Monday, 28 July 2008

British Airways' Terrifying Tactics

On a recent British Airways' flight from Stockholm to London I cautiously opened my complimentary sandwich wrapped in layers of plastic.  It was, needless to say, pretty unappetising so, as I left the bland cheese and lettuce, I searched through the other material given out; a little carton of milk and stirrer (regardless as to whether you want to tea or coffee) and a small bag entitled "Waste Bag".  This plastic bag, wrapped in its own plastic, is intended for you to fill with the excess plastic and cardboard waste that they have just handed to you.  A grossly blasé act from a company that should be trying to counter-act its ecologically unsound nature in anyway it can.  Would it be impossible for British Airways to use reusable containers for their drinks and sandwiches?  Or even to get people to say when they book the flight whether they want a sandwich?  No doubt a lot of food goes to landfill unopened or partially eaten as it is just so tasteless and nasty.

After my sandwich and during the descent into BA's jewel in their crown, Terminal 5, we were played a short video on what to do once we entered the terminal building.  All very ordinary, simple stuff until the voice announced words to this effect: "If you are getting a connecting UK domestic flight then follow purple signs inside the terminal building where your biometric details will be taken."  I thought for a long time about why exactly, if I were taking a domestic flight, would they need to record my biometric details;  I have already been allowed to fly out of the country and back in again suggesting that I'm not some kind of criminal and I possess a passport, the most official piece of information one can have in the UK.  The day after, the issue still on my mind, I remarked upon the bemusing detail at work.  "If you've got nothing to hide, then you needn't worry" was the response.  Luckily I didn't have to take a connecting domestic flight but if I had I doubt I would have been able to refuse to give up my data.  Will we all now be forced into leaving behind our civil liberties and be satisfied with the saying "If you've got nothing to hide...".

2 comments:

pilotjeff said...

What it is, is, some passengers may be making onward international flights in which case they will not need to go through UK customs, if, on the other hand, they are making onward domestic flights, they will enter UK territory and will need to comply with the appropriate customs laws.

Grace said...

They announced that biometric details would be taken if you were taking an onward domestic flight. I did not take that onward domestic flight but nevertheless still entered UK territory and my biometric details were not taken. How is this any different?