This interview with Daniel Broccoli from Britaly Travel London Road Peterborough followed the news that a BA cabin crew strike could lead to travel disruption. It was broadcast at 07:35 on Friday 19th March 2010 in Paul Stainton’s BBC Peterborough Breakfast Show.
PS: British Airways managers and unions have been talking. They will resume those talks today to try to avert this three day strike by the airline’s cabin crew. The two sides spent all day yesterday in discussions, but again they ended in deadlock. BA says it will be able to fly around 65% of passengers despite the walkout. The airline claims up to a thousand staff have offered to stand in for the strikers. But the UNITE union accuses the management of bluffing. But what does it mean for you, I, or anyone else who’s lucky enough to be going away this weekend? Daniel Broccoli is from Britaly Travel based on London Road in Peterborough. Good morning Daniel.
DB: Good morning.
PS: What does it mean if the strike goes ahead? Because a lot of people are going to be very upset, not only this weekend, but the forthcoming strike as well, leading up to Easter.
DB: Well, BA are doing a good job at the moment, replacing aircraft, they’re speaking to other airline partners, and they’re chartering in some aircraft to use the routes that have been cancelled. I’ve got to say that they’re doing a good job for their plans to cope if this strike goes on. I saw this morning, no not this morning, yesterday evening, another sixty flights are now operating, that were originally going to be cancelled. I always say to people, go back to your travel agent, BA are keeping us all informed hourly, you can say, on what’s happening, what the next step’s going to be. But at the moment they seem to be doing a good job to reprotect people on other flights.
PB: So you’re pretty confident on what BA are saying?
DB: Yes I am. For once an airline’s really thinking about what it’s doing, and helping it’s passengers.
PB: Have you got customers though whose flights have been cancelled, and if so, how are they feeling, what are you doing with them?
DB: I’ve got about five or six customers on flights during the day, and so far, all of them, the flights are operating, but just with a reduced service, on board.
PS: Right, so no people stranded in Mauritius, or Sydney, or anything like that?
DB: I would love to be stranded in Mauritius or Sydney. I would be praying please cancel my flight, I don’t want to go home.
PS:: (laughter) It’s having the money to stay there, though, isn’t it?
DB: OK. You’ve brought us back down to earth. No at the moment no, we have nobody stranded. And speaking to the other travel agents, people are being reprotected.
PS: Right. And you mention a reduced service on board some of these flights. What does that mean, just one cabin crew instead of three, or …?
DB: Well yes. I think BA are one of the airlines that have the most cabin crew on any aircraft, so instead of say five stewardesses, there’ll only be three, instead of all the meals coming out there’ll only be just soft drinks, or like a little bar service you get on the trains, or on a low-cost airline where they say: “Do you want to buy anything?”, or “Here’s any drinks, if anybody wants a drink.”
DB: But I think people are understanding that. I think they’d rather fly, than worry about a warm meal.
PB: Yes. Hopefully though, fingers crossed, the dispute will be solved today, and they can shake hands and walk away without the need for industrial action.
DB: I really hope so. The airlines, well everybody, has had a hard year, and to pull a stunt like, to go out on strike, on such a big airline, I think is wrong. But that’s my views.
PB: Yes. And just a word of advice to anybody who’s worried, who perhaps is booked on a flight this weekend, what should they do, Daniel?
DB: Go back to your travel agent, or if you booked it online yourself, go on the BA website, they’ve got a great system where you put in your flights, and it will tell you exactly what’s happening, if the flight’s operating, or if there is a reduced service, or if it has to be cancelled what you can do with your money, or if there’s another airline you can rebook on.
PB: Good stuff. Daniel Broccoli, who’s from Britaly Travel on London Road in Peterborough. Good advice as ever.