Why do you think BA apologists are so allergic to open exchange of views?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by redtailshark, Jan 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    It's always been apposite... BA apologists exchanging their chummy "humor" [nasty British sarcasm, intended to belittle not just the objects of the sarcasm, but those who don't understand their reference] while attempting to silence and even humiliate those who don't agree with them.

    True. BA themselves are very bad, don't let's get carried away. However, they have improved slightly of late from the 2008 nadir. However, the apologists haven't. In the BA cabins they seek to impose the social order of Little England. Many tactics are necessary to reproduce this vile space, but censorship is certainly a mainstay.

    British culture is profoundly maladriot at handling criticism and, in the apex of the Colonel Blimpesque/Nigellian worldview, the apologist lairs show no signs of the glasnost or perestroika. Obviously the apologists will attack the bearers of contrary views. But what about the neutrals?

    Let's put this another way. We ask a survey question, such as: To what extent does Avios suck? The factual answers will be interesting to a lot of people who would like to compare the perceptions of all-around frequent flyer program value. However, the censorious Nigels and Nigellas cannot permit these questions to be asked.

    If the rating scale is 1 (it doesn't suck at all) to 10 (it surpasses even the legendary *Best In Class* DL SM program for suckage) then I vote Avios at an 8.
     
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  2. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    I'm british but an expat and live in Italy. If I work for a company and they don't give me a pay rise or make me feel unappreciated, or I fly an airline that gave me a bad experience, I don't complain, I just go elsewhere. I think that is probably a trait of a lot of british people. Perhaps as a nation we'd prefer other people to do the same thing, and just go elsewhere if it doesn't suit them? Afterall, what does moaning about a frequent flyer program achieve? Er, nothing in my experience, so I wouldn't bother.
     
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  3. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Ah so you live in Italy...that means [apologist hat on] what would you know about current British culture? And why don't you live in jolly old Blighty you traitor? After all, it's better than Johnny Foreigners rotten corrupt turf. What's this, you support the charlatan Burlesque-oni with your taxes? Mwahaha!

    As for your experience of pushing back against FFP rescissions, the fact that in your experience this "achieves nothing" supports your thesis - that Brits don't rock the boat and get what they "deserve." Well, you may believe so but there's a factual record that contradicts that position.

    Your experience could usefully be broadened. You might want to learn the history of the Save Sky Miles movement. Google Rob Borden. Pay attention to the SSM truck and its billboard parading outside the stockholder meeting in NYC and the censorious reactions of the then-DL management. Pay attention to what ultimately happened to those managers. Except Jeff Robertson. Or try it with US Airways, the Roaches and the Roachfest.

    A number of major pushbacks have been achieved over the years precisely because of member resistance. Not much against BA because of the reasons you cite.... although even they rolled back the non-100% earnings on lower eco fares for EC recently.
     
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  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I was under the impression that there were two FF boards. Have I come to the nasty one by mistake?
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    So everyone who doesn't rip BA a new one over the changes to the Executive Club is an apologist and is part of some diabolical, dastardly plot? :rolleyes:
     
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  6. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    I won't complain about your post, I'll just go and read another one instead.... ;)

    Seriously, you may be correct that it is possible to change corporations by grass-root movements, but I was just trying to explain the british psyche. I wouldn't complain if my company gave me a 50% pay cut, I really wouldn't, I'd just go out and get a better paid job. I wouldn't want to work for a company that did that to me even if I could persuade them to change their mind. Similarly with FFPs.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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  8. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Maybe it's the way you phrase your posting. If you title something To What Extent Does Avios Suck you are not asking for active dialogue, all you want is for people to pile on and agree with everything you say. You are not asking for opinions so anyone who disagrees with you, you are probably classifying as a BA apologist.

    I'll be the first to agree I loved the old BA scheme, took full advantage of it to have trips to Asia in FC on CX. Did a recent FC to UK on the 2-4-1. So the scheme has changed, instead of using my time to vent on internet board about how bad it is, I've spent time working out how I can make the program work for me in its new format.

    I've found that the new Avios will be excellent for domestic redemption in Australia. I have found that I can still use it to redeem for reasonable rates going from HNL to Tokyo on JAL in J for 40k points.

    As others have pointed out we can't all spend our time being angry at a situation. I prefer to direct my energies to things I can change, and the Avios scheme is not one of those things.
     
  9. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Personally I think the direct connection you have made between the ardent BA supporters and the British (or English) culture goes a bit too far.:)

    I make no apologies for my very critical comments of the BA philes and no where epitomises it more than the BA FT board. Its with a great deal of amusement and not without a fair bit of satisfaction to read about the seeming almost implosion and self-cannibalization currently occurring over there. :D It appears the moderators are unable or more to the point unwilling to reign in a handful of (quite prolific) posters.

