many fronts, this is a cheap shot at best.

  5. This is a very one sided article. No-one knows the ins and outs of government negotations with the airlines. So none of us is in a position to comment. Many airlines complained about the Flybe bail-out (not just BA) – and, although it is sad for those who have lost their jobs, Flybe was a loss making basketcase long before Coronavirus came along. On the voucher point, the vast majority of airlines as far as I can see are doing what BA is doing – sending you down the voucher route rather than the refund route. There are two sides to every story.

  6. This is a bit harsh. I got through to BA in less than 10minutes yesterday and was issued refunds and avios reinstated instantly. The staff are doing what they can do.
    Many Brits are stuck in Australia and BA managed to negotiate with Singapore to be allowed to gas&go – Qantas didnt achieve that!
    BA has many faults and their behaviour in relation to other airlines is poor. However bashing them during the biggest crisis they’ve ever had to face with thousands and thousands of people impacted no matter what they do isn’t quite fair.

    1. Let me know when the cash refund processes. Every airline should be doing their part in repatriation and they’re compensated for it.

      You are an exception to the rule. Every person I have spoken to has waited hours, not minutes, or had their call refused. The airline has not invested in customer contact and it’s in bottom 10% in dealing with refund and rebooking.

      People are facing much more important personal crises, and I’ve always written for the readers.

  7. No surprise – remember this is a company which has a history of breaking the law to hurt its competitors (see dirty tricks campaign and price fixing convictions). Their service will be even worse if they get the monopoly their fighting for.

  8. British Airways is British in name only as it owned by a Spanish company IAG. Time for the British government to wisen up and take back its slots where possible.

  9. Having just also read why Air France are doing by way of refunds, with the backing of the French Government. I am sad to say nothing surprises me anymore
    Sad times…..easyJet messed us about last week when trying to get home from Cyprus, cancelled flights, more importantly no communications!!
    Just leaves a bad taste……
    Everyone should be pulling together at his time

  10. Gilbert, I’m appalled. Please get your facts right before posting slanderous and hurtful articles like this. I work for BA and each and every one of us are worried sick about our jobs, working around the clock to help each other, our customers and ultimately to protect the airline’s very existence. Your comments are heartbreaking.

    New policies, waivers, additional flexibility have all been introduced. Staff from around the world brought in to customer facing roles to answers questions and find the best outcome possible. There’s been no change to any refund eligibility and even the least flexible tickets have a whole load of new flexible options to help customers out. None of this was mandated, we’re doing the best we can. And we’re not alone, all the global players are doing the same.

    Global call centres are closing as national lockdowns continue, social distancing rules limit staff capacity – what exactly do you expect any airline to do about that?! Magic up a new fully resourced call centre overnight someplace else?!

    Of course there are things than can be managed better – but remember we’re all humans too , just trying to work through the enormous ‘todo’ list as quickly and logically as possible. You can’t just click your fingers and expect everything to be done.

    If you want any airline to make it through this (you’ll need something to write about after all…) and then to survive the next few years which will be incredibly tough, please just show some support and understanding. The world of aviation post-COVID will be unrecognisable and it’s not apparent that you’ve come to terms with that yet.

    Your view on management is one thing, but never ever underestimate the thousands of phenomenal individuals that are working day and night to make it out of this crisis in one piece.

    1. When management puts staff in bad positions, everyone loses. This article was based on internal BA feedback that the airline was not doing right by staff or customers, and… The law. BA is breaking EU legal guidelines daily with their refund hack, which was actually coded by BA to hide the button. I support the jobs and the industry with my wallet and my voice, but we as consumers deserve better than this.

  11. As a Retiree I have been trying to contact customer services for the last few days but I have not been able to. We(my wife and I) have changed our flight bookings three times because of non availability of seats and now it seems cannot even change again. All we want to know is, if and when seats will be available, as our latest flight is showing nil available seats. Do I canx and rebook in 4/5 weeks?. Cac someone PLEASE give me some information!!!

  12. Water finds its own level. Let the Airlines go bust, if they can’t stand on their own two feet. It’s about time people grasped that at times like this, Governments cannot save everyone. Even with what they are doing, they are going to have to print money to fund their support issues, for which we will all pay eventually. Since when did the likes of Cruz or Walsh not realise that their industry is highly susceptible to exceptional market events? And, why did they not keep enough money in the bank to see them through such events? We are all going to lose out somehow because of this crisis. If we have to lick our wounds after the event, at least we will be alive to start recovering. Most Airlines have never had any interest in anyone but themselves and maybe a few premium customers. They don’t even repect their Staff very well.

