Matt's Crow Country: Airline staff need to be realistic

IT S getting to that time of year where many of us start to look forward to our holidays abroad. Being a poor, deprived, and underpaid journalist, I have no such luxuries to look forward to (sob) but many people will have booked trips to sunnier parts of

IT'S getting to that time of year where many of us start to look forward to our holidays abroad.

Being a poor, deprived, and underpaid journalist, I have no such luxuries to look forward to (sob) but many people will have booked trips to sunnier parts of the world and, if they're planning to fly with British Airways, will be keeping a nervous eye on the pay dispute between the airline and its cabin crews.

Up to 12,000 staff could walk out in a row over working hours and pay rises, with two strikes already planned, the first set to begin this Saturday, March 20.

Now I would support anyone's right to strike if it is justified, but I think in this instance the planned industrial action is not merited.


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Think of the number of people's holidays that will be ruined by their actions. This includes folk who have booked honeymoons or other special trips months in advance, and who now face a large spanner in the works.

BA has pledged to try to fulfil their commitments where possible, but it seems unlikely that all passengers with flights booked will enjoy a stress-free passage to their destination if these strikes happen.

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I realise that the staff who want to walk out are probably unhappy with what their employers have offered them, but we're in the midst of a recession which has hit the air travel industry harder than most, what do they expect? Practically every firm out there is making cut backs and giving their staff a larger workload, and I don't see why they think these people think they should be an exception.

If these selfish strikes go ahead, I hope those who walk out can live with themselves for ruining people's once in a lifetime trips.

Last week I was talking about the BBC making cut backs in the wrong places, with the wonderful 6 Music facing the axe.

And this week I noted another area in which money could be saved.

Because the dreary procession that is Formula One is back on our screens.

I say our screens, but it's also dominating radio schedules, and has pages and pages devoted to it online.

Now I realise the BBC doesn't have much in the way of quality sport these days, apart from darts that is, but it seems to me they are going way overboard with their F1 coverage.

Do we really need qualifying sessions broadcast on television, on Five Live, on Five Live sports extra, and online? There must be a few quid to be saved somewhere there.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who enjoy seeing Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and the rest do battle, but for the rest of us the current coverage seems like overkill.

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