Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Passengers & SLF (Self Loading Freight)
Reload this Page >

What's the Problem at BA Now?

Passengers & SLF (Self Loading Freight) If you are regularly a passenger on any airline then why not post your questions here?

What's the Problem at BA Now?

Old 3rd Apr 2022, 18:32
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Blighty
Posts: 4,843
British Airways is getting a name for IT failures and generally being unreliable. They need to fix their reliability fast. That may mean allowing load factor to decline significantly for a couple of weeks so there is plenty of slack in the system which would mean fewer customers complaining and greater ability to recover from any further IT failures in the next 2 weeks. This will buy time for a CIO to throw large quantities of money at fixing the most critical IT vulnerabilities.

Sometimes a business has to turn customers away if they don't think they have the ability to deliver a good quality service

Leaving people stranded before they go see families over Easter because of another IT failure will not be forgiven. High fares for 2 weeks for those who have not already booked will be forgiven.
davidjohnson6 is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 18:42
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Uk
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
Much against my better judgement, I booked a BA flight to an EU city 2 years ago, and foolishly accepted a voucher instead of a refund when Covid prevented it.

So, stuck with the voucher, I had to use it to book a flight to the same city next Monday 4th April.. So far, so good.

Or rather, so bad. Going to Manage my Booking I find a message saying;

"Potential service disruption may affect your journey. Please review your options below."


The options are (A) cancel and get a refund. (B) do nothing and just turn up as planned, hoping that it's OK, or (C) rebook on to another flight.

(A) is out of the question; for various reasons we have to go. It's most definitely not a holiday. Other paid-for reservations would be lost, with no refund, ie hotac, transport to the air etc.

(B the information provided is useless; What the hell does "may affect your journey" mean? Will it, or won't it? What's the cause of the "potential" disruption? BA's IT? Massive fleet breakdowns? Strike? Why can't the stupid sods in BA give us the information we need to make a judgement call? What's the risk of not getting a flight if we do just turn up?

(C) Rebook when? Tuesday? Wednesday? When? How do we know? How long will the "potential disruption" last" Who will refund all the money already shelled out irretrievably for transport and hotac? BA? In your dreams.

Does anyone have any insight into why BA is predicting disruption next Monday? Is it severe? unlikely/likely/very likely?

I did call the appropriate number to get the full story and advice from a friendly customer service agent. Ho, ho, ho. Guess what? They're rather busy at the moment, so the final recording on any menu option is "Sorry, we're very busy, Please call again later. bleep, bleep. bleep."

Why does anyone book BA, I wonder. I know, that's what I did. Well, I hope others will benefit from my experience.

Meanwhile, can an insider offer any information as to what the real situation is? Please?
You must not have had a look at the news. Almost all the major airports in the UK are suffering the same. 5-6 just to get through security. At manchester airport on Friday people were jumping the barriers at x-ray to get to their flights. It is absolute chaos right now. No sign of immediate improvement over the next few weeks either.

So I would say a good airline would allow you to cancel for a full refund (for a problem not of their making) or if feasible to rebook for a later date or like they said show up and take your chances.

Also for a sense of balance, on Friday EasyJet cancelled 100 flights due to staff shortages. At the last minute. Would you not prefer an airline to give you some heads up that things arenít running smoothly and allow you to decide how urgent your trip is?

Last edited by Flyhighfirst; 3rd Apr 2022 at 18:55.
Flyhighfirst is online now  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 19:10
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Uk
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
No, I mean people with no sense of pride in BA as the British national carrier, a title it still carries, with little justification. To them, it's just a financial exercise; sweat the assets until they've nothing left to give, then reverse out.

BTW, I don't mind sounding old, it's what I am. Advancing age both allows and qualifies me to tell it like it is. So there.

Those foreigners might manage successful airlines elsewhere, pity they can't do it in the UK, isn't it?
But it isnít ďthe national carrierĒ. It is not owned by the government. It has no duty to the country, just passengers and shareholders, and workforce. American Airlines is not the national carrier of the US.

