I was at the launch of the Passenger Shipping Association annual cruise review on Monday when the Travel Weekly news alert hit people’s BlackBerries, informing them that the British Airways strikes had been called off… for this week, at least.
The collective sigh of relief was audible. Nearly all the cruise operators gathered in the room are suffering to varying degrees at the hands of BA and its disgruntled cabin crew.
As travel businesses desperately try to drag themselves out of the recession and cope with the uncertainties posed by the recurring ash crisis, the BA dispute, which looks as far away from a resolution as ever, is the last thing they need.
And the strain is beginning to show.
On our Travelhub this week, agents’ patience was wearing very thin. They said they had no sympathy for crew members – and claimed that neither did their clients.
One said the strikes and the threat of strikes were causing “untold misery”.
The resounding sentiment was that the trade would no longer take the risk of booking BA and were switching to other carriers.
If they are doing that in significant numbers, the loss of business might force BA to cut jobs – and those cabin crew who are demanding more might end up with nothing more than dole money.
BA is offering holidays, spa days and football goodies as a thank-you for your support, which is a really nice gesture. A resolution to the dispute would be better still.
Are you still booking flights with British Airways? Discuss it on the travelhub forums