OT: BBC on 'not reclining' in economy

Old Jun 23, 13, 5:54 am
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OT: BBC on 'not reclining' in economy

Nicely written article -- although the implication that J and F seats never get a view is wrong (although of course, some 'window' seats are not great for the views).

Also didn't know that BBC reporters, even fairly senior ones, have to fly Y: seems a bit stingy, regardless of the the 'license fee' issue.

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Old Jun 23, 13, 6:09 am
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Executives of publicly-funded bodies flying J or F always brought up emotional debate. I personally never saw the problem but can understand the fuss.

If the reporter doesn't want passengers to recline, then just send him in the old shell CX Y seats for 12 hours...that'll teach him!
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Old Jun 23, 13, 6:19 am
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There is usually a policy that staff can fly J (but not F) on flights that are scheduled to be over a certain length.

In the public sector organisation I worked for it was 7 hours - not that anyone flew that far!

But a blanket ban leads to some anomolies. We were not allowed to travel 1st class on the train - even when it was cheaper than standard - which it could be at times.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 6:25 am
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Despite claims to the opposite on a thread about a year or so ago, I know that civil servants can fly J (and F!). And I believe ministers can fly J (but not F). So there can't be a 'blanket ban', and nor should there be.

I have to say, for many years, I was a window seat flyer, because I enjoyed looking out of the window, but 90% of the time, it's just cloud cover. Now, when flying solo I prefer the aisle seat for the greater leg freedom it enjoys, although was relegated to middle when flying with wife in Y. Last couple of years, with daughter >2, she takes (and enjoys!) the middle seat, so I can have aisle back.

Yep, CX shell seat would be perfect for this correspondent, and I wonder whether that would spark off another 'vow'. (Un)luckily, its days are hopefully numbered.

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Old Jun 23, 13, 9:21 am
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Peter Day is (mostly!) talking a load of BS. Although he is right in so far as Radio budgets are tighter than those in TV and so I am sure it is much harder for a Radio journalist to wangle J travel.

BBC allows J on flights of more than four hours for executives, and that includes certain journalists who have a certain seniority or those whose contracts and relationships with the corporation are negotiated by talent agents.

I have worked with John Simpson and Jeremy Paxman and both flew J with my team to CAI and LEN.

I myself flew J to SVO, IAD, EWR and LAS when I was a BBC employee many moons ago, and I was far from senior! I just happened to find cheaper J tickets myself than the economy fares proposed by Carlson Wagonlit who were then the in house BBC travel agents. I managed to get accounts to refund my amex just fine.

I have also seen plenty of talent in F when on BBC business... the Top Gear trio always flies F for example.

Sir David Attenborough is a unique exception, prefering to fly in Y with the crew, even in recent years when age has caught up with him.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by HighLife View Post
Peter Day is (mostly!) talking a load of BS. Although he is right in so far as Radio budgets are tighter than those in TV and so I am sure it is much harder for a Radio journalist to wangle J travel.

BBC allows J on flights of more than four hours for executives, and that includes certain journalists who have a certain seniority or those whose contracts and relationships with the corporation are negotiated by talent agents.

I have worked with John Simpson and Jeremy Paxman and both flew J with my team to CAI and LEN.

I myself flew J to SVO, IAD, EWR and LAS when I was a BBC employee many moons ago, and I was far from senior! I just happened to find cheaper J tickets myself than the economy fares proposed by Carlson Wagonlit who were then the in house BBC travel agents. I managed to get accounts to refund my amex just fine.

I have also seen plenty of talent in F when on BBC business... the Top Gear trio always flies F for example.

Sir David Attenborough is a unique exception, prefering to fly in Y with the crew, even in recent years when age has caught up with him.
As a license fee payer (oh oh, here we go), I would be mortified to find out we weren't sending the likes of John Simpson around in J. His reporting is excellent and I can't see him writing up a report to go as soon as he lands whilst cramped up in Y. F, on the other hand, is completely OTT. The likes of Clarkson et al will certainly be funding F out of their production company budgets, not directly from the BBC coffers. Then again Top Gear must bring in a good couple of quid to the BBC from export and format rights.

The fact that Attenborough insists on riding in the back with the lads of further testament to the fact he an absolute legend.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 10:45 am
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I agree with everything you say ShadowCaptain.

Simpson's travel schedule would be totally impossible were the longer flights not in J. The job would just become impossible to do. He has multiple passports to deal with this.

There are a few others in his position too.

Attenborough ^

I wish I could do the same, but admit to flying up front with assistants and crew down the back sometimes
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Old Jun 23, 13, 10:49 am
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The Top Gear boys flew VS UC to South Africa couple of weeks ago.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 11:11 am
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I imagine Simpson has a certain level of travel provided for him by BA as part of his High Life article.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Genius1 View Post
I imagine Simpson has a certain level of travel provided for him by BA as part of his High Life article.
The only thing I make a point of reading in each issue. Usually very well written.

Incidentally, like any organisation, the BBC has varying travel policies and most of the last few posts have referred to the News division which operates (at risk of controversy, sometimes a little too) semi-autonomously from the rest of the corporation. In the other business areas it's very unusual for all but the top 100 managers to get anything other than Y.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 12:47 pm
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Surely Simpson's supposed J travel would come out of a "payment in kind" fund for his regular High Life contributions?
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Old Jun 23, 13, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by NoTiersForMe View Post
Surely Simpson's supposed J travel would come out of a "payment in kind" fund for his regular High Life contributions?
Perhaps thats exactly why he does it. I certainly would.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by ShadowCaptain View Post

The fact that Attenborough insists on riding in the back with the lads of further testament to the fact he an absolute legend.
A gentleman to his fingertips. The day that he is no longer with us is a day when I will cry my eyes out. You do not get many of him to the pound, and the likes of him have become and endangered species indeed.

If I were to nominate a National Treasure heŽd be at the top of my list. He lets poisonous creepy-crawlies run all over him. All I do is smile, pour Champagne and say good bye when they disembark.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 1:52 am
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It's such a daft article.

Seats are designed to recline, and you have every right to do so. Of course, consideration needs to be shown during mealtimes (when, for your own purposes an upright seatback is normally preferable).

But I would have no compunction in reclining my seat, and I find it odd that anyone would go to such lengths of personal discomfort to avoid reclining, and write about it.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 4:57 am
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The way it usually goes is if I'm in Y trying to work and pax in front reclines, I will at first sulk for a bit, then I will jab things into the back of the chair, then I will continue to type on my laptop with incredibly heavy keystrokes that make the whole table shake. Its only fair. Lifting the table up and down a few times, letting it drop by it's own weight is also therapeutic.
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