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GMT chief slams BA Y2K stunt

Flight of fancy, he says

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Reader's Letter In your story BA tells Y2K bug to take flying jump, it is claimed that I have missed the point of BA's mid-flight rollover test, but I would contend that it is they who have missed the point, not I. I am sure that any right thinking adult believes that BA, their pilots, and their insurers will not allow any millennial flights to occur if there is a significant risk to human life. The notion that it is necessary to prove this to the public is both a waste of shareholders money and irrelevant. The fact is that this expensive stunt has proven nothing. As I explained to the London Evening Standard when they asked for my opinion on this flight of fancy, there are still considerable obstacles to a successful flight from London to Paris (let alone destinations further afield). 1. The Travel Agent booking your ticket 2. Pink Elephant's Long Term or NCP's Short Term parking 3. Your train / tube to Heathrow 4. The ability of BA's ticketing system to issue your ticket 5. The ability of BA to reseat passengers from other airlines who are unable to fly and have been off-loaded onto BA flights 6. The check-in terminals 7. The ability of Airmiles to get your Airmiles correctly awarded 8. The bag tag printers 9. The flight information screens at Heathrow 10. Baggage handling either at Heathrow 11. Air traffic control en route 12. The ability of the fuel company to fuel the aircraft 13. The ability of Sky News to get the correct tape to BA for the in-flight news service 14. The in-flight catering service and their suppliers 15. The aircraft entertainment system 16. Arrivals information for those meeting you in Paris 17. The Metro transportation to Charles De Gaulle (CDG) Airport 18. The car parking at CDG 19. Baggage handling at CDG and best of all 20. Your Travel Insurance. According to the recent "Facts not Fiction" booklet produced by HM Government page 12 "Travel Insurance - If you have a claim arising as a result of the Millennium Bug problem, for example, you are prevented from travelling, your journey is delayed for any reason or your baggage is lost.. most travel insurance policies will not cover you." So I conclude that the BA test was a (not) cheap publicity stunt to try to bolster confidence in the (admittedly) great Y2K work which BA has done. However flying in the first quarter of 2000 will be problematic for many other reasons (as shown above) which BA is almost powerless to correct. And with no insurance, would you really want to fly anyway? If the insurance companies don't want to cover the risk - why should you? ® You can check out Greenwich Mean Time here

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