Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Far from easy

From Michael Scott Rohan

Sir: Much as I agree with Ross Clark's general point ('Just when you thought it was safe. . . ', 2 August), he is wholly wrong to use easyJet to castigate BA's supposed overmanning. My wife and I booked to fly easyJet from Edinburgh to Stansted in early June, to arrive about eight that evening. After being bused through to Glasgow, continually lied to - 'Your aircraft is just leaving Stansted' - we and the other passengers from our flight eventually arrived, on a plane borrowed from another company, at about one the following morning. Not at Stansted, mind you; but - as easyJet were careful to inform us only after takeoff- at Gatwick.

Buses were promised, to dump us at Stansted 'around four', with no way to get home, but were suspiciously slow to materialise. Since I was by then running out of essential medication, we were forced to take a very expensive taxi all the way. EasyJet has yet to acknowledge our repeated complaints, let alone explain, apologise or offer compensation. It appears, though, from what its hapless counter staff let slip, that it simply did not have aircraft or staff to fulfil its advertised schedule, let alone cope with emergencies.

We could have flown other airlines' business class for less than easyJet cost us, and we should have. I travel frequently enough with BA, Virgin, United and other mainstream airlines, and I have never encountered such callous cheeseparing. If BA requires a few extra employees to avoid treating passengers in this nightmarish fashion, good luck to it; it's an essential part of the service.

Michael Scott Rohan


Plan for that plinth

From Martin Sewell

Sir: I was reading Anthony Browne's excellent article ('Some truths about immigration', 2 August) last Saturday morning while listening to Radio Four. The Today programme was revisiting the question of the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, and then the solution came to me.

There, where the empire paid tribute to the heroes who protected its interests, Mayor Ken could simultaneously celebrate the British love of irony, subvert the past as he loves to do, record New Labour's historic legacy, and, by way of fair play, acknowledge a worthy and successful opponent of British sovereignty. He should leave the plinth as it is and designate it 'The Memorial to the Unknown Illegal Immigrant'.

Martin Sewell

Gravesend, Kent

Miller's tail

From Maurice Hardaker

Sir: Poor Frank Johnson (Shared opinion, 2 August). As a 72-year-old Englishman, I was one of millions who found that Bob Hope's humour 'kept us smiling in the grim years of the war' - and after. And for Johnson to take an anti-American stance regarding humour is rather silly. …

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