Sign up to newsletter

Magazine subscription

For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

BA will win, say experts

British Airways (BA) will prevail in its fight with cabin crew, say leading business travel experts.

A threatened strike over christmas will have little impact on the business travel sector, but will exacerbate the public's disgust over the union's militant stance.

As Unite and BA prepare for the latest round of talks on Monday, the feeling among the business travel community is remarkably stolid.

Ken McLeod, director corporate at Advantage Travel Centres, commented: "Dare I say it's becoming boring now, because I think Unite is losing support."

According to McLeod, business travellers have become used to the strike action by BA cabin crew, now nearing its first anniversary.

"It's an inconvenience, but it's not going to damage their business," he said. "Business travellers will always find some way to travel. There will always be some way of getting to their destination."

The longer the dispute rumbles on, the less power Unite has, said McLeod. "They [the strikers] can disrupt things quite badly, but essentially BA has now got its act together."

Mark Avery, head of business services at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), said staff continue to book with BA, despite the risk of strike action.

"Even though it's a pain and travellers are pretty fed up with it all, there's quite a lot of certainty about what will fly and won't fly."

"Once the strikes are announced, people are not avoiding BA," he said."BA have been pretty good at announcing their schedules and keeping them running where they can."

BA's announcement that it will run 100% of long haul flights if there is another strike has added to this feeling of good will among business travellers.

"This adds to the surety for the traveller - the confidence that they can go ahead and book with BA and they will still travel and it's not going to be a major inconvenience."

According to Avery, BA's reputation has remained relatively untarnished. "I think commercially there is a recognition that these working practices do actually need to change and if they're going to survive as an organisation."

The reputation of Unite hasn't fared so well. "I think unfortunately the cabin crew have lost some of the public will."

A strike at christmas will damage this further, said Avery. "It's just not what the public want to see."


I am flying to Cyprus just prior to Christmas and have deliberatley avoided BA in case of flight disruption due to any strike action. I want to ensure I will get to Cyprus for Christmas not stuck in an airport. These strikes must be hitting BA very hard and Walsh should sit down with Unite and the represetatives of Cabin Crew and thrash out a deal. If he cannot do this he should resign and hand over the reins to someone who can settle this long running dispute.

Terry Harding's picture
Terry Harding (not verified)

these overpaid and miserable cabin crew scumbags should all be sacked.
well done Willie Walsh for not giving in to these dinosaurs.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

What a narrow minded "individual" you are. BA is being destroyed by the man at the top and NOT the staff the vast majority of whom earn a sub standard wage for a job worth a lot more. FYI the staff have had a pay freeze since 1997. You try and do the job. Bet you wouldn't last a day. Get your facts straight before mouthing out these foul unfounded expletives.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

What a revolting individual you are. How dare you refer to BA crew as miserable scum bags. I have never had a problem with them and find them second to none. Maybe you are a would-be crew member and find it hard to take rejection as you sound to me to be a miserable little scum bag yourself. Not the kind of person BA woud employ.. Maybe you should try Ryanair?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

U are a poisonous, clueless by standar/daily mail reader.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

BA cabin crew must decide if they wish to work for this airline or not.They appear by comparison to other international airlines to be overpaid, under productive and too expensive. Many would take their place at a lower cost of employment. Walsh should require ALL cabin crew to resign from BASSA/Unite and agree to 3 years without dispute or strike. Those that don't agree can leave and be replaced by new blood. BASSA members who lost their travel perks should accept the situation or resign. No sympathy for them : they were warned. I still use BA a lot. I use other airlines a lot as well. BA suffers from a history as a state owned employer. The sooner BA cabin crew who still believe it is their right to behave like state owned dinosuars leave, the better.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Sounds to me like Unite's trolls are trying to compound their ineptitude by pathetically trying to justify the strike on this website. The same lies that Unite's been peddling throughout, pushed by an idiotic union management that's failed, failed and failed again to understand the public reaction and the situation at BA. The result is that Unite has been outsmarted, outplayed by BA and the flying public who've seen through the union's garbage.

John Apsley's picture
John Apsley (not verified)

Ban strikes. People should resign if unhappy. Health and Safety and Minimum wages offer enough protection.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Add new comment