    But please lets not equate the insular and often quite defensive behaviour of the BA crowd as reflective of the British society as a whole... we just happen to be witnessing the worst aspects of it.

    Much of it is just plain jealousy .. they just hate that Chase gave away those 100k card bonuses ( I too am steamed.. I only got 20k miles when I got my first BA card:)) and they didnt get those miles added to that there is incipient undercurrent of dislike of all things American but this type of behaviour is quite common with many nationalities .. we do it to the French regularly.

    Previous to the introduction of those ridiculous YQ charges and the current Avios fiasco the BA program was one of the best around.. but now the only recourse for the BA members is engage a great deal of rationaliization.
    " things could have been worse ...so it costs 200k miles and 1500 GBP to fly F to Sydney but its still cheaper than buying a F ticket... so life is good" :rolleyes:
     
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  10. FlyIce

    FlyIce Silver Member

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    It sounds vaguely like a Shakespearian play but talks about Avios.

    Two ingredients that can't seriously mix in the same recipe.
     
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  11. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Agree with this. Someone who uses language like this just wants to yell and scream. He's decrying the exact same thing that he is.

    My award goal is IAD-LHR F/C, which got a hell of a lot cheaper.
     
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  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I agree, posting this on the BA board would be amusing. It would stimulate a good discussion. However, far from the mods being "unable or unwilling" to reign in the "prolific" posters (if you refer to the mean upholders of the ideologies we discuss), the mods can and do take action.

    I was banned ages ago from that board. Because I was "disruptive" :) Mwahahaha!

    Although this was a clear victory - because being "disruptive" to such Stalinism and intolerance is a necessary civic disobedience - in another way it is unfortunate, because we used to enjoy a vigorous debate about these matters in that location:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...-management-need-read-crew-comments-here.html

    The implosion to which you refer makes them a laughing stock. Censoring the shark, and others, doesn't maintain the Brave New World "order" which they devoutly worship. Their overwhelming intolerance flashes at each other and their basic inability to relate to other humans drives the breakdown. Some of them are snarling proto-fascists.

    There are clear connections between unsavory British cultural practices, of which there are many, and the BA corporate ideology as well as the hypocritical and censorious beliefs of the apologists. I choose to call them out, rather than let the sleeping dogs lie...because the ideology needs to be called out.

    As for whether BA forums represent larger traits, I hear what you say, but I disagree with your premise that the BA board is not representative of larger set of cultural practices. I think it represents the acme of them, a distilled dose of the civil poison.

    The apologists pretend to be global but their intolerance for Johnny Foreigner is legion. It impedes their ability to relate to, understand, and function with, those from other countries. Brits are culturally illiterate, intolerant of kids, it's a cold society. Quite a dangerous one, too, compared with other industrialized nations. Resorting to violent thuggery is never far from the surface; just look at the language often used by the BA apologists "They need a good kicking" etc. There's nothing "innocent" about this. It's typical vileness.

    And these problems weren't independent of the evolution of the BA character. As a result of selecting the most caricatured and intolerant pseudo-Etonians to manage them for decades, BA distilled these practices and beliefs into a form of warped art. They created an aura that appealed to Colonel Blimp and his wife and then Colonel Blimp directed his energies into intensifying the character of the BA "space." These guys laugh at Fawlty Towers and Manuel's discomfiture as they watch UK Gold in the Terraces. Meanwhile, they blow off allegations of racism and sexism in the cockpits, in the lounges and everywhere at their lair. Manuel's humiliation represents their desire.

    BA used to be so awful, it was hard to know where to begin. Quite a Stalinist borg. For example, don't you remember the hated pedophile policy on BA? A policy that would certainly have resulted in a serious financial liability if it had been openly challenged by an American. In the end, it did result in a judgment issued against BA by an EU court after it was challenged by an EU national. They were absolute idiots. The same for reneging on the DEL misfile - their silence-the-dissent tactics may have worked against their UK clientele, but they were hit for settlements in the US after unilaterally voiding their own contract

    Their legal department showed the traits of insularity and cultural arrogance in spades by believing that the UK-remedy would apply to the US. That hubris cost them real money. Pax celebrated the defeat of the BA borg.

    It needn't have been like that.

    Meantime the BA board apologists, with their nasal clubby atmosphere, replete with sarcastic in-jokes and utter condescension for newbs and/or Americans especially, revel in this Little England. Disrupting it was a true pleasure.

