Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

BA pilot ‘posted homophobic rant on Facebook’

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. BA is another of those de-nationalised companies which is still stuck in the last century.
    The staff are some of the highest paid in the world yet want even more, the staff appear to think that the customers are there for them (rather than the other way around).
    I would never, now, book with this company as I wouldn’t know if I would ever get to my destination.
    The outcome of these greedy and selfish staff is that they will inevitably loose there jobs when BA go under.

  2. Oops – I meant their rather than there! :-)

  3. BrazilBoysBlog 9 Jun 2010, 1:09pm

    I agree, an incredible story. Hardly the best way of encouraging customers to fly with BA. So, these pilots will still have their jobs will they? Well, with their attitude to their customers, I have to ask… Why?

  4. The pilots jobs may be safe at the moment… but if the Airline goes under so will they.

  5. Wow – their behaviour is unacceptable and they need to be reprimanded by BA.

    Pathetic to see how that useless homophobe Ben Summerskill is concerned about this.

    This person is the leader of Stonewall – a so-callled equality group which is oppose to equal rights for gay people.

    Ben Summerskill and the homophobes at Stonewall believe that gay couples be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage because we are gay.

    Why is a homophobe like Ben Summerskill annoyed at the BA pilots’ behaviour.

    At least the pilots are not legitimising homophobic discrimination like Stonewall is.

  6. Stefven Fout 9 Jun 2010, 2:04pm

    Sounds to me like the only freedom threatened here is the pilot’s freedom of speech…especially since he wasn’t acting in a professional capacity, just griping with his friends on facebook. We do not have to like what people say, but we should defend their freedom to say it. Equal rights does indeed mean equal rights.

  7. Sister Mary Clarance 9 Jun 2010, 2:09pm

    Simon (oops Martin), why don’t you shut up. You post the same bile over and over again. This is a story about BA and you twist it round to get your petty little digs in about people that don’t fit with your world view.

    You need to get out more mate.

  8. A depressing story, but not surprising. The ‘politically correct’ ethos of modern business is often just window dressing; in the ‘stock room’ there is still real prejudice – not just directed towards sexual minorities, but other minority groups. I’m afraid that until heterosexuals come to understand that their sexuality is not ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ but just one outcome of a myriad of possibilities, stories like this will continue to emerge. So that means – probably for ever!
    Bit rich calling Ben Summerskill a homophobe! Give the bloke a break – I’m gay, in a civil partnership, and wouldn’t want ‘marriage’ if you offered it to me. That’s what ‘straight’ do, isn’t it?!!

  9. Nothing will be done. As ex-crew I can tell you pilots are untouchable. Some of them are fu**king, vile and very sexist not to mention homophobic. I had a run in with a few of them at my time with Airtours/My Travel and was told to back down by the base cabin crew managers.

  10. vulpus_rex 9 Jun 2010, 2:54pm

    What someone posts on their facebook profile is none of BA’s business – the thought police are getting are getting bigger and bigger jack boots these days.

  11. Number Two 9 Jun 2010, 3:09pm

    I’ve avoided flying BA for years,they always seem behind the times in terms of inflight services etc. compared other more user friendly airlines, though the usual cabin crew themselves are always polite and calm to a tee (unlike American and Australian ones I’ve come across).

    Interestingly though there’s a bit of a scandal brewing in the US as pilots there are paid an absolute pittance and have to take second jobs to make ends meet.

  12. Peter Rivendell 9 Jun 2010, 3:19pm

    And you all miss one of the points of this story… the pilots are scabbily doing the work of cabin crew (and hating it, despite the fat bonus they get for doing it) while the cabin crew are striking to defend their terms and conditions of employment. As for BA cabin crew being well-paid, some are, some aren’t, but you don’t get Harvey Nicks service at Primark prices.

    Sure, Facebook comments should be ‘private’, even when they’re not, but this does demonstrate what happens when you start tearing a company apart to ‘cut costs’, which are largely down to absurd fuel prices, not cabin crew wages anyway.

  13. Ian Bower 9 Jun 2010, 3:29pm

    Quote ‘…while the cabin crew are striking to defend their terms and conditions of employment.’

    The cabin crew knew that they would loose their free travel if they went on strike. Free travel was a ‘perk’ not a right. They chose to go on strike (remember these are the highest paid cabin crews in the world) and are now going on strike wanting their free travel back. Like recalcitrant children.

  14. BrazilBoysBlog 9 Jun 2010, 3:35pm

    @5 ho·mo·pho·bi·a (hm-fb-)
    n.
    1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.
    2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

    To call Ben Summerskill a homophobe is incredible frankly!

    Agree or disagree with him as you will, but homophobe? I think not.

