"Although more than 94% of international frequent air-travellers are aware of the industrial relations problems affecting British Airways, the same proportion of those who have flown BA (also 94%) rated their previous flying experience with the airline as satisfactory or good," says Roger Haywood, chief executive of Issues Managers, one the UK’s leading analysts on public issues.   "However," Haywood adds, "61% of these customers in the  sample felt that the industrial relations problems would affect negatively their future decisions about flying BA." 

Some 33% felt this would not affect their decisions and a surprising 6% believed the problems would increase the possibility of their flying BA as they believed the airline was right to challenge the union. The figures are from an informal global study of British Airways passengers carried out over the last week. 

The industrial relations issue was identified by most respondents. Other issues which were raised spontaneously were the overall financial performance of the airline (27%), general employee relations (21%), pension fund problems (7%) and recent merger talks (5%). Just 4% were not aware of any issues that they felt the airline faced.

These results are from an informal global study carried out by Roger Haywood of Issues Managers with 731 qualified responses received in the last week or so. These eligible respondents were from those who had flown BA previously from the total response of 779; those who had never flown or considered flying BA were excluded from the final analysis. Haywood, the author of six books on business communications and a past chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, ran this study out of interest.  He has no business connections with BA, any other airline nor has any travel interests.  Haywood also points out this was an informal study and provides a snapshot view only; it has no statistical validity as it was run across international business contacts of his and may not represent either the bigger universe of BA travellers or of the flying market at large. However, he feels the results are sufficiently interesting to be worth reporting. The fuller findings are below, plus his short biography.

Questions in the study, with answers collected via email over the week from 19 to 27 May 2010

  1. Have you ever considered flying British Airways?   
  2. Have you actually flown British Airways?
  3. How would you rate the experience? Good/acceptable/ poor?
  4. Which airline do you usually fly on international trips?
  5. Are you aware of any issues currently facing British Airways? If so, please identify what these may be.
  6. Would this affect your likelihood of flying BA? Increase/reduce/not affect it.

Breakdown of the responses

1   Total valid responses from respondents who had considered flying BA: 779

Home base of respondents:

UK: 19%   Rest of Europe: 24%   Americas: 27%

Africa: 6%   Middle East: 13%:   Far East: 11%

2/3 Those who had flown BA: 731 = 100% of the analysed sample, below

BA rated good: 68%   Rated acceptable: 26%   Rated poor: 6%

4   Airlines those respondents usually fly:

BA : 36%   Virgin:20%   Emirates: 11%   KLM: 8%   Lufthansa: 6%

Other airlines flown but mentioned by less than 5% of respondents:

Aeroflot, Air China, Air France, Alitalia, Continental, Delta, EasyJet, FlyBe, Malaysia, MiddleEast, Qantas,

Qatar, RyanAir, Saudi, Scandinavian, Singapore, South African, Swiss, United, US Air, 

5   Issues identified:

    Strikes/threats: 94%   Costs/profits:  27%   Employee relations: 22%

    None identified: 29%   Pension fund: 6%   Merger talks: 5%  

Note these total more than 100% as some respondents identified more than one issue.

6   Likely effect on decisions to travel with BA

Reduce likelihood to fly BA: 61%  Not affect decision:  33%   Increase likelihood: 6%

For more information: Roger Haywood: UK 01692 651494 / mobile 07802874584

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roger haywood
chief executive
issues managers
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