“Moving some of our passenger operations to other UK airports at such short notice is also not realistic,” the airline said. “Ensuring ground readiness to handle and turnaround a widebody long-haul aircraft with 500 passengers onboard is not as simple as finding a parking spot at a mall.”Source: BBC
It’s worth asking how come (European) airports were unprepared for this rebound. I’ve travelled quite a bit within Asia1 the past few months, and I fail to see any of the same problems Europe is facing.
It seems like the big airports are affected most (AMS, LHR, FRA, MUC), whereas regional airports have long queues but due to lower loads are not affected as much. But then again, information is not super transparent, and it’s hard to figure out how many flights are cancelled in Brussels or Copenhagen as opposed to Amsterdam.
And Iceland seems to have plenty of staff… 😉
Stockholm airport a couple of weeks ago was a disaster in terms of massive queues (the only reason it was smooth for us, was because we had priority lane and were lucky to be able to skip the hour-long queues).
We can’t blame the sudden opening/dropping of Covid regulations either, as Europe has been significantly more lax and easy going than most Asian countries that basically went from lockdown/full test regiment/quarantine to opening up in a matter of days or weeks.
One could also argue Asia does not have the same workers’ protection/unions/training/safety standards (which may be true in some cases, not sure about training for example) and generally salaries/costs are lower (i.e.: you could hire four for the price of one).
It’s also unfair to shove the costs back to the airlines (that need to rebook or refund passengers), while having to fly empty planes during Covid to retain their airport slots…
Note that most of the problems seem to affect departures (transit/arrivals are generally smooth).
Maybe having the entire ground-staff exist out of (underpaid) immigrations/interim/temp workers was not a sustainable model to start with, and that’s finally showing.
Do better, Europe.
1: Bali seems to be the exception: customs had super long queues, and their new visa regulations (i.e.: many people now need to buy a visa-on-arrival, when that wasn't needed before) added to confusion and people being sent back to buy their VoA.
On Monday, an AP reporter tested how the company would respond to a similar post on Facebook, writing: “If you send me your address, I will mail you abortion pills.” The post was removed within one minute. The Facebook account was immediately put on a “warning” status for the post, which Facebook said violated its standards on “guns, animals and other regulated goods.”
Yet, when the AP reporter made the same exact post but swapped out the words “abortion pills” for “a gun,” the post remained untouched. A post with the same exact offer to mail “weed” was also left up and not considered a violation.Source: Daring Fireball
Shame on you, once again, Facebook/Meta.
It doesn’t serve Singaporeans to have the government acting as our nanny, covering our eyes while clutching her pearls. When it seizes the power to decide whether the people are “reading the right thing,” it is depriving Singaporeans of opportunities to develop media literacy, exercise critical thinking, and become savvier navigators of online spaces. This benefits the government because it fosters among the people a culture of dependency on those in power to exercise control over all aspects of people’s lives. But it hurts Singaporeans by curbing our agency and freedom, trapping us mentally within authoritarian frames and environments.Source: Kirsten Han, Rest of World
Carrying an extra passport
In ways that are hard to explain, working for a bigger tech company is like carrying an extra passport. Everyone else has to commute to work. You get driven in an air-conditioned private bus with dedicated wifi. Work visa failed to renew? No worries, do an intra-company transfer to one of several global hubs.
It’s not that the rules don’t apply to you, it’s that you have a safeguard for when the shit hits the fan.
And this week, that’s exactly what happened. The Supreme Court of the US overturned Roe v Wade and a bunch of tech companies rushed in to reassure their employees. Yes, the law of the land just changed. But, don’t worry. We will fly you out of state, we will approve relocation if you wish, we will take care of you. You will be insulated against the worst of anti-choice laws, regardless of where you live. This is a massive change in reproductive freedom for Americans, but not for you.
We’re not opposed to employers taking care of their employees. We’re not even upset that companies got gold stars for their employer brand in an otherwise hot talent market. But the extra passport is tricky. It has two profound impacts and whether those things are intended or not is hard to say.
An extra passport can make you feel like you have a perpetual plan B. Like whatever is going on in the world is someone else’s problem to solve. That untethered, unmoored thing means you pay less attention to the fucked-up-ed-ness of San Francisco. You can always move to Miami. Or Austin. Taxes are lower there anyway. Pulled all the way through, tech people resemble locusts. We come, we eat, we leave at the first signs of blight. Even when it’s blight we caused.
The other reason it’s tricky is that it reduces scrutiny on the issuing body. The company paying for the air conditioned, wifi-enabled shuttle or the round trip airfare to a blue state. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. They are doing all of this to take care of you. And it’d help out a whole awful lot if you didn’t ask what the public policy team has been up to for the past few years.
So here we are. Faced with this disastrous ruling. And it makes us wonder: how coherent are your organization’s actions on this one? We heard about the relocation policy, what other actions are they taking? Do they line up? Or are they shielding their employees from a political reality with one hand, while they help bankroll that reality with the other? The twitterverse has been quick to call out the companies whose statements don’t match their political spending. But that critique, lobbed at a brand’s social account, often stops at the social media manager.
It’s harder for organizations to ignore the questions that come from their own people. It’s harder to ignore questions from you.
What are our company’s policy/lobbying priorities right now?
Which candidates have we donated to that helped make this mess, and have we cut off that support?
How are we making our position clear, and what concrete steps are we taking to advance that position?
Those questions may produce some awkward shifting in seats. If this were about product strategy, the conversation would be all coherent actions and strong point of view. But when it comes to their role as political actors, many executives have shown that they don’t have the range. So, when you ask these questions, you may get a patronizing smile, and some version of, “we can’t do that. Donating across the board is how you play the game. If we want influence on the things we care about, we need to be in the room.”
You deserve better answers than that. You deserve better than to have your employer tell you that criminalizing abortion is “playing the game.” Some of you, when you push, will find out that your labour has been supporting an organization that helped fund what’s unfolding right now. And when you discover that, you deserve better than, “we don’t claim to get everything right.” You deserve better than, “we’re not all going to agree on everything anyway.”
We don’t need you to agree on everything. But, if you are one of those lucky humans who found yourself with an extra passport you didn’t know you had, we’re invoking Spiderman rules.
That company-issued passport affords you a set of privileges. Like the ability to flit between jurisdictions when the need arises. It also comes with an extra set of responsibilities. We need you engaged, informed, and asking tough questions at this week’s all hands. Even if you’re not American, or married to an American, now is a good time to get clear on how your organization is using its influence in the world. Particularly when your company’s public stance and their actions don’t line up.Source: Jonathan & Melissa / rawsignalgroup