    It does go to prove my point that some people are dumbing down the TRUE nature and effects of homophobia by idly throwing that word at anyone and anything they do not happen to agree with.

    The attacker of a gay couple on a London bus? = HOMOPHOBE
    Ben Summerskill = ? Don´t be ridiculous!

  15. Simple really, sack them. Nothing hard here. No discussion or conversation with management. Bye bye.

  16. Just an afterthought. If companies are happy to include ‘equal opportunities’ in all of their literature, then they HAVE to act on it when something happens. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be allowed by law to parade themselves to the world as an equal opportunity organisation. They can’t have it both ways. Every company has this written into their policy these days almost as standard. They benefit from the good publicity, but that seems to be their only agenda. Words mean nothing, as we all know only too well.

  17. Peter Rivendell 9 Jun 2010, 4:59pm

    ‘The cabin crew knew that they would loose [sic] their free travel if they went on strike. Free travel was a ‘perk’ not a right. They chose to go on strike (remember these are the highest paid cabin crews in the world) and are now going on strike wanting their free travel back. Like recalcitrant children.’

    (1) Some crew do actually have discounted travel built into their contracts as BA have closed all UK bases and made staff have to commute the length of the UK. BA also actively recruited staff from around the globe on the understanding that they would be able to easily commute to Heathrow and Gatwick. (2) It surely cannot be legal to punish staff for taking part in a legally organised strike, especially if that punishment then impinges on their ability to get to work (whilst at the same time benefitting the company by filling space on aircraft). (3) If you want to deliver top quality service and charge premium prices for premium service then it is not unreasonable to pay staff a premium to do so, never mind the inconvenience of living a longhaul life. (4) The scandal is not that BA staff are ‘well-paid’ but that people happily cite the fact that Virgin staff are paid a pittance as justification for stripping staff with sometimes decades of service of their terms and conditions of employment.

    The travel concessions may be a final sticking point but you’d be defiant after months of bullying and being faced with having your earnings slashed by a third while being expected to work longer hours with fewer staff with less time off. Try supporting the BA staff rather than knee-jerk attacking them.

  18. Pilots with that much anger inside them need to be screened to make sure they are not mentally ill.

    BA wont sack a pilot they have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds training. But I guess they all have a diversity course to look forward to.

  19. The law cannot police out of work actions. No one has been abused to thier face- not the passengers, nor these Gay peoplem who must have been flying with these pilots. The law exists to stop harrasment. I do not see that the expression of these opinions, no matter how vile, have harrased anyone on thier flights. There can be no victimless crime

  20. I disagree with the ‘What’s said in private’ scenario. It’s a measure of them as people. Of course they are unlikely to verbalise it where they think they can be seen at work, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t acted unseen in some way against gay staff or passengers in a less than professional manner on the sly. There are many jobs of a position where they are sacked or resign for behaviour of this kind in a non-work related arena. MPs, police, or any service of a responsibility where they work with the public or the public are in their care in some way. There is no excuse, this is a core belief of theirs. They should be removed from their positions. As for BA not wanting to remove someone because they’ve spent money training a pilot, no excuse. If that’s the case then they should remove equal opportunities from their public face so we all know who & what they ‘actually’ represent.

  21. Stefven Fout 9 Jun 2010, 6:00pm

    @Louise- People are entitled to their opinions, and there is not always a direct line between thoughts and actions. In fact, most people I know never act on the thoughts they harbor. For example, have you ever said to yourself “I hate this job” yet find yourself working at it for years? Granted your heart may not be in it, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t doing the job correctly. It is entirely possible to disagree with policies and practices without being disagreeable.

  22. They should have set their privacy setting properly

  23. Mihangel apYrs 9 Jun 2010, 7:15pm

    I have tried to post something 4 times here and each time it hasn’t appeared abut in each case it is cached somewhere

    Is PN having another nervous breakdown?

  24. @Stefven Fout. I’m sorry, but a core belief like that will make them look down on lesbians & gay men as lesser humans. That ‘will’ show itself in their behaviour in other ways, as they’d be careful not to break the rules of employment where they can be seen. But they will not be fair with gay staff & passengers if given the chance to hamper them in any way without being seen. They can’t be homophobic one moment & then turn it off for work, it’s still there, they just act indirectly on the people they want to target. It’s not rocket science is it.

  25. As an ex-BA employee, I can testify to what a total shambles it is, with its arrogant and snooty crew. The sooner it goes under, the better for all I reckon!

  26. Boycott BA

  27. simon /martin dearie. If you want to berate homosexuals who are homophobes, why don’t you direct your ire towards R0bina?

    c x

  28. simon / martin. If you want to berate homosexuals who are homophobes, why don’t you berate roboina, rather than ben summerskill?

