back to article British Airways slaps 'at risk' sticker on nearly half its app delivery dept

Almost half the application delivery techies at British Airways (BA) might be pushed out of the company in December under redundancy plans outlined to staff. The airline is in cost-cutting mode, and the GMB union warned in February that BA was considering outsourcing and offshoring IT to Indian titan Tata Consultancy Services …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Empire strikes back....

    ... England went to India, India comes to England, and bites back....

    1. Bob Hoskins

      Re: The Empire strikes back....

      Thanks for the history lesson.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Empire strikes back....

        Needed. Some people need a refresh, as they easily forget and believe to live in different times.

        There's always the option of emigrating to India and find an IT job there. Rupees are not Pounds, though... and the beer may not be of your taste.

        Modi meanwhile is busy to look for CEOs and other jobs abroad. Keep on sending money there just looking at your greed bonuses, one day they will use them to buy you out - one day BA will mean Bangalore Airways....

        1. Dave 15

          Re: The Empire strikes back....

          The beer... went into one place and had their own brew beer... it was revolting.... tried a different type of their home brew... it was disgusting as well, on being asked what they had done to it they proudly said they added coriander... every one knows that improves the taste.... not

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Empire strikes back....

            Actually, I tasted the Leffe Tripel where they added coriander and orange peel - and it's bot bad at all.

            Still, I will trust Belgian more than Indians when it comes to beers...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've had first hand experience of TCS and it wasn't pretty. I really feel for any BA staff made redundant by this shower.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TCS

      You might also spare some sympathy for the BA customers. I suspect it won't be pretty for them either.

      1. Dabooka Silver badge

        Re: TCS

        Having flown with them many times, I always have sympathy for BA customers

        1. Wensleydale Cheese


          "Having flown with them many times, I always have sympathy for BA customers"

          I've avoided BA for many years now and I'd consider paying a premium to go with someone else.

    2. laird cummings

      Re: TCS: Not all bad

      TCS has been handling complex document management and regulatory compliance for my company over the last two-plus years, and they've done a capable job of it. Rather rough to start, but they mastered the learning curve, and are doing reliable work now.

      Yes, I know - not the same as app dev wotk, but still a complex and arcane task, handled competently.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    app delivery?

    What exactly do these "application delivery techies" do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: app delivery?

      What exactly do these "application delivery techies" do?

      In TCS's case, **** things up normally.

  4. Ralph B

    Experience Certainty

    Go to the TCS Clients webpage and click on the British Airways Case Study link. Could this possibly be indicative of the quality that BA and their customers might expect of TATA developed apps?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Experience Certainty provides.

      But it's not much better.

      1. Picky, but...

        Re: Experience Certainty

        > provides

        Ah, exposing cover-ups since 1998^H^H^H^H^H 1997^H^H^H^H^H 1996 !

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: Experience Certainty

      I went there and just got this: (Is dreict similar to Scottish rainfall?)

      "File Not Found. Please turn on client scripting or browse with a browser that supports client scripting to allow the 404 url dreict feature to work."

  5. James 51 Silver badge

    "BA parent IAG reported profits of €1.76bn for the first nine months of 2015, versus €1.048bn in the prior year period."

    It annoys me when profitable companies pull stunts like this. I know the 'they need to do this to stay profitable' line but the whole point of paying extra for BA is the level of service you are suppose to get in return. Perhaps because good news is not news but I've never heard of one of these deals ending well.

  6. Unep Eurobats

    I've used the BA boarding pass app

    And it was fine.

    1. MrXavia

      Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

      Mobile phone boarding passes and tickets are a foolish idea... i've never known batteries to last a whole day...

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

        Actually a worse idea (and I think this is on BA) is allowing Mobile Safari to refresh the QR code on their Mobile site BEFORE checking for internet connectivity.

        This happened to me at LHR from memory. Security control was in a no-reception zone.

        TBF I think this is Apples stupid assumption rather than BA's.

        1. Adam JC

          Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

          I always take a screenshot of my boarding pass, just in case this were to happen. Another top tip - If you use airport parking, take a picture of your ticket and the QR code and email it to yourself as well as keeping it on your phone as if the worst were to happen, at least you've got *something* to keep you going and all is not lot!

          Ooh, this also works on airport lockers with the barcode thingies and at Alton Towers :-)

          1. Anonymous C0ward

            Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

            Or you could print it out. But then I'm old school.

            1. Nick Woodruffe

              Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

              If we all had a unique QR coded tattooed on our foreheads, we wouldn't need any of those boarding pass thingies.

              Hmm maybe I'll just wait for retina scans to become the norm.

              <fx>picks up phone

              "Hello, Tattoo fixers?"

              "I have this tattoo I would like to hide...."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

          Add the boarding pass to your wallet, it also then appears on the lock screen. No network required.

      2. Vic

        Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

        i've never known batteries to last a whole day...

        I typically[1] get 8-12 days from a charge.

        My other half - who has the same model of phone - gets less than a day.

        She runs the Farcebook app - but I'm sure that's entirely unrelated.


        [1] Unless I use GPS, which eats the battery in a few hours :-(

        1. Andy Nugent

          Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

          If you're getting 8-12 days from a smartphone I guess you're not using it for very much; no 4G / WiFi / BT / GPS switched on, no apps downloading in the background, screen brightness on minimum, minimal usage?

