Thursday, 23 August 2007

What's wrong with British Airways?

I survived Hurricane Dean and the Jamaica Financial Analysis course for MBS worldwide went well. Next problem was getting home. BA's email informed me that due to a fire at a hotel in Jamaica a new crew would have to be flown out my flight (the first after the hurricane) would be delayed by 24 hours. The fire had disturbed the crews' recovery period. BA's customer service is one of the most arrogant and offensive I have come across in the corporate sector anywhere. 'The crew are entitled to their rest you know' was their defence - I mildly pointed out that the fire had occured at 11.30am, the crew because of the hurricane had been in the hotel for five days and the fire had occured the day before they were due to leave. How exactly had this disturbed their sleep? The real problem was that the inbound flight to Kingston had been uneconomic so they had dumped the flight - thus delaying the return for the homeward bound passengers. The fire was an excuse.

Analysis: BA is a cost cutter in the business flight market charging premium prices. Its disasterous HR policy coupled with shambolic operations is leading it into dangerous territory. They cannot do the simple things well anymore, their staff neither care about the customer or, I suspect, their company. On my last two flights with BA I have now had problems with lost luggage and delay - my advice do not fly BA. If you are an investor - sell.

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