Virgin Atlantic and M.P’s

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This year is the 25th anniversary of Virgin Atlantic. This has been advertised quite widely. So widely that the advertising even includes the House of Commons. From today’s Sunday Times comes a story that Paul Keetch, MP for Hereford, has put down an early day motion congrtaulating Virgin for being at the forefront of the aviation industry. According to the paper, Keetch was inspired to do it in thanks for the crew of a Virgin flight that saved his life when he had a heart attack a few years ago. Fair enough, I suppose. And an anniversary is an event. Early day motions have been used for all sorts of strange and wonderful thanks like congratulating football teams and commenting on TV.

But as the paper points out, Keetch and 4 other M.P’s who signed this motion have delared free or upgraded flights in the register of member’s interests. And when they sign motions they don’t have to list any potential conflicts of interest. The other 25 M.P’s who have signed this motion haven’t had freebies from Virgin. But they might have had them with other airlines. Surely any links might affect a decision to sign such a motion?

This smacks of publicity for the airline and little else. (In fairness, I should declare that I have 7 letters going back over 10 years from Virgin apologising for late flights, cancelled flights and hotel chitties so I am not their biggest fan. But my son is flying to India with them in two months time so my experiences haven’t influenced him.)

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