          Which raises the question why you spent money on a smartphone?

          1. Vic

            Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

            Which raises the question why you spent money on a smartphone?

            Because it does a whole load of things that I want to use from time to time.

            And when I choose to do those things - I've got battery left to do so, because I haven't wasted it all doing numpty nonsense that didn't interest me.

            Simple, huh?


            1. pPPPP

              Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

              If your battery runs out at the airport they can always print you a boarding pass at the check-in desks. If it fails as you get to the gate they'll print you a pass there. It's no big deal.

  7. PickledAardvark

    Reducing a cost by one third

    If you were on the board of an airline and the company suggested cutting the cost of catering or ground staff or fuel by one third, you'd ask hard questions about the alleged savings. How long has the change been planned? If the proposal goes wrong, how do you roll back?

    I presume that managers have convincing arguments for their proposals. They need to be rock solid, bullsh*t free arguments.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Reducing a cost by one third

      If you were on the board of an airline and the company suggested cutting the cost of catering or ground staff or fuel by one third, you'd ask hard questions about the alleged savings.

      Fair enough, however, as a potential customer, I'd have nothing against BA switching to authentic Indian catering. (Although, on a long haul flight, I imagine the recycled air might become a little, erm, over-powering.)

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Reducing a cost by one third

        Fortunately the air is not recycled that much

  8. Christoph Silver badge

    "temporary Tier Two visas for TCS staff who were flying across to deliver work in Heathrow airport terminals."

    Or possibly "to be trained by the people they will be replacing"?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's almost like they already know!

    That the tier two visa's will be granted, otherwise its a bit of a risk making the decision to Outsource. From experience working at another Indian Outsourcer, something to do with Vegetable produce, the Government will grant 2 year visa after 2 year visa to allow Indian workers to fly over and sit in U.K offices. The outsourcers claiming they don't have the skills in the U.K to do the job, when they mean it would not be profitable to employ the skilled U.K. based people to do the job.

    U.K. companies selling out the U.K public to send work abroad, to keep hedge fund managers happy. At what point does BA realise the only people flying on their flights is the Foreign nationals on 2 year visa's as the U.K becomes a country of empty offices, save a few managers and execs whilst everyone else is unemployed as the race to the bottom is well and truly over. Also none of the Apps will work as the best paid member of staff in Indian outsource companies, is not their CEO's, it's their contract writers and contract lawyers. Bah

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It's almost like they already know!

      Smells like what they have been pulling here in the States. We're in lockstep with outsourcing, visas, snooping, etc. I suspect that the race to the bottom will be a dead heat.

  10. Barry Rueger

    Joys of Free Trade!

    No need to worry about all of those BA employees.

    Since Free Trade will make us all incredibly wealthy they soon won't need a job!

  11. Dave 15

    One way to ensure stability, or employment for contractors

    No new apps will happen post outsource, just loads of excuses

    I would suggest that those made redundant just take a short contract and polish up their contractor CV's... the oursource will fail, the management will need to deliver, they will have to bring in contractors to patch up the mess... always the same. ... but of course it was lots cheaper right up to the point it went tits northward

  12. David Hall 1


    The timing is funny as anyone flying to the US on Sunday from Heathrow would have experienced.

    BA lost their link to the US DHS which means that anyone who hasn't provides their Advance Passenger Info (in advance) experienced the joy of not flying (although my plane was busy so maybe they fixed it after I checked in).

    They were also struggling with the app that they use to load the planes evenly (so, you know, they don't fall out of the sky) which delayed us an hour....

  13. laird cummings

    Free Trade

    Everyone wants free (or at least cheap) service and product. When the great masses lemming on over to the newest low-cost option, what do you think all the other players in the market are going to do?

    So folks rabbit on about "saving the domestic wage-slave," but still keep flocking like sheep to the cheapest thing they see... and they're surprised at the results?

    If you want to save the domestic wage-slave, folks either will need to work at outsource rates, or open their wallets.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    424 people?!

    What sort of "apps" are we talking about here? I'm struggling to work out what could possibly warrant a team of 424 people. How many "apps" do they have?!

    1. Handy Andy

      Re: 424 people?!

      423 managers and 1 developer

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: 424 people?!

      2 senior management

      2 techies

      420 middle managers

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 424 people?!

      This is the delivery arm of the BA IT department. Covering delivery of changes small and large across the whole IT estate, not limited to but including mobile apps.

      It used to be bigger than 424 people but it has been reduced and cut for years.

  15. s. pam
    Thumb Down

    BA are racing to the bottom, below AA

    And that's NOT a complement BA.

    You've turned a respected airline into a tired haggard dilapidated flying mystery.

    Aspiring to be like AA is not a way to win customers.


    A throroughly feucked off Gold customer(soon to switch to Beardie's airline)!

  16. LeeTucker

    The main issue here is that TCS staff are replacing British jobs and are using the 2 tier visa loop hole to do so.! That means BA are accepting that certain IT roles cannot be done in India so are flying TCS staff from India to do our British jobs thus making those affected redundant. This is totally immoral and completely wrong on every level. The home office SHOULD be protecting British jobs and are turning a blind eye.! WHY? GMB union member posted this but want to remain anonymous as will be one of those being replaced ! :(

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