  13. What a biased one sided article. British Airways is part of an International airline group and like all other airlines has no idea as to how long this crisis will last. That being the case and despite having some £9bn in the bank and therefore not having to ask the Govt for an immediate bail out will try to retain their cash as best possible to ensure survival. Therefore offering vouchers for future redemption makes sense as it doesn’t use up available cash. Anyway surely all those savvy passengers clamouring for cash payouts will have Travel Insurance which should cover losses caused by disruption or had most of them not bothered to insure themselves?
    As a previous comment said Flybe was a basket case and even Richard Branson wasn’t prepared to put more money into it. BA being a sensibly run profit making business took the opportunity to pick up slots vacated by Flybe which was to the benefit of prospective customers as well as BA. A good business decision.

  14. The part about them sending an email is not true. Just went through all email folders including spam and no email from British airways in days. BA silver member for reference.

    1. Hi Christopher, I am a BA SIlver based in the US and I got an email regarding the 30% allowance which has helped me keep my status for another year. However trying to cancel a booking for my daughter now that’s a different matter!

  15. As I’m sure you anticipate I am in agreement with this article. However you failed to mention the history of *repeated* serious failing in their IT systems as a direct result not only of lack of investment but *disinvestment* through outsourcing. You also fail to mention their history of flying close to the law during other (largely self inflicted) crises and needed to be reminded of the law by CAA *repeatedly*. You also fail to mention the ridiculously over cramped, lower pitch than RyanAir CE Airbus neo cabins or being the only major airline globally to have fitted non reclining seats to a new long-haul airframe. You fail to mention the reduction in quality and volume of catering onboard and then repeated relaunches that within a few months returned to a few ounces of cheapest carb heavy slop available (when they remember to load enough for all on board). You also fail to mention the low levels of cabins maintenance and cleaning, Ba regularly and *repeatedly* flying filthy cabins with damaged seating, screens and tables. Knowingly flying multiple airframes on long-haul routes with zero functional IFE for *months* with zero warnings or compensation for the paying travellers has to be the clearest exposition of their disdain and laser focus on profit at any cost..
    For the reasons above I’d suggest they didn’t get to the audition and that they should use a more accurate moniker:
    SpanglishQatari Airlines -“the shareholder focused airline, profiting from your misery. By design. (but our marketing is quite good)”

  16. British Airways and IAG are a business. Competition is not good for business. Obviously removing competition is their aim.

  17. The email from BA is a very poor attempt at asking for continued loyalty while actually granting nothing. It also fails to address those who have membership years expiring in any other month. If your membership year expired in January for example chances are you have no/very limited flights booked/likely to be taken through the end of this year and so likely will fail to requalify at all. The 30% reduction should have been across the board, or not at all. At this point my many years of Gold and loyalty will be gone, as I simply cannot risk booking flights through the year-end. A soft land to silver is meaningless at that point, especially with the likelihood BA will use this as a chance to further degrade their product and offering.

    You should find out what airlines will be willing to status match to BA’s existing membership level to try and capture some of BA’s business, especially on some of the lucrative TATL routes. If I were in the loyalty program/department at any big airline, that is what I would be doing.

  18. My tier points collection year is due to end at the beginning of July. I had several trips planned before then, and it’s looking unlikely I will be able to fly at all before then, and won’t make the requirements to upgrade to the next tier without them. I was wondering whether you know if British Airways is extending the collection deadline at all ? I imagine there must be so many people in this situation!

    Many thanks for the great articles!!

  19. Have to say I was very disappointed to hear about this BA stance regarding bailouts and if it’s true then it’s akin to kicking a man while he’s down – pretty poor show.

    The government has a long memory – they will remember BA’s anti-competitive stance and they will be punished for it down the line.

  20. Gilbert.

    I don’t disagree with anything you say, but still don’t understand why airlines need call centres – why can’t the IT systems be configured to communicate and do all the changes online ?

    BA has annual issues, it’s time all of these are handled online from now on surely.

  21. BA’s whole MC have take a pay cut, including AC. As an operational staff member, I have had emails everyday from my manager, and feel pretty well informed and looked after. BALPA and BA were very quick to agree a deal that worked for both the company and workforce.

    I don’t see why you’re vilifying BA regarding Flybe, when it was Virgin and Delta who watched from the sidelines as people lost their jobs, whilst having the cash ready to inject to save the airline, but that doesn’t suit the purpose of this argument.

    IAG (not BA) have said that airlines should do everything they can first to survive, before asking for a govt bailout, not that there shouldn’t be one. Again, Virgin have big backers in Delta and should dip into their own cash reserves before asking the British tax payer to bail them out. If we’re still here in 3 to 4 months, then it may be appropriate for the govt to look at helping, but not immediately.

