Submit Press release  ˇ eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

Averted Or Postponed

Kamapala travel agents speak out about court injunction to stop BA strike

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Dec 18, 2009

The moment the news broke in Kampala that British Airways (BA) had obtained a court injunction to avert a potentially-crippling strike over the Christmas and New Year period, the development immediately attracted comments by leading travel agents to eTN.

"It is too late now to get a lot of travelers back on to BA who had opted to book with us for other airlines, but it is a relief to those passengers who had booked BA and paid long in advance for certain special fares. At least they can now go ahead with their travel plans. I expect BA to launch very low fares for flights from Uganda to London to fill remaining seats, which are now surely available, and I am sure many undecided travelers [will] take advantage of such eye-catching offers when they hit the market over the next few days," said one professed supporter of British Airways.

The main tenor, however, remained overwhelmingly critical with comments advanced like: "They may have stopped the immediate strike, but this will have made the union even more determined. The smug comments by the BA management will only wind up their cabin crew even more, and a strike is definitely coming sometime early next year. This is only a delay of the inevitable," said one travel agent who had previously been quoted.

Another travel agent brought a new dimension into play, saying: "The BA chief should pack his bags and go. My agency booked BA until the mess when they opened their new terminal, even when they were a sneak pack over the commission reductions and did us agents a lot of harm. Compared to Emirates, when they switched terminals, it went perfect, and we now book a lot more on Emirates because their service is very good. They always offer specials and Dubai stays, and BA messed up a lot of our business travelers at the beginning of terminal 5. At that time, their CEO fired others to save his skin, but this strike issue now surely is his own failure. Can anyone assure travelers and agents if the cabin staff are not now starting their own games by reporting sick or work by the book, which can also delay or cancel flights? This is not over, and I think when it happens it will be with a lot of animosity. I read a lot on airline performance; look at Emirates, or even your own Lufthansa [the agent knew I was from Germany] - they all managed this global crisis a lot better, and the BA man must allow questions [of] why his company is doing so badly. Maybe because he is the one doing so badly, let him go."

Other travel agents spoke of their caution about recommending longer-term prebookings for BA flights, not knowing if and when the threatened strike would eventually take place, adding further damage to the airline depending on a constant flow of new bookings and prepayments.

Kamapala travel agents speak out about court injunction to stop BA strike
Image via

Premium Partners