It was late at night in Japan on Monday 14th when I heard the news that British Airways (BA) cabin crew were planning to go on strike at, for what me and many of my colleagues, was the worst possible time. Our last day at work was Monday the 21st meaning that the majority of those going back to the UK were planning to fly on the Tuesday.
I went to my travel agents on the 15th but they didn’t even know about it until I got there and indeed the whole story never ever made it into the Japanese media despite the fact that it would affect many Japanese planning to go to the UK over the New Year period when the strike would still have been going on.
From the breaking of the news it was three days of sitting, waiting, wondering, contemplating and hoping before a judge over-ruled this ridiculous decision that would have crippled millions of people in terms of their festive travel plans.
At times I was clinging on to the hope that if the strike did begin then it would start at 9am UK time meaning i would have been in the air by then. Even if it had have began at midnight UK time I might have been OK as my flight a couple of hours later would have been the first to head back to London and one would have thought that the crew themselves would want to be back in England rather than Japan.
On top of that long haul flights are usually the priority in these situations but nevertheless with all this in mind it doesn’t make the actions of the Union and the crew to strike for so long at such a critical time any easier to take.
Indeed, we are still just about in a recession and like many companies BA also has to make changes which help it operate better in more-financially restrictive times. Furthermore the flight attendants are already on double what Virgin crew get but to be honest I can’t blame them too much as its really the Unions who push them into such decisions.
Anyway, thankfully the high court judge intervened and I had an enjoyable flight home in the company of some chatty girls next to me as well as having a few workmates dotted around the plane which was a far cry from the usual sit-in-silence affairs. However, this wasn’t to be the end of my troubles in getting home!