Friday 11 April 2008

Boycott British Airways

Oh! Golly Gosh!

The British Airways (BA) have not only gotten their knickers in a twist, the buffoons have had their shoe laces tied together at the start of every race they have entered that they fall splat when the starting orders are given.

Being British, I think I have flown that airline only once and never returned, the service between the UK and West Africa is quite lucrative for BA because the choices leave people paying well over the odds for outrageous service and maximum discomfort from the most uncouth that can be found of the most dreadful crew in that organisation.

The story I read through blogs posted by Funmi Iyanda and Chxta which is spreading disgust but not fast enough to get BA to come to its senses leaves me incandescent with rage.

Disrespect of customers

The Mirror newspaper carried the news and I could very well see myself in the shoes and place of the person that has suffered the most from the incident.

The first issue is the utter disrespect that a commercial airline has for its paying customers that they would allow possibly unstable and seriously distressed customers on the plane where security and restraint can in some ways be used in excess.

A deportee was brought on the flight and under the “gentle” handling of law enforcement that the man was screaming words to the effect that he was going to die.

Wherever, I might have been on that plane after a while of hearing that, I would have gotten out of my seat to find out what was going on, that is what Ayodeji Omotade did – someone who in my view had not allowed the overwhelming indifference of society to inure him to the suffering of others. (His ordeal in his own words appears here.)

Deportees and sadder memories

Many Nigerians would be aware of a case last year where another distressed deportee (Osamuyia Aikpitanhi) had a bag put over his head that he died in Spain – it would have been a basic reflexive thing to have said, “Please, don’t kill him”, just as he could have said, “Please, be careful”, which would have meant the same thing but implying the first statement.

The ever so “friendly” crew buffeted him saying the police were doing what was their job where they should have been working hard to stop other passengers from getting just as distressed as the non-paying deportee.

Maybe transporting deportees is a more lucrative business for BA; I sure do not want to share a plane with someone who has been put on the plane under duress.

In fact, if there are so many deportees to be returned to a country, why do the immigration authorities not arrange a “Gitmo” style plane to take them back to their countries? Though, I think that would garner the worst kind publicity for them – but if they cannot find ways to handle deportees more humanely, they would just have to remain where they are.

Distress and injustice

The deportee was taken off the flight, and then they came for Ayodeji Omotade who they thought was a disrupting influence and the police gave him hell, it is completely unacceptable – he should be talking to his Member of Parliament (Jonathan Shaw) forthwith – that would go to the heart of the matter quickly.

The pilot seeing that there would be an insurrection for this victimisation of the innocent, something they have gotten away with for ages but not this time, then ordered all Nigerians off the plane – 136 of them – that is his prerogative.

As usual, the “spineless” onlookers from other nations had now been terrorised enough not to get involved just in case they are slapped with some ridiculous charge – considering they might already have been psychologically damaged by what they had observed before – but BA does not care a jot about customers going to West Africa, no pleasantries just aggravation.

Blunders A-plenty

Then BA gets its quarry, the lucrative deportee back on the plane, with 136 empty seats it flies off to Nigeria with a statement that a large number of passengers became disruptive and that they take any threats against their crew or passengers very seriously and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

If BA cannot realise that devaluing the quality of travel of their customers and creating distress by bringing on the flight a seriously distressed passenger would create that kind of situation, they are their own worst enemy.

British Airways has form in not knowing how to do good customer service or business that works; from their run in with Richard Branson in the dirty tricks saga where they thought Sir Richard was insignificant and he then took them to the cleaners.

Their ethnic tailfin designs got the greatest putdown from Baroness Thatcher when she put her handkerchief over the awful designs that replaced the British flag, they also got caught out in a fuel surcharge cartel Sir Richard shopping them to the authorities again and now Terminal 5 is taking BA to its terminal decline – this one with Nigerians should be the very last straw.

BA has nothing to make the British proud of and in all is an utter global disgrace, a change in management could not be called for too soon already, that organisation is an organic and malignant disaster.

Boycott BA

Ayodeji Omotade has now been banned from travelling by BA, this man is not Naomi Campbell by any stretch of the imagination – in my view, anyone who has any affiliation with Nigeria should boycott that organisation altogether – fly anything but BA.

I do not know if we have an Ambassador in the UK who speaks up for Nigerians, by Mr. Omotade is also British so his Member of Parliament would suffice in his case, but in the case of others somebody must be up for them.

There is a petition on this matter called Nigerians boycott British Airways for this outrageous treatment of Nigerians, please sign in and voice your protest. Please register your protest with an identity and possibly a comment, anonymous protests do not carry that much weight.

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