To Fly. To Serve. To Strike?

Posted October 18, 2011

To Fly. To Serve. To Strike?

The full page British Airways advertisements appearing in broadsheet papers are beginning to grate on me.

The latest features a newly delivered baby swaddled in a pilot’s jacket. It’s a real tug at the heartstrings, designed to bring a smile to my face and make me go all gooey.  Well it doesn’t.  It’s disingenuous schmaltz and my response is more likely to be grrr!!

Apparently, delivering babies safely is “just one of the many skills” the British Airways crew is trained for. Can I suggest that they focus their training (and marketing!) budget on getting the staff to turn up for work and not strike?

I’m sorry but a cutesy picture of a baby isn’t going to reverse my opinion of British Airways’ attitude to its customers. I’m still smarting from having to cancel my trip last year. It was our 21st wedding anniversary and we planned to celebrate it in Barcelona. I chose to fly with British Airways because I wanted the whole experience to be special. I didn’t want to travel cattle class with a budget airline; I wanted to travel with dignity.
The problem was I didn’t get to travel at all because the cabin crew went on strike. Our wedding anniversary dinner was spent in the local pizza restaurant. We should have been sitting in a Catalan bistro, sampling tapas or tucking into a fish stew.  The by line in the advertisements is “To Fly. To Serve”. Maybe they should concentrate their efforts on getting these fundamentals right. Then I might feel a bit more inclined to hear about the exceptional exploits of the team.  

Another advertisement shows a picture of a human heart and informs us that the airline carries precious cargo such as donor organs. I didn’t know that but thanks anyway for keeping me in the loop BA. Although I have to say, if I or any member of my family was waiting for a donor organ to arrive, I wouldn’t be comforted by the fact that I was relying on British Airways to deliver it.


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