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Business backlash over BA?

Old 21st May 2008, 06:51
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Business backlash over BA?

Chris Bell, boss of bookmakers Ladbrokes, has banned his 14,000 staff from using BA. Mr Bell, a BA Gold Card member of the Executive Club was travelling with his 2 teenage daughters from Barbados. He was told that he could fly but his daughters (14) couldn't! They all flew eventually but Mr Bell has had enough of the BA version of 'customer service'.
Nice one Willie!
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Old 21st May 2008, 06:52
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Business backlash over BA?

Doesn't look too good if more CEOs take this type of approach to load factors.But mind you, certainly if Goldman Sachs made this ban it might be more powerful. How much might a bookmaker fly?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1996...tml?source=rss
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:06
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Quite a lot I would think all over the world to look at tracks etc and a lot of UK domestic flights as well.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:09
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Millions

The BBC reported that Ladbrokes spend "several million pounds" with BA each year.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:12
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Now if I were a betting man.
I'm not sure if he's complaining about overbooking,or BA leaving 2 teenagers by themselves in another country.What's the odds.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:13
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Great BA bashing but more to this than meets the eye? Chip on shoulder and no upgrades available??
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:42
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Somewhat difficult to get a BA gold card unless you are flying at the front most of the time anyway.
A major rule of business - know your client. Aggravating the boss of a major corporate customer is really rather stupid.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:52
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Personally I think this guy is wrong. I don't know him, but he sounds a bit pompous.

Surely the basis for deciding which airline a business uses should be based on whether or not they provide the product and service you want at a fair price. If travel costs at Ladbrokes rise as a result of a decision made by one person who has a personal grudge against the airline then the shareholders will have something to say.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:55
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BA's policy of slobbering over the front end while ignoring (or worse) the back will come to haunt them when times get tough.

Many people here in the Middle East refuse to fly them on Business (in C or F) because they are treated like s**t when they fly them in Y on their holidays.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:58
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And what percentage of Mr Bell's 14,000 staff regularly fly with BA - or anyone else for that matter?
I would wager not very many. I mean, they're supposed to be behind the counter, taking bets on No Hope on the 3.30 at Godknowswhere aren't they?
I suspect that when the dust has settled, Mr Bell et famile will receive a nice free first-class trip to somewhere warm and sunny, and the whole thing will be forgotten.
Storms in teacups come to mind.
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Old 21st May 2008, 08:19
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It's a no-win situation for the check-in staff. Aircraft full, late passengers, offer them a hotel and cash sweetener to travel the next day, what more can they do?

These card holders play the system when it suites them. The 5pm shuttle out of Manchester never used to have a backup aircraft and was frequently full. Those arriving late were offered 50 cash to travel on the next one. You could see the "professionals" holding short of the check-in queue and only joining it a minute before the flight closed. They either got on, or if the aircraft was full an apology from the check-in staff (and the 50). In this case it was classed as a "result".

Also the number of times these gold card holders who, while on business, travel "up the front" then, on a basic economy ticket (while on holiday with the family, paid for by air-miles) flash the card and expect gold card treatment (and an upgrade).

In the case in question perhaps the BGI staff (handling agents) hadn't pandered to him enough, after all he was very important.

I'm with Thunderbird7, there is more to this than meets the eye.

PS.
I turned up at the local Landrover dealership to pick-up my new Freelander SE a while back, flashed my retired staff ID, suggested I was a very important customer and asked if there was any chance of an upgrade to a HSE model.
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Old 21st May 2008, 08:25
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Cool Choose me!!!!!

BA then directly offered the two 14-year-old girls 250 each not to go on the flight.
I used to fly many hundreds of hours a year as a passenger and if I didn't have to be somewhere at exactly the time the flight I was booked on landed I activly voulunteered to take an alternative!!!!

The airlines give you MONEY! and you still get where you want to go only a few hours later...

There is more to this story,

Eventually all three flew.
Me thinks two others took the money and just smiled.....

P.S. As to British Airways, well, a couple of times after I have accepted the offer not to travel on the flight I booked I have been called back to the gate and boarded. (they didn't want the bribe back!)

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Old 21st May 2008, 08:26
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The point is...

Whether or not there is any secondary reasons for the hoo ha, the question any responsible parent here should be asking themselves, is would you be happy leaving your two 14 year old daughters several thousand miles away in the "safe hands" of a company that is partly responsible for the terminal 5 fiasco? If you wouldn't be, then end of discussion ....
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Old 21st May 2008, 08:36
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Whether or not there is any secondary reasons for the hoo ha, the question any responsible parent here should be asking themselves, is would you be happy leaving your two 14 year old daughters several thousand miles away in the "safe hands" of a company that is partly responsible for the terminal 5 fiasco? If you wouldn't be, then end of discussion ....
That did not happen though did it?

The 2 young girls got on the same flight.

Mr Bell did not give up his seat to stay with the 2 young girls.


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Old 21st May 2008, 09:22
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BA then directly offered the two 14-year-old girls 250 each not to go on the flight.
Quite apart from all the other issues, EU denied boarding rules set the level for long haul at 600 (480 in old money). So BA were cheating them as well as bumping them.
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Old 21st May 2008, 09:33
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No they weren't. The EU compensation is for involuntary bumping. BA are quite within their rights to look for volunteers and offer them less. Ladbrokes really isn't a major corporate customer. Perhaps he's pi55ed that he's not getting a big enough corporate discount?
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:06
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Whatever the reasons, the outcome is the same. BA have lost several millions worth of business a year, over what is essentially a customer service issue.
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:18
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The same customer service everybody else gets from any other airline which overbooks it's flights (ie all of them). He even got his kids on the flight in the end. BAs lost business because the boss threw a hissy fit.
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:21
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Trying to read between the lines......

Were BA genuinely overbooked? If so, and they had to bump passengers, it would seem incredibly irresponsible for them to try and offload two minors.

On the other hand, as Hand Solo suggests, there seems to be some doubt as to whether they were involuntarily bumped. If they were made an offer, surely all they had to do was refuse and BA would have to ask for volunteers elsewhere.

All of which makes me wonder if the girls really were, as the story suggests, initially told they couldn't travel, full stop.

As to Ladbrokes, Mr Bell has a responsibility towards their shareholders. It strikes me as an abuse of his influence to use his employers travel budget as a weapon in what is essentially a personal disagreement with BA.
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:27
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As to Ladbrokes, Mr Bell has a responsibility towards their shareholders. It strikes me as an abuse of his influence to use his employers travel budget as a weapon in what is essentially a personal disagreement with BA.
Thanks Andy, my point exactly.

You just phrased it far better than me!
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