5 JUNE 2017

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Article from BTNews 5 JUNE 2017

BA: New strike plus 150m bill

Cabin staff at odds with British Airways are threatening a new four-day walkout from 16 June in the long-running dispute over mixed-crew pay as the airline copes with the aftermath of last week’s IT failure.

As talks continue, compensation to passengers caught up in last week’s drama, many of whom were said at the weekend to be still without their luggage, could cost BA up to £150m, says specialist legal firm Bott and Co.

The company database records each scheduled flight and shows BA has some 800 departures a day from Heathrow and Gatwick. The projected cost to BA using these figures could be £100m in damages plus £50m for items like hotel accommodation.

BA’s investigation into the breakdown is focused on the “uninterruptible power supply”, or UPS, into the BA data centre at Boadicea House, one of two at Heathrow.

Reports last week said power to the centre shut down on Saturday for reasons not yet known. It was restored quickly but the switch-on was said to have been done too fast.

Meanwhile, Willie Walsh, CEO of BA’s parent company IAG, backed the airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz over the affair. Cruz was said to have Walsh’s “full support”.

www.britishairways.com

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John Davidson, France, Paris

This pile-up of baggage reminds me of an arrival in Addis Ababa on BA in biz class. My luggage was lost for three days, and it was my responsibility to check with the local BA office, in the Hilton hotel (where I was staying), to find out if they'd found it and where it was. After three days, and without the BA office taking any initiative to contact me, it turned out that my bag had indeed arrived at the Addis airport. But it was up to me to go out and find it (for reasons of customs, they said, which turned out to be untrue). There was a pile of luggage, and the airport authorities allowed me in to search, find and take out my bag. BA did nothing to help. I paid for a taxi out and back. Compare this with an experience with AF in Amman, where once again my luggage was lost for three days. It was my great pleasure to find my bag at my hotel on my return from a visit to Bethlehem (on the occasion of Xmas), and in the meantime AF had given me $50 to buy necessities. What a difference!


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