Monday, April 28, 2008

BA boycott updates

Like we've said before, BA hopes this "fiasco" will die down and Nigerians will continue to "siddon n sharrap" as the elite continue to patronize BA (the airline just reported a 100% load factor on the Lagos-London route for March-April by the way) and business goes back to normal. Thanks to blogville (bloggers like NigerianCuriosity and Chxta), the Naija online network (fora like NVS and, the media, and Nigerians (shout out to those who haven't HAD to fly BA this month) for making sure this doesn't happen.

I somehow suspect that Wednesday (April 30th - deadline for BA to apologize or face the consequences) will come and go and our not-so-dear Willie Walsh will still have nothing to say to the Nigerian passengers kicked off BA075 on March 27th. In terms of a boycott against BA for life, i'm not convinced that we (nor BA) will see the impact required to wake the sleeping airline and prove us to be more than a mere irritation to be ignored.

Would a short, directed (ONE WEEK, ZERO BA) collective action be more measurable, get more media coverage and give people more time to re-organize their affairs to other airlines? Are Nigerians really capable of COLLECTIVELY swearing off BA for life while the Lagos-London route keeps being serviced by only 3/4 airlines? What would it take to get you to boycott BA for life? We'd like to know, so we can start COLLECTIVELY TRYING to get those factors in order...


guerreiranigeriana said...

thanks for the info about the airlines in africa on ssd's blog...i have actually flown virgin before...i personally have no problem never flying ba for life...we may not be able to get everyone to boycott (when can you always get everyone) but if we can mobilize a sizeable number of nigerians and others fed up with ba's shenanigans, we can definitely still make a statement...

guerreiranigeriana said... again...i read something that said: "be mindful of where you put your attention...the shape of your life will follow"...i think that can be applied here...i'm putting my attention on the positive action that can come from this, the people that are willing to experience a little inconvenience to demand respect...

Morountodun said...

At least it seems the publicity amongst nigerians is gathering storm as its featured on Facebook and a number of Naija blogs. Unfortunately the UK media appear to be largely ignoring the issue. BA don't seem to be doing themselves any favours though with the Terminal 5 fiasco...


I read this post yesterday and wasn't sure how to respond.

First of all, I believe that as a collective group, Nigerians are capable of using other airlines, the Virgin Nigeria aircarrier included. I think what is most important is that we continue to work together to remind eachother that we cannot watch injustice without taking a stand whether or not we see precise action as a result. The mere act of taking a stand is significant.

Thus, concerning your suggested one month of action, that could work but might require significant organization. I can imagine a Nigerian group or set of individuals reaching out to other interest groups that focus on Caribbeans and Asians that might want to partner up in a month of anti-Brutish Airways protest. Tapping into the blogosphere and taking advantage of media outlets to spread the word would be instrumental.

I also think that someone with the requisite tech skills shoould create a banner. SOmething like a "Nigerian bloggers against the Brutes" or "Bloggers Against Brutish Airways" and having us all post it on our blogs on a specific week and most of us writing a post on the matter and voicing our issues.

See where I'm going? Anyway, I thank you for keeping this issue alive. this is a clear indication (plus the post GNaija did this week) that good people will continue to stand for what they believe in and do the right thing at the right time. Whether or not Brutish Airways or the world acknowledges.

TheAfroBeat said...

@ Guerri, your mind's definitely in the right place - a lot of positive can come from Nigerians showing solidarity by taking a stand against organizations that make their bread and butter off of our patronage and yet, still choose to actively mistreat us. It'll take a significant amount of coordination, and we might not even put a dent in BA's weekly load factor, but it's worth a try. Thanks for sharing that quote!

@ Morountodun, welcome to tAB! Yes, BA's been pretty good about keeping the media off this story. "136 passengers booted off a flight" is definitely newsworthy for the likes of BBC/Sky/CNN, so it's surprising how little press it got. And i think the amount of publicity its gotten amongst nigerians is a reflection of the frustration that's been building up about Nigerians being mistreated globally.

