Mr Fischer, and his pregnant wife, had the misfortune to fly with BA in April 2009. Mrs Fishcer was assigned a middle seat, and Mr Fischer a window seat.
Mrs Fischer asked her husband to swap seats, as it would make her journey less uncomfortable.
Alas dear readers you forget one thing, this was a BA flight (run for the convenience of the airline, not the customer).
When the Fischers swapped seats, Mr Fischer placed himself next to a 12 year old boy.
Can you guess what happened next children?
Yes, that's right, one the the cabin crew told Mr Fischer to swap back.
BA do not allow adult males to sit next to unaccompanied children.
In BA's eyes all males are paedophiles.
Mr Fischer attempted to argue his case, and pointed out that his wife was more comfortable sitting by the window etc.
To no avail.
The staff member informed Mr Fischer that the flight would not take off until he sat where he was told etc etc.
Therefore, in order to get on with the flight, Mr Fischer swapped again with his wife.
On returning to Blighty he wrote to BA asking for an apology. This being BA all he received was the usual mealy mouthed corporate bullshit, that large organisations spew forth to customers who don't swallow hook line and sinker the corporate propaganda that would have them believe that the company gives a fark about the customer (let's face very few large corporations give a fark about the the customer, they only like to say that they do).
Anyhoo, Mr Fischer decided that he wasn't going to roll over and play the corporate bullshit game with BA. He filed a claim at Slough County Court, arguing that the airline's long-standing policy of forbidding men from sitting next to unaccompanied children not only cast the whole male gender in an unsavoury light, but was essentially sex discrimination.
BA is now reported to have admitted sex discrimination in Mr Fischer's case, but only in his case, and agreed to pay £2,161 in costs and £750 in damages. Mr Fischer will pay this money to children's charity, and also put some of his own money in as well.
BA have told the BBC that the policy was not discriminatory. However, they also claim that it is now under review.
I understand that Boris Johnson had a similar experience in 2006, despite sitting with his own children at the time.
Mr Johnson wrote in the Telegraph:
"How many paedophiles can there be?
Are we really saying that any time an adult male finds himself sitting next to someone under 16, he must expect to be hustled from his seat before the suspicious eyes of the entire cabin?"
Here is some free advice/questions to BA:
1 Not all males are paedophiles.
2 Some women are paedophiles (why does the rule not apply to them as well?).
3 What exactly do you think will happen on a plane full of people, where there are call buttons above every seat?
4 Do you think that making every child afraid of every male adult is a good thing?
BA, well deserving Prats of The Week!
Those of you who wish to debate this issue with Willie Walsh, CEO of BA, feel free to drop him a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
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