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View Full Version : More strife over BA fuel surcharges.


rubik101
26th Jul 2008, 16:06
From today's FT. Headline news no less. Not exactly unexpected news but more trouble just when they don't need it.

Four past and present British Airways executives are to be charged with price-fixing in a landmark criminal prosecution that will send tremors through leading multinationals, the Financial Times has learned.

The cartel case, only the second brought by the Office of Fair Trading, leaves senior figures from one of Britainís biggest corporate names facing the threat of up to five years in jail.

The OFTís action, the latest in a crackdown on price-fixing in sectors ranging from supermarkets and tobacco to construction, raises the prospect that other bosses may face prosecution.

The watchdog has decided to charge the four men over a conspiracy between BA and Virgin Atlantic between 2004 and 2006 to fix the price of passenger fuel surcharges on transatlantic flights.

Those to be charged are: Andrew Crawley, BAís head of sales; Martin George, former commercial director and board member; Iain Burns, former head of communications; and Alan Burnett, former head of UK and Ireland sales.

eagle21
26th Jul 2008, 18:40
Well , I don't feel sorry for them. Trust me they have enough money to pay for good lawyers and it is highly unlikely that they will actually go to jail...

Max Angle
26th Jul 2008, 21:51
and it is highly unlikely that they will actually go to jail...5 years ago I would have agreed with you, not so sure now.

rubik101
26th Jul 2008, 23:08
If you read the whole article then you will see that it is almost certain they will do jail time.

PAXboy
26th Jul 2008, 23:14
Certainly amazing that they did this - as they did not need to do it.

It is now very easy to keep tabs on what your competitor is doing - you only have to watch their web site - and then you can follow (or lead) with prices and surcharges as you choose. Just make sure that you keep enough space between your prices and the dates when you implement them.

To actually speak to the competitors shows that these people were badly recruited and badly managed. i.e. Senior mgmt is at fault. But ... try to prove that in court? Ha!

TartinTon
26th Jul 2008, 23:43
The bit I find amazing about this is that the Virgin guys colluded with the BA guys but because they went to the authorities they are exempt!! How can that be right? "Yes m'lud, I also killed the person concerned but they did it and didn't tell you" "There, there Mr Jumper...you're free to go" Law and justice is a beautiful thing................

Ex Cargo Clown
27th Jul 2008, 02:31
I enjoyed a post from a while back where someone said they saw Martin George across a BA Staff Canteen* and put his fork up to his eyes to imagine George in prison...... Happy days, hope they all enjoy prison life.

(Clearly it's not a canteen in Waterworld, it's a bistro)

GordyOZ
27th Jul 2008, 02:35
I didn't read this article or follow this story but hope they get the maximum sentence possible and hope other airline execs go to jail as well. The bogus fuel surcharges imposed by many airlines that have absolutely nothing to do with the price they pay for fuel are nothing short of criminal fraud. Send the whole lot to jail and get some new people in who don't practice such blatant dishonesty.

kemblejet01
27th Jul 2008, 12:13
I look forward to this. I am a victim of this fraud and as such they have taken food from my child's mouth.

Don't bend down for the soap.

Tags
27th Jul 2008, 13:42
I am a victim of this fraud and as such they have taken food from my child's mouth.

Are you just back from your amateur dramatic classes? Talk about an over reaction. Your profile states A320 pilot, I doubt you are on the bread line!

Carnage Matey!
27th Jul 2008, 14:24
I am a victim of this fraud and as such they have taken food from my child's mouth.

If you are so poor that paying a fuel surcharge has resulted in you being unable to feed your child then perhaps you should have considered prioritising food over flying?

monkeybusiness2
27th Jul 2008, 15:34
"And the Oscar for the best drama goes to Kemblejet01".......

Dick Deadeye
27th Jul 2008, 15:45
I am a victim of this fraud and as such they have taken food from my child's mouth.

What a drama queen!

pzu
27th Jul 2008, 18:41
If I'm not mistaken, the First Case referred to in the FT article was in the oil industry

Three Brits (amongst others) got lifted early '07 in the States, fixing price of Floating Marine Hose (average cost $50000 a length but ordered in multiples) sentences averaged 3 years + $75000, then they were involved in a deal & shipped back to UK were they pled guilty and received similar sentences & are now doing time - on completion of which they have to return to the States where their US sentences MAY be set aside!!!

Will the BA gang face similar problems???

PZU - Out of Africa (retired)

DCS99
27th Jul 2008, 18:42
I was interviewed for a job in UK Sales by Andrew Crawley ca.12 years ago when I thought I'd see how life was "on the other side". He was then head of UK Sales Business Development unit.

I didn't get the job, but I was impressed with the bloke. :ok:

Something is wrong in the UK if perpetrators of violent crime are given suspended or minimum sentences, yet business execs - at no personal gain - fiddle the figures and face jail time.

Sure, what they did was wrong, but apart from starving kemblejet01's child :rolleyes:, no one was hurt or injured and the public - who already enjoy unprecedented low fares often at the cost of staff conditions - had to pay a few quid more.

Meanwhile feral scallys roam the streets content in the knowledge they are above the law. :ugh:

Skylion
27th Jul 2008, 18:50
Re Kemblejet01:

Quite incredible. Does this person really fly an aircraft?