    EVERY airline has struggled with passengers during what is a completely unmitigated world problem, that no one could’ve for seen happening. Name 5 airlines who’ve been singled out for how well they’ve handled tens of thousands of people trying to cancel/re book all at once, whilst trying to deal with an immediate cessation in revenue.

    Lastly BA isn’t the ‘flag carrier.’ It’s part of a massive corporate, who’s aim at the moment is to survive and try and remain as intact as possible. If it was partly state owned, like Air France, it may have more of a social obligation, but like my bank, insurers, car finance and utilities providers they are trying to hold as much cash inside the company so that they can last. The big carriers like Lufthansa, United, easy, Ryanair and IAG will come out the other side of what is a global crisis, but in order to do so there will be a degree of pain, as for everyone in society right now.

    1. I hope that you have survived this far and that your T & C’s have not been downgraded.
      My connection to the industry is only as a global and European customer (roughly 70 sectors a year). As a result of the downwards spiral in BA’s services, I came to use BA less and less the more I tried the competition. When the likes of Air Astana and Air India not just the likes of EZ or TK deliver a better, more reliable experience, normally at a lower cost, let alone the Middle East 3 & almost everyone else TATL…then you knew something was very wrong in Waterside (or Madrid).
      If BA is to survive as a brand, then it has at the very minimum to:
      – trade within the spirit as well as the letter of the law
      – respect and listen to it’s customers
      – respect and listen to it’s staff
      – deliver something approximating the marketing, reliably and at a competitive price point
      – stop subsidising the rest of IAG
      – stop seeking such a high margin on their P & L
      – invest in everything from engineering to the customer journey to IT systems, to their own people

      For me,

  22. I’ve been flying BA for the past 15 years. I’ve watched their level of service an care, from a corporate standpoint decline. Their planes are generally not well maintained (interiors) and there is a genuine lack of empathy throughout their culture. I have met many flight attendants who genuinely care for customers but are often tied to the corporate slogan – just say no. This whole voucher program is really frustrating and as pointed out they hide information. As a regular traveler I will use the vouchers but suspect I’ll have to work hard to make it happen. Alex Cruz has lead a program of diminishing the passenger experience by cutting corners here and there thinking no one will notice and we’ll make a bit more money. It’s amazing that you can pay upwards of £3,000 for a business class flight to Asia or the US only to be told that your main course dinner selection is not available because they ran out half way through the seating chart. This slow decline has shown in their global rankings and it will ultimately show up as customers trade up with their wallets. BA needs a complete overhaul and it’s time Willie Walsh, Alex Cruz and crew retire. Hopefully the new CEO will focus on the customer experience, which ultimately favors the bottom line. I am also a IAG shareholder and would much prefer this to my usual inflight experience.

  23. I think BA is caught between a rock and a hard place – these are unprecedented times and it is a fine balance between doing the right thing for the customer versus further jeopardising the commercial sustainability of the business. And the customer service issues are affecting all sorts of companies, not just airlines, as the volume of queries has surged whilst staff availability is reducing as more and more staff become affected by COVID-19. I’m sure that BA has not done everything perfectly and that there is, as always, room for improvement but I think the evidence shows that it is trying to do the right thing by its customers, staff and shareholders at a time of huge stress. And remember that ‘flag carrier’ implies state backing, something that BA doesn’t have and which leaves it at a huge commercial disadvantage to the ME3 in normal times, but even more so at the current time. I also don’t think you can ignore the difference between the price of an airline ticket versus the hugely disproportionate costs that the airline faces when something goes wrong – and, in this case, something that is of no fault of the airline whatsoever.

  24. Interesting that no one has commented on the actual flying experiene during this time period, probably as everyone is trying to do the right thing and stay home. I had to fly JFK to LHR on March 27th. Two flights near this date where cancelled and I was not rebooked automatically and told to call. As I am Gold for Life the Gold line answered within 5-10 minutes, as NONE of the “Manage your Booking” links worked at all, possibly as I had purchased Premium Economy and used AVIOS for a Club upgarde. Got rebooked fairly smoothly (empty planes) and had an entire $4,000+ seperate ticket refunded – or I was told it would be. Will see if the credit card gets the credit.

    The flying experience was interesting. 3 days before the flight BA wrote that JFK T7 was closed and they would fly from T8 where AA is located. However they NEVER changed this on Manage my Booking or the App and when I got my App Boarding Card it still said T7 so I called back to check – and another 10 minute (short I know) wait. Changing T7 to T8 online is how hard? Even the flight tracker websites (non BA) still have that wrong showing all aircraft movements to / from T7 that don’t exist as the place is closed.