@ Solo, i agree that we've made a good start (it's surprising all the accounts I've read about mistreatment at the hands of BA staff since this story emerged!) and need to keep the momentum going. Even if no collective action comes together, I think the bad press alone will definitely ensure that BA thinks twice before maltreating its Nigerian passengers again. Great idea on the banner, i wish i had some tech expertise (or even rudimentary skills) to put one together but i don't. I WILL however talk to some folks who do, and see if anyone can help.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Atutu don his robes as the devil's advocate:

M'lud the manner in which we have received such "brutish" abuse has been nothing short of disgraceful. The efforts we have made to repond have been formidable - but ultimately doomed to failure.

All rebellion without a clearly defined cause merely foreshadows disappointment.

What do we seek from BA exactly? Apolgies? Directed to whom exactly? Compensation? Unprecedented price slashes? Courteous staff? Better quality of plane food? Or are we prepared to hold this grudge for life? In short, what is our cause? Not our reason, that much is clear - there has been a grave injustice, no what is our cause?

As pessimistic of the long term chances of this boycott (5 very vociferous protesters I know have used them in the past two weeks alone) as I am I cannot help but admire the ability of Nigerians to rally around a cause no matter how fruitless. I hope it is a portent of greater unity particularly for this our generation.

The reason for my pessimism? BA will not get hurt. In the unlikely event of a serious threat to their annual profits, they will slash prices to Lagos and Abuja. You will not be able to see for the dust raised by the stampede of people rushing to buy tickets. It is marketing 101. They will do this for a few months and the prices will go up again. We will continue to be treated poorly primarily because we will continue to act poorly. Why would we reasonably expect a plane to wait for us whilst we shed the excess 80 kilos we have squeezed into our luggage? Why would we spend wasted minutes begging, bribing and cajoling the check-in assistants to allow us to carry three pieces of hand luggage thereby wasting valuable time in an industry that is heavily time sensitive?

Let us boycott BA by all means but let us search ourselves as well. Let us use this period of unity and general discussion to question what part we can play as perfect passengers ( and yes there is such a thing). Which airline is devoid of its bullshit? Let us use these forums as a means to avoid the day that we are in the position where we have to consider boycotting BA, KLM, Virgin, Swissair and Lufthansa.

I will post this on Solly’s blog as there is a similar discussion there as well.

The fault, dear "Brutish" lies not in our air carriers but in ourselves......

Free-flowing Florida said...

hmmm. will nigerians collectively boycott BA? i no know o. will dis teach dem a lession dat Oyibo no care so long as money dey flow as normal? d question sef is 4 how long will d boycott last? till BA apologize? if if dem no quick apologise nko? some nigerians go sneek, go 4 back use BA? after all, no be dem hard-earned money & thus dir choice? i just wonder

but na wa 4 BA sef. u mean after their HC talk say em go investigate d matter, e go siddon 4 em office dey wait see if nigerians serious? hmmmm

i've never flown BA. My mom once did & 4 some silly reason they detained her in d airport. i come wonder wetin carry her go their n d first place. My dad is a Atlantic fan, has always been, so i ddnt understand y mom went with BA

Doja said...

I think one thing this campaign will achieve is...Africans flying British airways will get a little more respect from now on.

Naapali said...

I agree with Atuts on this one for many reasons. My central premise is that until we treat ourselves the way we expect others to treat us we will not get the results we so loudly clamor for.

BA has more experience in Naija than any other carrier. They have seen over the years the way we treat ourselves (Police,Customs, Immigration, Airline officials etc). They have witnessed the callous brutality with which we engage each other. They know how we have mismanaged and run down our infrastructure rendering us powerless and docile subjects of foreign companies and powers.

That does not mean I do not support the outcry, I do. If only that it will raise our awareness and make us become more discerning and demanding, not only from BA hopefully, but from everyone we pay or elect to carry out a job.

Do check out Jeremy's blog for an update on a lawsuit filed in the Federal High Court in Lagos with Mr. Omotade and the Bar Association as plaintiffs and BA as the defendant.

This comment has been removed by the author.

I meant ore's blog...

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