British Airways has just emailed its monthly newsletter to Executive Club members.
These are the high yielding frequent flyers who buy the premium price business tickets month in month out. So with all BA's recent troubles - hundreds of cancelled flights, thousands of missing bags, hours of delays, what sort of conciliatory message would you send out this month to your most valued customers? Bonus frequent flyer miles? 2 for 1 offer perhaps? Or a free one-way upgrade...
"I was looking forward to telling you about the success of Terminal 5 this month, however, as you will be aware, we have experienced operational challenges since the opening of the terminal. I have spoken to a number of members personally and I recognise that we have let customers down. I, along with the rest of the team at British Airways are dedicated to meeting your expectations for Terminal 5 and offering you an improved experience.
If you are flying with us in the next few days, can I recommend that you check ba.com for the latest update or call us on 0800 727 800."
So judging from the sign-off it looks like BA don't expect their troubles to end any time soon. No consolation for business people who still have to fly. BA don't even seem to have done a simple marketing thing like check which of their executive club members has stopped flying with them. All my flights this year from Heathrow have been with BMI. My partner hasn't flown BA since emailing Willie Walsh to complain about the frequent cancellation of BA's UK short haul services.
BMI have emailed me with personalised incentives every week this month (more miles, money off my next flight) and have won all my business as a result. BA are so busy hand sorting missing bags that when they finish they'll discover they've lost all their customers as well.