The opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow has been a complete PR meltdown! So far, 70 flights have been cancelled and irate travelers spitting blood are wandering the concourse trying to reclaim luggage. I hear its going to get worse with more cancellations expected over the weekend. What a PR disaster especially when the media was hoping for great things. In PR, slanguage the BA brand is in a tailspin. However, wait – out of the chaos steps BA’s boss Willie Walsh with an honest sound bite “it’s not our finest hour.” Holy mother a chief executive accepting that the debacle had affected the reputation of BA and of Britain. “We clearly disappointed a number of people and we sincerely apologise,” Mr. Walsh said. “British Airways has not delivered and we need to deliver,” he said. “I am accepting responsibility, the buck stops with me.” Bloody well done
I think a huge slap on the back for the BA PR team and their damage limitation consultancy. Everyone is earning their fat crust and have formulated a strategy that sees the brand taking it on the chin. They are facing all the issues with a clear and equivocal honesty. I applaud the move to front up the pandemonium and try to salvage something from the smoking wreckage. Never the less I am not sure I would feel quite the same if I was jetting off on my hols this weekend. Let’s see how the next few days shape up there is still time to screw up – the pressure is still on.