    On board I was NEVER ONCE asked if I wanted anything – approx 9 of 48 Club seats full. Another Email had been sent saying catering was substantially reduced – understandably and that is not what this is about. What that meant is that when I asked I was given a white bag with a bottle of water and a package of Oreos and a Kit Kat. Asked for another bottle of water and was given the same bag again. I understand and appreicate this was for safe handling by all involved. The service after takeoff was a basket to select crisp or nuts – think Economy. Note this serivce would have normally been a night sleeper service so not a lot of food would have been on, but WOW that was minimal. In the morning it was a heated panini in a box similar to Economy. I was able to get a Coke Zero. Tea and coffee were offered. Surprsiingly the Raid the Larder was fully open and functional – so much for social distancing as you could go and get your own standard RtL stuff out of the box of choolcates and open and close the cool case for soft drinks. There were also no ammenity kits on board for reason (?) – the spare toothbrush is useful but I had my eye shade and earplugs with me.

    So – fail on a simple gate change app update, and never once asking if I wanted anything – I had to initiate all service requests. Positives – you could have done 10 pin bowling in any part of T8 you wanted and mine was the only flight showing as arrived at LHR T5 with only one baggage carousal in operation and baggage took about 20 minutes.

    Safe travels (oops stay home) everyone.

  25. Rather harsh viewpoint, possibly to stoke debate and increase traffic. My personal experience, long before the lockdown, BA proactively emailed me to cancel my BA holiday and process a refund to my original form of payment. The process was complete and funds back with me within 7 days.

    Further, I was due to hit Gold for another year with a business trip mid-March which got cancelled. BA have also recently relaxed requirements for TPs so I will renew for another year with what I already have.

    You make some good points about how BA May have acted in a crisis but it’s not all bad and, from my personal perspective, they have treated me very well in a crisis

    1. Paul, glad to hear you came out well. But two points of note.

      1) guidance on package holidays was different, and packages due to governing policies were refunded well. Other flight only options were not. Now packages are suffering too.
      2) the tier extension is only mildly useful to those who it applies to in April, May, June. This leaves many who would typically earn most of their tier points in this period with no concession, at this point.

      No need to boost traffic numbers here, just pointing out performance at a crucial time.

  26. To be fair other flag carriers don’t have this issue of so much competition in their country so they can sit and wait for the governent to bail them out without having to fight for it, if you want to see something really nasty look at virgin australia and qantas .I think they want the government to stall on the bailout for Virgin. This is mostly focused on Virgin really because they are low hanging fruit, Easyjet has a strong balance sheet and a buy in from the government can offer great returns much later. I still think BA is a flag carrier because at the end of the day they have been at the forefront of repatriation flights for the UK, i mean who else would do it? These are unusual times, and you take opportunity when it comes, British Airways is a business first and foremost. Its incredibly peak of course but BA/IAG wants to leave this crisis with one less competitor – Virgin Atlantic and the government seems to be buying into this idea because they are stalling to the point of virgin getting airbus and rolls royce to beg the government on their behalf. with regards to customers and getting their service there in this period i can’t speak personally to that but i can imagine it has probably been horrible as airlines try to conserve cash can’t imagine who has particularly been great even customers were complaining a lot about Qatar.

  27. booked a flight in may of 2019 on air canada from toronto to belize. The dates of travel were feb 17-march 30(who knew?). paid $700 return. on march 17 i got what ended up being the last “economy” seat on the last flight out of belize on march 23. i had to pay $700 one way and was told i would get a voucher for the value of the unused march 30. they said this voucher would be $100+tax. they would not change my return flight for me as it wasnt showing as cancelled. Manage my booking button wouldnt work because i had a half used ticket. i had to fork out and lose $600 to get home proactively and safely. this is not a foreign airline. this is how Air CANADA flies its flag for its citizens. Feasting on the pandemic. i am presently going through Trip interruption insurance through my credit card hoping they will reimburse me the full $700. i am sure insurance will find a loophole to deny my claim…has anybody else tried this?

  28. A comment on the sustainability of BA.
    My company offered to Willie Walsh of IAG our patented and proven technology for reducing significantly fuel usage and therefore costs, and concomitant reductions in CO2 emissions and therefore exposure to CO2 taxation; in addition to demonstrating care for the environment. In the case of BA the cost savings could have amounted to c. £40 million per year in fuel costs alone.
    The response was that BA was not interested. Nothing was said about the other IAG airlines.
    The technology had previously been presented directly to BA but was ignored the opportunity to save potentially hundreds of millions of Pounds was brushed aside without any investigation. This seems to indicate BA calling the tune in IAG without even offering to test the technology.
    I’m afraid I don’t understand how this attitude is supposed to square with requests for state aid.

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