Just like British Gas is not the national utility supplier, or British American Tobacco is not the national Tabasco company of those countries. It is a name.

Your other comment I bolded doesnít make you sound old. More prepubescent.

Surely you would like to be forewarned of potential issues even if they canít say for a certainty it will affect you? This is the core issue that winds me up. You are grumpy at them warning you, but if they hadnít and you turned up and there were significant delays or even a cancellation you would be again grumpy that they didnít inform you. Itís a no win scenario for them, and most companies right now.
Flyhighfirst is online now  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 19:47
  #24 (permalink)  
Son of Slot
Super Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1,064
Please remember to discuss the problem and not insult each other. This is a very important topic and we all have our own view based on personal history, experience and expectations.

No further comments about the person posting, just information and opinion about the topic.
S.o.S. is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 20:20
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Northumberland, England
Posts: 255
Originally Posted by nomilk View Post
You mean all these foreigners that manage successful airlines in the rest of the world? Or are foreign airlines all managed by wonderful British expats that make these foreign airlines successful?

You are old, but your post makes you sound even older, really ....
And another one goes on the ignore list...
Tocsin is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 20:24
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Northumberland, England
Posts: 255
Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
But it isn’t “the national carrier”. It is not owned by the government. It has no duty to the country, just passengers and shareholders, and workforce. American Airlines is not the national carrier of the US.

Just like British Gas is not the national utility supplier, or British American Tobacco is not the national Tabasco company of those countries. It is a name.

Your other comment I bolded doesn’t make you sound old. More prepubescent.

Surely you would like to be forewarned of potential issues even if they can’t say for a certainty it will affect you? This is the core issue that winds me up. You are grumpy at them warning you, but if they hadn’t and you turned up and there were significant delays or even a cancellation you would be again grumpy that they didn’t inform you. It’s a no win scenario for them, and most companies right now.
Close, but saved for now as you made me laugh with "national Tabasco company".

Why do people have to make ad hominems, the world wonders...

Last edited by Tocsin; 3rd Apr 2022 at 20:25. Reason: typo
Tocsin is offline  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 20:59
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Uk
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by S.o.S. View Post
Please remember to discuss the problem and not insult each other. This is a very important topic and we all have our own view based on personal history, experience and expectations.

No further comments about the person posting, just information and opinion about the topic.
Maybe because the post is totally wrong? It may be a very important post if it was worded what is wrong with aviation/airports lately. That issue has been in the press repeatedly over the last couple of weeks. Instead the poster chose to erroneously place all the blame on one single carrier, even though the issue is affecting every carrier. Even though admits he has seen the news in regards to the issues. Admits a bias in his initial post.

Itís a definition of trolling for a reaction. Which I suspect I will be on furlough for daring to talk back to a moderator but oh well.
Flyhighfirst is online now  
Old 3rd Apr 2022, 21:55
  #28 (permalink)  
Son of Slot
Super Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London
Posts: 1,064
Flyhighfirst I am the one Mod that you can talk back to!

I think you are missing the point. As part of the rules of PPRuNe that you agreed to, it is to discuss the topic and not what you may think of the person who wrote it. If you think another person is wrong, please set out your counter argument. There are other forums in PPRuNe used for outright disagreement but we try to keep the 'Cabin' reasonable.

I think it is clear that there are a number of reasons why the airline world is in the current state and the interaction of those different factors. It is interesting to read views of the origin of these problems and, critically, our members own experience of the system/s - good or bad.

Please bear in mind that: Whilst this particular Forum is my prime responsibility, some of the other Moderators who also have oversight in here are not as easy going as I am. It is rare for me to 'furlough' someone here as I prefer an open comment - but it does happen.

Lastly, if all who read this thread have learnt something - then that is great. For example, I had not yet read of easyJet cancelling 100 flights. I would like people to stay, give experience and humour.