    Although there are certainly cultural differences among the BA apologist cohort - amusingly - the apologists would fight one another - the Scots sometimes turning on the English, when national pride burned...aye, the Burns Suppers and a' that. The quizzical, insular English and the resentful, monster shoulder-chipped Scots are not good partners. Nevertheless, just as in days of yore, the common pursuit of their imperial hegemony led them to bury their mutual hatred and intolerance long enough to cooperate in the subjugation of Johnny Foreigner and celebration of the BA borg.

    As for EC, yes, it used to have its advantages. Since then, I took the 100k Chase EC bonus and then was operationally upgraded to LHR on a WT+ award ticket. The BA apologists can't explain this and neither can I. But so what. Then, I went into Waterworld at the behest of management. Again the apologists could not explain it.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I was once BA Gold, was once a London resident, and have worked on and off in the UK for more than 35 years. That by way of my qualifications for the comments I am about to make.

    The British Islanders almost all share a usually healthy disdain for their own quirks. That may be why Inspector Clouseau and Basil Fawlty, to name only two, could probably have come from nowhere else. It is no accident that only the British are quite so stridently able to skewer themselves. It is less welcome when the skewers come from elsewhere.

    And thus it is with British Airways, the Rover 2000TC of airlines. It looks right, seems at first blush to have nice leather and accoutrements, but somehow manages to come out all wrong. Strange, isn't it, that only the Indians understood the UK strengths and weaknesses well enough to make Jaguar/Land Rover profitable? Lest you think I have no qualifications for that small quip, I have owned Morgan, Beagle 206 (anybody who owned a beagle is probably certifiable so be careful to discount my thoughts), Jaguar, Land Rover and other products of the demented British mind. That I keep doing it over and over proves something about my determination of keep a stiff upper lip, if nothing else.

    Avios are simply another in my long series of British purchases. Just like all the others they looked pretty good until one actually tried to use them for their ostensible consumer purpose. I simply forgot that their purpose it to be acquired, then left unused. Just like the Rover 2000TC, it looked good unless you tried to drive it.
    :rolleyes:

    If any of the foregoing seems irritating just remember that i am NOT British, so I undoubtedly do not really understand. However some of my best friends are british, so possibly I do understand.:confused:
     
  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I
    I agree with just about all the points you made and in particular the paragragh quoted.
    But therein lies the problem and why the behaviour of certain elements of the BA groupies are so irritating even on just on a personal level.
    One even wonders if some are in fact British or just internet "British wannabes' ....their patently and often absurd thin skinned behaviour/reaction regarding over what is only just a business entity is quite mystifying.

    I lived most of my formative years in a former British colony, I attended University of London for three years, London is still my favorite city in the world...my closest friend for over 30 years is English (though he now lives on Guernsey) I follow the Premier League very closely and I am a very ardent follower of English (horse) Racing (flat).

    Finally here is one other thing the Indian have done .. improved their cusine. Now everybody goes out for a curry as opposed to those god-awful fish and chip shops of yesteryear.:D
     
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  15. oscietra
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    oscietra Silver Member

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    One should put redtailshark's perspective in the context of his racist rants:



    "rude" doesn't begin to cover it!
     
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  16. G-BOAC
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    G-BOAC Silver Member

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    Sounds like a particularly depraved sexual fetish.
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Were we to take this thread seriously some offense would be warranted. Of course, this is all too funny to be serious.

    Anyone who has accidentally left incriminating evidence on a London Bus understands depraved fetishes; the rest of us can only look on with rude snickers and snorts.
     
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  18. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Ah, the Rover 2000TC. Yes. Or the SD1 V8. Which had an American engine anyway, the best part of the car.

    Like Britain, these all sound good...until you actually experience it for yourself.

    jbc, it's a classic British cultural fallacy to examine the grounds from which criticisms are made and adjudicate them. To BA apologists and the legion intolerant members of British society, "Legitimacy" has to be established by "belonging" to the ingroup - i.e. being one of "them." Scots are the very worst at this, with two levels of alienation from the rest of the world, and then the English. But Colonel Blimp and the Nigels aren't far behind.

    I was always puzzled by this behavior not just because it was condescending and unpleasant but because it confounded objectivity.

    Classic case: Brits claim they aren't "racist." Johnny Foreigner, who lives in the UK, says, "wait a moment, I've been cursed/attacked/humiliated on racist grounds" and then the Brits try to a. silence the guy and b. delegitimate his criticism. The smugness of the Brits in denying their society is racist is amazing to behold, especially when the factual recipients of racist behavior are denied a platform to express their experiences.

