Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prats of The Week - BA

Prats of The WeekAs those of my loyal readers who read my other sites know, I am no particular fan of British Airways (BA). Therefore I am delighted to be able to confer upon our "illustrious national carrier" my prestigious, and internationally renowned, "Prats of The Week" Award for their disgraceful treatment of Mirko Fischer.

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.

No problem?

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.

For why?

BA do not allow adult males to sit next to unaccompanied children.

For why?

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

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  1. All well and good in theory Gary, but we know full well that if Mr Fischer did as you suggested the plane would have landed at the nearest airport and Mr Fischer would be arrested for air rage.

    Heads I win, tails you lose.

    FWIW, I reckon he approached things the right way, he's certainly made BA look very stupid, which is a result IMO.

  2. Gary

    Had he done that, the crew would have told the captain that they had a trouble maker on board, and the captain would have turned the flight around and had Mr F arrested at the airport.

    This is how they act on planes when you don't do as you are told.


  3. Potato & Ken,

    I know that there have been cases where planes have been diverted because of unruly passengers. I also know that to take such action is extremely expensive for the airline.

    Mr. Fischer felt that he was completely in the right, even to the extent that he took his case to court.
    So why did he not stand up for his rights at the time?

    Maybe telling the cabin crew to fuck off might be a bit over the top and pointing out that he has absolutely no intention of being bullied and embarrassed by them would have been a better course of action.

    If the Captain decided to land the plane then it is the airlines problem and not Mr. Fischer’s, with the added benefit that the resulting publicity would be far more harmful to the airline than any small claims case.

    I’m sorry, but I just have a picture in my mind of this coward being bossed around and then spending the rest of his miserable journey calculating how much compensation he could claim.

  4. Gary

    It doesn't work like that on a plane.

    The captain can throw off who he likes in the interests of safety, control etc.

    Like it or not the captain is in charge, quite rightly so given the behaviour of some of the cretins who board planes these days.

    Mr F took the right approach, many would never have even bothered (even Boris didn't try to sue them).


  5. BA, although a private company, still has many remnants of a public company dyed into its make up. I think the gentleman in question handled this well remember, once arrested, he would be held for hours in a cell so he could "reflect on his actions and stew," he would have had his DNA and fingerprints taken, by force if necessary, and they would be placed on a criminal database. I agree with both Ken's and Mr Potato Head's take on the gentleman's actions.

    I do get pissed off with the notion that everyone should give to charity; we hear people calling for other to give bonuses, expenses, compensation, capital gains etc etc to charity....Surely charity is something one gives because they want to not because shouty media tells them to.... I give very little to charity now because, so many have huge reserves and too smaller proportion of donations goes to their core work and too much goes to top executives and professional fund raisers within the charity.

  6. I know what you mean re:charity Tonk. Personally, I like to give to small local charities, especially those that I can see are struggling and don't get much/any media attention.

    But I especially don't like giving to schools, hospitals etc. I just feel it's wrong that these essential services have come to rely on charity to make ends meet. Didn't I pay my tax already?

    Sorry about the thread drift! :)

  7. Interesting that in spite of your antipathy to BA, Ken, you have a link to them in the banner on the right hand side of the page ....!!

    Paul G

  8. Paul

    I'm a capitalist, money is as money does:)


  9. Lord of Atlantis2:47 PM

    I think this behaviour by BA is appalling! Apart from the points already made by Ken, BA don't seem to realise that most paedophiles are NOT complete strangers, but well known to their victims, in many cases family members. Moreover, I cannot envisage any paedophile trying anything untoward in the presence of so many witnesses. I too believe Mr Fischer took the correct course of action, for reasons laid out by Ken, Mr Potato Head and Tonk.

  10. Couldn't he have agreed to change seats only if allowed to sit in the lap of a stewardess?

    Just wondering.

  11. Anonymous8:13 PM

    If BA are still functioning according to Nulabour's paedo obsessions it may be time for an update. I understand ISA registrations (for those who work with children and vulnerable adults) have been scrapped/suspended by the ConDem govt, along with the Contactpoint (AKA the paedophile's address book) database. Doesn't guarantee a return to common sense and sanity by the ConDems but seems to be a step in the right direction.

  12. I agree with your points in theory, and suspect I may have reacted in the way you suggest, had I been subjected to the same unreasonable bullying by cabin crew.

    However, I think Ken's point is very well made. An airline Captain is very similar to his seagoing namesake, in that he has a great deal of power, and that includes to eject passengers, order them restrained, and so on.

    I would also be concerned, in Mr Fischer's shoes, that if the Captain did opt to divert, BA would seek recompense for the cost of this from Mr Fischer, via an action in the courts.

    At least Mr Fischer's action has challenged the inherent discrimination in this ludicrous policy.

  13. British Airways are shit and are by far my least favourite airline.

    The cabin crew seem to be of the opinion that their jobs would be a lot easier if there weren’t any passengers to deal with. I also think that part of their training is learning how to stamp their ‘authority’ on their passengers at the first available opportunity. Their technique for doing so is to boss you around as soon as possible.

    They would claim that their actions are in the interests of their passenger’s safety. This is untrue. If you have ever flown Business or First Class with BA (or any other airline), you will know that the way that you are treated, as well as the food and the seating, is an awful lot better.

    In my opinion, the main reason why people become victims to ‘Nanny’ is because they allow themselves to be bullied and bossed around, often by individuals that have absolutely no authority to do so. They fail to stand up for themselves or what rights they have. After their rights have been abused they then look for whatever excuse is available to justify their inaction.

    In this particular case the excuses put forward have been:-

    The Captain might have diverted the flight to eject the passenger.
    The passenger might be arrested and detained when the flight lands.
    The passenger might be restrained for the duration of the flight.

    Diverting a flight and landing a fuelled aircraft is hugely expensive as well as highly dangerous. This would be the least favourite option for a Captain and I cannot imagine that this action would be taken just because a passenger wanted to swap seats with his pregnant wife. Even though cabin crew nowadays seem to be a mixture of arrogant young women with too much makeup and obvious male homosexuals; Captains and Co-Pilots probably have more intelligence.

    It may have been that the passenger would be arrested and detained on landing, but so what? Are we going to allow ourselves to be pushed around just because the consequences of standing up for ourselves and our families may be inconvenient? The same, of course, goes for the prospect of being restrained.

    Even though the cabin crew implied that he may have been a paedophile and subsequently embarrassed him and violated his rights, Mr Fischer failed to stand up for himself, but worse than that, he failed to stand up for his pregnant wife. He then found someone else to fight his battle for him in the courts. He was successful insofar as he was awarded compensation; but who loses out in the long term?
    Who eventually has to pay his compensation?