British Air: Ghost Flights

Nov 14th, 2007, 07:11 AM
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British Air: Ghost Flights

British Air is touting its green efforts but ITV in UK has exposed that BA flies totally empty ghost flights from Heathrow to the States - no passengers, no flight crew just some baggage down below

Critics are slamming BA for adding unecessarily to air pollution

It seems the reasons are 1 - staff shortage

And more importantly perhaps the airline wishing to protect its valued landing slots at Heathrow.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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At least on these flights BA passengers reported no lost luggage
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Nov 14th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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PalenQ

I live and was born in Britain but have no interest in being BRITISH - we make crap cars, have average food and are ripped of in every corner of life. BA are a prime example of crap Britain.

BA should have been put out of business years ago and I see one of the main tools that they use to exist is the exploitation of their monoploy power on transadlantic routes. The sooner this ends the better - BA mover over for operators that do offer an efficient low cost service - ie ZOOM air.

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Nov 14th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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"And more importantly perhaps the airline wishing to protect its valued landing slots at Heathrow."

Um - how does flying empty accomplish that any better than with a full load? They do have to get the equipment positioned, you know.

Besides, the amount of fuel a plane burns unloaded is probably a fraction of what it is stuffed to the gunwales.

But I assume they're carrying some cargo anyway - so they could be near max payload weight in any event. I wonder - does freight pay the carbon tax?

I saw the ITV piece, and it raised more questions than it answered.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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I just got the protect landing slots thing from Canadian CBC News when they mentioned that... it kind of made no sense to me but i gave it credence.

Yes it said they were full of cargo.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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Wow, I doubt that I'll still be awake but at the ending of the 6pm news of our local NBC affiliate (not a particularly big market), they mentioned this story as one of the stories for the 11pm news.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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I do not know which flights these are nor what aircraft are used to cover them, but the 747 was certainly designed so that passenger revenue was simply gravy, all costs being covered by cargo. When there is an imbalance in traffic on a transatlantic route, it certainly makes sense to fly passenger aircraft empty except for cargo rather than forego the revenue in the other direction.

I remember taking almost empty flights to and from DesMoines, IA, a number of years ago. When I asked why they were still being run, the answer was magazine publishing: a number of magazines like (for example only) Better Homes and Gardens were published there, and the mail/freight made the route profitable without passengers. No doubt they use straight freighters today, but my point is that there are lots of reasons to fly aircraft routes.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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But if they're running empty in one direction and fully loaded in the other - aren't there thousands of people piling up in Blighty with no way to get home?

Oh, wait. It just occurred to me that the pax are getting a free trip to France, courtesy of the carbon tax. They book open jaw USA-LON PAR-USA and ride the Eurostar through the Choo-choo-unnel (which is precisely what my boys and I did in August).
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Nov 14th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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I've always found BA to be a good airline; there are many reasons for empty flights. Anyway, on my Christmas flight to Great Britain, I'll be using Virgin Air. They're simply great. They once shipped a clavichord for me free of charge. Of course, Branson owns Virgin Records and so ... Also, one gets FF credit on Delta for flying with them. BA's FF program leaves a lot to be desired and so ... it's Virgin Air. Then pick up a VW Polo at Heathrow, diesel, standard shift, and take off for Wales, London, Oxford, and Cambridge. Now just have to find out what the perimeter of the no-drive zone is in London. Hey, with the price of car fuel, it may be cheaper to drive straight thru the no-drive than to go around it !!
Bedar is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 05:45 PM
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Robes, we missed your choo choo trip report or were the posts above a summary of the contents?
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Nov 14th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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I guess you missed where I said I don't do trip reports. Or maybe you read it and you didn't understand it. Or maybe you read and understood it but forgot it. Or maybe you're just being a douchebag. As usual.
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Nov 14th, 2007, 07:43 PM
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"BA should have been put out of business years ago and I see one of the main tools that they use to exist is the exploitation of their monoploy power on transadlantic routes."

The thing you have to admire about the professional self-loathers in Britain is their complete isolation from the real world. Or maybe it's just that they don't understand English.

BA competes on transatlantic routes with over a dozen other airlines. Three - American, Delta and United - are a great deal bigger than BA, enjoy subsidies from their home government BA can't even dream of. and have higher shares of slots at their home airports (Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago O'Hare respectively) than BA does at Heathrow. All three of these airports, BTW, enjoy a virtual monopoly in their marketplace.

Between London and New York - which the fantasists persist on claiming has no competition - there are no fewer than 11 different airlines offering nonstop flights. There would be twelve, only the mighty United Airlines chose to pull out, unable to cope with real competition, poor dears. No other air route in the world is served by so many different competing airlines. No pair of cities in America gets this many airlines fighting each other.

Who carries most passengers between London and New York? For all its many faults, BA - which has not a single advantage over American Airlines: just runs a better service.

Dem's the facts. But it's so much easier to churn out the "British is crap" whingeing, isn't it?
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Nov 15th, 2007, 01:36 AM
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Well, at least it's a break from the usual "USA is crap" found on this forum.
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Nov 15th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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As long as they continue to serve free alcohol and wine to customers in economy, I have no comment.
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Nov 15th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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And on the ghost flights they serve unlimited booze the whole way

could BA be running empty flights to keep the seat supply low and guarantee higher prices for fewer seats?
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Nov 15th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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As I mentioned on the airlines board, I wouldn't be surprised if they're running full of lost BAggage ("cargo") destined for the unclaimed luggage auction house in Atlanta (http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com), since Greasby's in Tooting (http://www.greasbys.co.uk) is reportedly getting full.
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