    Objectively, it should be the reverse. The foreigners are those who directly suffer this behavior should be the ones who can quantify and adjudicate it. But they are oppressed into self-censorship or diminished by their so-called Brit friends. The utter intolerance of criticism of British practices and institutions is one of the points I've made for years, on all sorts of bulletin boards including this one.

    Basil Fawlty's treatment of Manuel was illustrative of these views. Finding fun in the demeaning of others based on objectionable national stereotypes is a classic cultural value of the Brits. They got it to the max in FT. That's FawltyTowers...and FlyerTalk. Mwahahaha!

    Your own point above exactly proves this belief... it seems you feel the ambivalence of the Brits towards your relatively mild expressions of criticism of Avios/BA/British culture... but, in truth, why should it matter who you are and where you come from, if you've experienced the culture?

    As for the "nastiness," well, my points may be direct and - in classic UK media-speak "robust".... but au contraire, I think it's nasty and vile to censor people's views to suppress free exchange. I like the formal, written US Constitutional protection. Which I've had to use in the course of my work. I prefer an open exchange of views and here, and everywhere, I refuse to be a party to Stalinist suppression of speech, by whining to the mods and demanding the disciplining of others by BigBrother simply for expressing themselves.

    Don't like it? Put up, write back.

    Here's another typical hypocrisy. Brits usually profess to believe in "free speech"...until they're confronted with divergent views. They can't even follow the good example of Gaullist philosophers like Voltaire.

    Contrast open speech with what happens in the smoke-filled back rooms of the corporate/cultural apologists.

    The anger of the BA apologists that people can even dare to express these views is by itself a testimonial to the validity of the views I present. These guys can succeed with suppressive tactics in tame forums, like over on FT, but when confronted by the reality of uncensored speech that they can't control, they fall back on Stalinist, suppressive behavior that is fueled by anger that their beloved ideological values are being criticized.

    They writhe with frustration when the contrary opinions can't be silenced or stopped, and when they see that Johhny Foreigner - who is much smarter than their own absurd caricatures allow them to believe - calls them out on their hypocrisy and failings.

    The classic, knee-jerk Brit response to this kind of thing is to announce "But, it's worse in...[usually America]. Look how racist you are there!" I say....well, hmmm.... I see a President who - whatever else we may say - isn't of the ethnic class of the Nigels. But... I don't see any similar Brit PM. Yeah, let's compare the institutional racism. Street level? I see UK street thugs only a couple of weeks ago killing a respectable and mild Indian student in an horrific event. And so on.

    BA were not a beacon of progressive tolerance and policy in this pool of awfulness. They were among the worst corporate entities in the western world. Remember the racism in the cockpits furore from 2008/09? No other major western airline manifested in that way despite all sorts of other labor issues they faced.

    The pedophile policy was among the typical British cultural outrages that found its way into BA policy in a shame-faced, tacit way...with cabin crew being instructed to move the male pax, covertly, but trying hard to not to publish this crudeness, and to avoid having it raised in the media. Because of its clear and flagrant illegality under EU law. A fact that was confirmed immediately

    No American airline would be a. stupid enough to do this or b. share the ideological belief that different treatment is required/accepted in the first place. Even LH didn't do this.

    No amount of Avios or cultural apologism can erase these facts. If it's unpalatable to the apologists then rather than killing the messengers, they might better be served by focusing their ire on the actual perpetrators.

    But this would force them to look into the mirror and confront some unsavory things. Such self-reflexive analysis is a capability that is uniquely lacking among the Brits, and for a long time, among the BA management.
     
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  19. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Ah! So, an apologist is forced to dig back into the archive and confront the free speech.

    I say, welcome, let's have a debate. It's fun that you post the "racist rant" from 2007 or whenever without being prompted.

    As for being "rude," well..hmmm... I can't agree. I'm simply robust and forthright.

    But there are rude people. I think rudeness is attempting to stifle what people can say, or condescendingly dismissing their credentials based on their nationality or ethnicity or simply denying in the face of overwhelming evidence that for the longest time, BA and its product sucked rocks.
     
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  20. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    nbs, the close coupling between personal probity, self-identified national characteristics and the larger perceptions of business entities such as BA is a very interesting phenomenon in British society. BA apologists represent the acme of the behavior.

    "Thin-skinned" doesn't exactly describe the depth of this problem.

    Criticizing BA is regarded as a treasonable act by some of the apologists. Even when such criticism is amply verifiable and widely acknowledged as objective reality e.g. the condescending and sometimes racist behaviors by the BA lounge dragons at the supposed showcase LHR lounges. This was suppressed in the classic way first by the apologists and then by the mods on the BA board, but it remained the subject of lively discussion on other boards, by PM, and the topic of many complaints to BA by the flyers concerned.