The facts are: -There would have been fuel surcharges anyway.
-They wouldnt have been very different,- conversations or
no conversations. The other Atlantic carriers have raised
their overall rates by much the same amounts.
- The airlines have to raise their fares to cover at least some
of their additional fuel costs but are on a high wire act
between increasing and losing revennue if demand drops off.
-It isnt easy and overall they aren't doing a bad job of it.
-None of the individuals mentioned have yet been found
guilty of anything.

rubik101
27th Jul 2008, 19:45
You only have to look on any Airline Fare website to see that the carriers still collude with one another. Searching for a trip to Bangkok later in the year on various sites brought up four flights within a few pence of one another. And they all seem to end in .42 or .62 pence!

Fargoo
27th Jul 2008, 19:48
Something is wrong in the UK if perpetrators of violent crime are given suspended or minimum sentences, yet business execs - at no personal gain - fiddle the figures and face jail time.

People in these sorts of positions stand to earn bonus payments many times their salary if healthy profits come out at the end of the financial year. To say they are doing it for no personal gain is stretching the truth a little.
If convicted they will become criminal fraudsters who have in effect swindled a lot of people out of their money. For this they need to be punished.

I agree with you that other criminals get an easy time though and that is clearly very wrong.

747-436
27th Jul 2008, 19:58
You only have to look on any Airline Fare website to see that the carriers still collude with one another. Searching for a trip to Bangkok later in the year on various sites brought up four flights within a few pence of one another. And they all seem to end in .42 or .62 pence!

It is very similar with prices to the states. I don't think it is collusion, they just watch each others prices.
Otherwise you could say Petrol stations collude to set the price of fuel, and any other company that sells anything!!

silverstreak
27th Jul 2008, 20:18
What IS amazing, is that Wee Willie :mad:, DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING... Pull the other one... There again, whats Eddingtons excuse?

Ok, he may not have been at the helm when this all started, but it surely carried on after he joined. NO excuse. He should have spoken with all senoir members of each dept. when he joined, to get an idea of the situation that BA was in, so he could then go forward making decisions on what his findings were.

Does anyone really beleive that WW had no idea? A case of take the money and when the sh1t goes down, 'Nothing to do with me pal'...

Where did these vast sums of money show on ballance sheets... The ones he never saw... :ugh:

PS - Having stood up and personally took the blame for T5 not working (It was well underway before he started with BA), shouldnt WW take some form of responsability for this...

icarus sun
27th Jul 2008, 20:21
It looks as if corruption is embedded in BA management. From Laker ,Dan Air, Virgin dirty tricks,Price fixing cargo,Fuel surcharge. All this over a long period of time. Must be most currupt company in uk.

left_to_first_class
27th Jul 2008, 20:26
Something is wrong in the UK if perpetrators of violent crime are given suspended or minimum sentences, yet business execs - at no personal gain - fiddle the figures and face jail time.

Actually those who are being charged are on very large performance related pay bonuses. This year BA hit the 10% operating margin and its been pretty good bonus for these guys, tens of thousand of pounds.

Something not mentioned, Andrew (or Drew as he likes to be known as) Crawley as well as Head of Sales is also the Head of Revenue Management - his job is basically is to maximise revenue for the company which includes managing seat inventory and setting prices. Under pricing he ultimately decides what price the customer pays including fuel surcharge.
He has to authorise the fuel surcharge increase, so even if he did not talk to VS directly he would have known that someone did. He would want to know or be assured that the competition is likely to match an increase in fuel surcharge, for him to agree such a move especially if it means BA becomes price uncompetitive.

Martin George, being Drew's boss is probably the person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Will Iain Burns be coming back from AUH quickly?

left_to_first_class
27th Jul 2008, 20:31
silverstreak -

Very unlikely that WW knew what was going on. Basically it will be someone like Marting George or Andrew Crawley running to WW and saying ' sir, sir, we have just pushed our prices up more to combat the high fuel prices, aren't we doing a fab job?'

411A
27th Jul 2008, 20:37
It looks as if corruption is embedded in BA management. From Laker ,Dan Air, Virgin dirty tricks,Price fixing cargo,Fuel surcharge. All this over along period time. Must be most currupt company in uk.

You think?

Many many years of downright illegal manipulation of facts and actions.
Nail 'em to the wall, I say.
Starting...right from the very top....and include those now retired, who had a hand in all this, long ago.

TopBunk
28th Jul 2008, 09:30
I say lock them up and throw away the keys (and provide lots of bars of soap!).

What I would like to know though, is BA still picking up the tab for the defence lawyers for this quartet who have already cost us £300m?

Disgraceful - and yes I know all about being innocent until proven guilty, but in this case the guilt has been accepted.

Tea Coffee Or Me
28th Jul 2008, 11:09
Like in the banking sector, the problem at BA is the way Directors and CEO's are paid. They take risks that expose the whole company to fines. losses and ridicule.

The Directors and CEO's at BA over the last five years have cost the company over U$1bn in fines and costs. There needs to be a root and branch analysis of directors pay in BA, plus a clear out of most at the top, tainted with these allegations.

The Civil Civillian
28th Jul 2008, 15:06
Give the guy a break, taking food from childs mouth, ... off the table, ... trainees from the kids, .... M&S card off the missus, are all sayings.

He didn't literally mean he had a last £10note and rather than feed his kids, he paid an air-fare!

Crikey! You folks are just to prosiac. You must lead colourful lives as people confront you with other sayings & adages. I can only imagine the confusion you all must face in your daily lives when confronted with our wonderfully expressive coloquialisms.