  29. Sister Mary Clarance 10 Jun 2010, 9:29am

    Regarding this business of comment made outside work being private or not. If the comments made can be attributed or connected to anyone working for the company (as is the case here) the company can claim the employee has brought the company into disrepute.

    Unattributed comments by someone from the airline industry about general airline stuff would be fine, but the comments here are clearly from someone working for BA writing about something happening when they were at work for BA. The company is quite at liberty to protect its professional reputation.

    I would imagine also that pilot contracts do contain some sort of confidentiality clauses, not specifically designed for preventing the employee revealing that its customers are w@nkers or whatever, but they could certainly use that in the case against the pilots.

    An employee does not have a free reign to criticise the employer publicly using information they have acquired during their working hours once they clock off. If they did, where would it end?

    BA is investigating and rather than raising a lynch mob (again) it might be best to await the outcome of the investigation.

  30. What a great big load of garbage. Firstly, I rant about work to friends. I think everyone does. And as most people do, I’ll over exaggerate due to emotion. If I said I almost hit someone, it’s an expression of anger. I’m quite clearly professional enough not to attack someone whilst I’m working! It won’t stop me saying I wish I had hit them. Secondly, don’t pass judgement over something you have no idea about. Other than ‘i read it on the Internet/in the daily mirror so it must be true’. That idiotic. And lastly, I’m heterosexual. I call my mates gay/bummers/faggots ALL THE TIME. It doesn’t make me homophobic. That’s WHAT LADS DO. I have gay friends too, and they don’t take offence. Pretty much everyone of you who have commented must have a brain the size of a pea. Actually THINK before you started yapping a load of rubbish…

  31. Also, how can you warrat using in your headline ‘homophobic rant’ from 1 guy saying ‘bum boys’ ONCE?! How do people get jobs in the media when they quite clearly have learning difficulties. Surely a rant consists of slightly more than an off the cuff 2 word phrase.

  32. PumpkinPie 10 Jun 2010, 7:08pm

    Jeffrey, how in the hell can you say you use homosexuality as an insult and then claim you’re not homophobic? Unless you’re using the term ironically, you are being homophobic.

    Tell me, do you call your mates p**is or n****rs? If not, then why not? No, I’m being rhetorical. I know what the difference is. One is an acceptable target, for which you will recieve little societal backlash, and the other isn’t. Don’t kid yourself into thinking gay slurs aren’t as bad as ethnic slurs, though.

  33. Before you get carried away, who said I was insulting anyone? And yes, I do call my black mates ‘nigger’. Again, they aren’t so small minded to scream as soon as the dreaded ‘n’ word is mentioned.
    Unfortunately, your views show how this country is moving backwards. Freedom of speech, as long as what you say is accepted by everyone who hears it. Seriously, if you get upset about someone jokingly refering to (again, in a made up situation) a group of (made up) people as ‘bum boys’, I’d hate to think what serious problems in your life may be.

  34. Lmao. Jeffrey, you will not go far in this world.

  35. I loved the ending !!!

    “… In a reference to gay cabin crew, he wrote to Mr Harman: “I’m gonna get 14 bum boys rostered on ur next trip.”

    Ben Summerskill [ CEO of charity that complained to BA about the homophobic remarke] – “…It does seem an odd way to encourage people to fly with you. We understand they are taking this very seriously.”

  36. Jeffrey – I’m glad that you’ve got relationships with your black and gay friends that allow for salty and robust language, but if you pause to use your intelligence for about 1 second, I hope you’ll recognise that context is completely different to the one reported in this story.

    Facebook is a very public forum, so for pilots to be slagging off their passengers and colleagues in these terms is extremely irresponsible, and I think any employer would be quite right to challenge such behaviour, especially when it gives such offence to large sections of their workforce and consumer-base.

    The casual use of derogatory terms is offensive when done without some kind of permission or ironic intent. Saying that ‘lads will be lads’ just isn’t really good enough – being ‘a lad’ is not an excuse for being insensitive and unthinking, and we shouldn’t give young men a license for irresponsibility based on low expectations of their youth and gender. They need to learn, and grow up.

    And in that, they’re probably not alone.

    1. Guys, just seen this post. I am BA crew and homosexual. I know Adam (the pilot involved) very well…What I can tell you is that there is not an ounce of homophobia in Adam whatsoever…I am actually providing references through him as it goes through court…however, just for your information the Facebook page was hacked in to by BASSA (Duncan Holly) because Adam was working as VCC crew for his own family reasons. BASSA twisted comments before submitting to the newspaper. It appears that these comments have all got out of hands and it looks like Adam is being associated as a homophobe when I personally know he is nothing of the sort.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all