    This counterproductive behavior is driven by the tacit need to maintain the notorious British superiority complex. BA: it means, Beyond Arbitration. The most ardent apologists can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that this is what they are doing. They totally lack a capacity for self-reflexion, and their capacity for aggression is seldom matched.

    I don't say that these characteristics are always useless or problematic.

    Look at the larger picture. This is why the Brits wage war with such gusto, and why they have historically have been such strong foes on the battlefield. It's why their athletes manifest what the Finns call "sisu" and are hard to defeat in the finishing stretch of the 1500 meter run. Sebastian Coe's victories date back more than thirty years and the venues don't only include the halls of the IOC Committees.

    OK. But these very same factors also explain why they can't run global businesses very well. Wilful Churchillian defiance and pomposity is all very well when the islands are being attacked and the invaders threaten, but it doesn't go down well on the beaches of FL after the BP oil well blowout. Remember the ridiculous BP CEO's posturing? He was so out of touch, such a caricature of out-of-place, out-of-touch navel gazing, nationalist ideologies and misapplied populism from eight years ago, that even I couldn't have made this guy up. Fortunately he didn't last long.

    I wonder why he wasn't recruited immediately by BA? He'd be perfect to safeguard the interests of the BA apologist cliques :D
     
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  21. Randy Petersen
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    Randy Petersen Founder

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    Agree. " ... too funny to be serious." I'm left thinking that we are all "apologists" at one time or the other depending upon our daily dose of "loyalty".
     
  22. Primula
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    Primula Silver Member

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    It is a bit obsessive though to make to it your life's mission to decry BA in vastly overblown, poor English wherever you are provided the opportunity.

    Still it's your time if you want to waste it, and your shambolic, hyperbolic posts do amuse.
     
  23. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It is true we all enjoy this enough to keep looking and posting, no matter how ridiculous it is. Besides, we do know a little about obsessions around here...
     
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  24. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Ah! Your eviscerating parsimony overmatches me, sir!

    Not really.

    My mission isn't to decry BA come what may. It's to decry poor service, poor product, especially when cloaked with hypocrisy and arrant nonsense. Let's face it. BA offers what some term a "target-rich environment" for this analysis.

    Proof of point. I've taken almost 2,000 commercial flights. The best flight I've ever had was on BA. Ah that was aeons ago, yes, when BA delivered good service and less hypocrisy. Then, I sat in the 742 jumpseat and watched the shadow of the plane zipping over Arctic ice floes from 350 while the commander explained the INS mechanism and waypoint nav. I was served F or J food by the FA while watching this tableau unfold. This whole experience would be impossible now. That "BA jumpseat rider" in my profile info, it was for real. It was most entertaining when the BA apologists over on FT fell into the very predictable traps and, with their insulting responses, proved most of my points about their cultural predispositions to the neutral observers.

    The biggest irony of all was when I finally revealed my experiences on which the cultural/corporate analysis was based...and it was censored the same day! Bwahahaha! It's amusing to allow this knowledge gap to persist because the most belligerent Brits fall right into it, every time. They humiliate themselves when this happens.

    As for unrealistic expectations of BA's product coloring my analysis, I reject that argument. For instance I don't decry Michael O'Leary's product. I used it a few days ago. It doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. O'Leary doesn't advance pomposity about *best in class* or "to fly, to serve." He says, for example:

    "What do you expect for one bloody euro. No you can't have a cup of coffee, now f^^^ off!"

    MOL doesn't market hypocrisy. I don't have any expectation of free coffee on FR. There isn't any. No problem. I respect his philosophy. I bought his product and I flew safely and on-time - as the clarion trumpet reminded us on touchdown - from EDI to DUB with my checked bags, for which I paid the advertised rate. On my 9E ticket. That's good service.

    For FFP Elites, UA/NW/surprisingly, AF, and to a lesser extent, CO service is/was in a different league to recent BA service.

    About these writings, as other have noted, you're reading it and responding to it. No surprise. This is what happens everywhere. My threads over on BA provoked stimulating discussions and we all benefited from them. I laugh at the attempts to belittle the contribution. Unlike the BA apologists, however, I welcome the appearance of critical dialog on the forum. We're adults, we can have a conversation....even if I choose to criticize the sacred ideologies of BA.

    I always wondered what would have happened if BA apologists had experienced, just for a week, customer service as outstanding as provided by the NW Plat Line. After experiencing the phenomenal irop recovery and can-do service quality, they'd be less inclined to knee-jerk defenses of BA product when it was clearly lacking in comparison.
     
  25. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    Good to see that you haven't fallen into this racist trap :)
     

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