S.o.S. is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 12:57
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: se england
Posts: 1,372
Isnt there even the tiniest mention of our Governments decision to discontinue all Covid precautions resulting ina massive ramp up in infections. Not lethal by and large but with tens of thousands of people suddenly getting Covid symptoms sufficient to keep them of work surely has to bear some of the blame. BA do some stupid things mind you and are not very well run but then the metric for a well run company in UK is increased profits / decrease staff and little to no attention paid to product quality or customer service
pax britanica is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 12:59
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: moraira,spain-Norfolk, UK
Age: 80
Posts: 387
Having worked with (not for) a few IT outsourcing companies I can tell you that
some of their aims are:-
1. Grow the contract.
2. Try to keep information away from counterpart managers so they become deskilled and useless.
3. employ very cheap staff, who may be useless if there is a problem.

As an aside I know of several contracts which my organisation placed with decent small companies,
and the small company was soon taken over by a large one with foreseeable results. All legal.
Obviously no names.
esa-aardvark is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 13:18
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Scotland
Posts: 120
Advancing age both allows and qualifies me to tell it like it was
Fixed your post. You're welcome
Richard Dangle is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 17:19
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: UK
Posts: 25
having worked in IT for 30 years I can also guarantee the worst possible thing is to throw money at IT and makes lots of fixes. It's an axiom that for every bug you fix you introduce a new one.

Somebody needs to look at all these failures and see what common root causes there may be, in terms of technology, interfaces, built-in redundancy, people skillset, testing and diagnostics etc. I spent a lot of time monitoring databases I was responsible for, and they very rarely crashed as I could spot problems days or hours before they became critical. But BA risks losing it's top tier brand reputation by being cheap with IT, which is a false economy. These days IT is an investment, not an expense. We all have smartphones and expect to interact by and large using the smartphone, with the vendors IT setup,
arf23 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 17:50
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Blighty
Posts: 4,843
arf23 - you may well have a point that throwing money at IT is a bad idea - I can certainly understand your opinion
Doing the root cause analysis and trying to rebuild BA's IT systems into something stable and robust will presumably take years - it's going to be a long hard slog, and BA will benefit if the likes of Accenture, EDS and Infosys are kept as far away as possible
But... and there is always a but... what would you do if you were the CEO or CIO of BA, knowing that your IT is a terrible state, it's the start of the 6 months most important to annual revenues, the company has had an awful 24 months of pandemic and that the customers with high commercial loyalty status are getting distinctly nervous about booking with BA ?

It's likely the CIO and immediate team have a lot of knowledge about how the IT infrastructure works - it may well be honourable for them to resign in the long term, but equally honourable for them to stick around for a few months to help fix the mess first
No, sticking lots of plasters on gaping wounds is not the right thing to do long term, but what *should* the CIO of BA do right now to keep the company operational and credible over the spring and summer ?
davidjohnson6 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 19:12
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,322
The IT at BA may well be a mess and is certainly worthy of debate but from what I'm hearing this week's issue is very much Covid bug related, not IT bug related..

Some sectors/trips are apparently being cancelled at pretty much the last possible moment when the folks who look after the crew side of things realise they don't have enough fit bodies.
wiggy is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 19:28
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 1,165
Air travel disruption across the USA
Easyjet cancellations
Hartington is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 19:42
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southampton
Posts: 788
As we know, software developers are clever people. Perhaps too clever for their own good really.

They often make things far more complicated that they need to, which is why we find bugs in the system. There are a couple of reasons for making it complicated. They enjoy the challenge and the longer it takes to get it working, the more money they earn.

Whilst itís simplistic to say simple, itís often what an IT system needs to be. Far too many are not used to their full potential, because they donít need to be used that way. They contain solutions to problems that no one identified previously.

