British Tourism Week & British Airways

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This coming week is the week we should celebrate tourism. Throughout England & Wales (Scotland had theirs this week) it is British Tourism Week. The National Trust throws opens its properties for free entry next weekend and events are staged across the two countries. Events like the illumination of Hadrian’s Wall and any of over hundreds of others are what should be attracting our attention. (www.britishtourismweek.com) But all the media seem to be concentrating on is BA with the tabloids having great fun with their headlines. Little mention will be made of tourism being worth £114 billion to the UK or that it is our fifth largest industry

Now a lot of potential publicity that might have been given to promoting all the tourist attractions that we have to offer will probably get submerged as the media looks for different stories about BA to run. There will be things like a bride whose wedding might get cancelled; the disadvantaged child on the holiday of a lifetime and how an aged couple who have spent the last century saving up to visit their grandchild on the other side of the world. So, in my view, Unite could have picked a better week to have their first tranche of strikes.

For passengers caught up in this it is too early to say how disruptive this will be. BA has trained 1,000 volunteers to replace cabin crew and will try to keep as many flights as possible going. The first strike lasts 3 days and runs from Saturday 20th March (which coincides with the beginning of the Easter school break in parts of Scotland) and the second, a 4 day strike starts on Saturday, March 27th. Check the British Airways website for details, www.ba.com and you will need to check every day or so as things get finalised. At present, all flights from London City and all long haul from Gatwick are unaffected. Short haul and domestic flights are likely to be those most affected but BA have hired 23 planes and crews from charter airlines to keep as many flights as possible.

And you never know. The two sides might get together, solve it and we won’t have the strikes at all!

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