Cabin pressure

May 28, 2010, 8:29 PM GMT+0

BA’s recent public spat with its cabin crew over pay and work conditions is but one of the recent problems to beset the UK carrier in recent months. The issues at hand have not gone unnoticed by the British public, as the company’s BrandIndex measures and TellYouGov scores have once again started on a downward path since recovering from the impact of strike plans earlier this year.

The brand’s ‘reputation’ score on BrandIndex has unravelled in recent days following the latest set of strikes which began on Monday. After the threat of strike action in March - which cost the airline £45m - and the unprecedented and devastating effect of the erupting Icelandic volcano’s engine-asphyxiating ash cloud - which cost the airline around £100m - BA’s relief at resuming normal flights was short lived, as employee grievances once again lead to strike action and reductions in its normal service.

Reputation scores have fallen almost 18 points, to 2.9, and still falling, in response. The graph below shows the general hit to reputation that BA has suffered among consumers of late. And while dissent within the company continues, it seems reputation scores are set to nose-dive even further.
With over 200 flights cancelled and the recent revelation that the company made a record annual loss of £531m, it looks like the strike by BA cabin crew will continue to drag down the airline’s BrandIndex scores for some time to come.

Turbulent TellYouGov scores

BA has not escaped TellYouGov leaderboard condemnation, either, with both the striking cabin crew and the company bosses (headed by Willie Walsh) attracting the ire of users, or ‘tyggers’. The score has shot down to -55 in the past 24 hours, with a low of -114 over the past week. One criticized: ‘the unions and management are travelling in the same direction – down the pan...’, agreeing with one tygger who feared BA would ‘go bankrupt’ so ‘nobody can have any confidence’ in the brand, while another categorically called BA a ‘tarnished’ name and said that he would ‘never fly with it’.

For some, the staff are the most at fault, with one tygger complaining: ‘thumbs down, poor decision to strike’, while one asked whether BA staff were ‘blind to the problems of their own company’. Others felt staff should be ‘glad they have a job’ and should ‘stop being selfish’. Some simply questioned the methods, saying it was a ‘dreadful time to call a strike’.

There were a few positive comments in the sea of negatives; one said BA was ‘flying the flag for the UK’ while another congratulated the staff for ‘showing the bosses what they really think of them!’ However, the general feeling was summed up the comment: ‘Managers playing hardball, staff being idiots in testing economic climate’ and another simply stating: ‘the future looks bleak’.
With falling scores across the board, watch this space to see if BA manages to redress its reputation anytime soon.

BrandIndex reputation