However, to put the blame on the software people is unfair. They are responding to what was asked of them, when often the client doesnít really know what they want. They just know that they need something better than what they already have and they do that by asking the specialists to give it to them. When given a blank piece of paper, everything, included the kitchen sink, is going to be be up for option. Lots of nice to haves and much less essentials. Itís no wonder things go wrong and take ages.

Its not just aviation either, with the MOD and Government departments amongst the worse organisations overspending and late.

Chuck covid into the mix and itís not surprising that things are bad at BA. They need to take a hard look at themselves if they are going to get out the mess theyíre in.
Saintsman is online now  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 21:37
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
Maybe because the post is totally wrong? It may be a very important post if it was worded what is wrong with aviation/airports lately. That issue has been in the press repeatedly over the last couple of weeks. Instead the poster chose to erroneously place all the blame on one single carrier, even though the issue is affecting every carrier. Even though admits he has seen the news in regards to the issues. Admits a bias in his initial post.

Itís a definition of trolling for a reaction. Which I suspect I will be on furlough for daring to talk back to a moderator but oh well.
My reading of the email wording in the post would give me a similar reaction to the poster: telling me of a "potential service disruption" is absolutely no use to anyone. I really do not understand why businesses try and hide behind platitudes and generalisations. If something is going wrong then that's fine, it happens, no one can expect 100% reliability 100% of the time without paying for triple redundancy backup, which, as SLF I know I don't. But please tell me what has gone wrong so that I can understand it and plan around it. Saying "due to Covid-19 related staff absences a potential service disruption" lets me plan better as I can better understand the risk. Just saying "potential service disruption" doesn't let me plan, is it Covid? Is it IT? Is it strike action? Is it bad weather? Is it due to the potential grounding of 90% of the fleet? Each of these has different risk profiles. Without knowing which it is I'm in the dark as to whether to take the risk and turn up, take the refund, rebook with a different airline / different time etc.
James 1077 is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2022, 21:57
  #38 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 65
Posts: 9,673
This is almost thread drift as Covid is the immediate problem but ... A good friend of mine was on a long term contract for BA developing software when it was all outsourced. It is a long and painful story. For myself, I was in Telecommunications and IT for 27 years and saw the start of the outsourcing game / fashion in New York in 1987/88. I did not like it and have never liked it. Call me old fashioned but I quote my father who was in Personnel Management (before it became Human Resources) and then in a specialist agency recruiting 'C' level staff and their close subordinates.

In his retirement when I discribed outsourcing to him he said: "Unless you have control over an employee's salary - you have no control." He also quoted the famous line "You need to be able to reach out and grasp someone warmly by the throat ..." The outsourced employee is not answerable to the client - but to their own manager who has the money.

I agree with those (above) who state that the refurbishing of the software suite at BA is a mammoth task and better to be dealt with by Main Board directors who actually understand IT and not put out to big consultancies. This process will take years but, as far as we know, IAG has not yet started. I DO UNDERSTAND the cost of this and the difficulty of doing so post Covid but - they should have started it five years ago when the weakness of their systems was becoming apparent.

Many senior company people in the UK do not understand that they are an IT Company who happen to: Make Baked Beans / Paint / Cars or operate aircraft for pax and cargo. The IT enables everything. I have seen at first hand, large UK companies fail to understand this.
PAXboy is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2022, 07:20
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Posts: 116
I am booked on a Virgin Atlantic flight to LHR in a couple of weeks..can anyone advise if they have had any scheduling problems? Much googling hasnt turned up any problems, but if its outside agencies causing the problems, surely they will be affected too?

Also, whas the queue like at border Control in the early morning/ plenty of gates open?
ATSA1 is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2022, 07:29
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 80
Posts: 1,108
PAXboy, I am an ex-BOAC/BA man and agree with you 100%. I watched the start of so many things being outsourced. In some areas it can definitely be a benefit but in the core areas of business like IT it is a false economy and you quickly lose control of standards.
Bergerie1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.