The use of computer information to gain an upper hand and a commercial advantage is not new to British Airways (BA). And even when it has been caught engaging in what the rest of industry calls “dirty tricks”, the world’s favourite airline has preferred to describe its discovered errors as “disreputable business practices”.
British Airways paid £1m to hush up the details of a spying operation in which the phones and emails of its own cabin staff were allegedly improperly accessed during a bitter dispute with Britain’s largest union.
“I’ve been here [Westminster] two years, and I’ve not had anyone offer me a bribe,” says Sarah Champion with mock indignation. “Maybe they have, and I’ve just not recognised it. Maybe there’s an agency you sign up to.”