BA’s public relations nightmare worsened on Monday when the Daily Mail suggested the beleaguered airline should be stripped of its ‘British’ moniker, as travel chaos continued following an IT glitch.
Mail columnist Robert Hardman was so incensed by the disruption, he penned a full-page article denouncing the carrier and arguing its handling of Saturday’s IT incident required drastic punishment.
“This clapped-out, demoralised shadow of its former self must now join British Steel and British Leyland in the pantheon of bygone national giants,” Hardman wrote. “Why should Britain have its name sullied by this corporate clown act any longer?”
BA, a former publicly-owned enterprise widely seen as Britain’s national flag carrier, was struck by computer glitches at the start of the busy Bank Holiday weekend.
The Mail was among newspapers to report calls for the resignation of BA chief Alex Cruz, a Spanish born airline executive formerly of low-cost carrier Vueling.
It comes as passengers were on Monday faced with a third day of disruption at Heathrow as the airline continued to deal with the fallout.
Both Heathrow and Gatwick warned Bank Holiday travellers they should check the status of flights before travelling to the airports, where scenes of chaos unfolded over the weekend.
BA has said it will run a full schedule at Gatwick on Monday and it intends to operate a full long-haul schedule and a “high proportion” of its short-haul programme at Heathrow.
The airline said it was continuing to make “good progress” in recovering from the worldwide IT glitch that grounded scores of planes, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
An airline spokeswoman said, per Press Association: “We have operated a full schedule at Gatwick today on Sunday. At Heathrow, we have operated virtually all our scheduled long-haul flights, though the knock-on effects of Saturday’s disruption resulted in a reduced short-haul programme.
“As our IT systems move closer to full operational capacity, we will again run a full schedule at Gatwick on Monday and intend to operate a full long-haul schedule and a high proportion of our short-haul programme at Heathrow.
“We apologise again to customers for the frustration and inconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for their continued patience.
“We continue to urge customers due to fly from Heathrow tomorrow to check on ba.com that they have a confirmed booking and that their flight is operating before setting off for the airport. Customers looking to re-book flights should go to ba.com.”