It was not only slow to react to the mounting catastrophe, but members of staff were seen to behave badly in front of the media. They knew the seriousness of the problems before the passengers and should have been upfront.
The damage was compounded by a weak-looking operations director reading a prepared script and attempting to spin down the scale of the debacle. The media seized on this 'truth economy' and when there were plenty of happy customers, the focus shifted 100 per cent to the unhappy ones.
The final straw was the sight of the same operations director slamming the door in the face of a live BBC TV crew - disastrous proof that BA seemed to be hiding something.
What should have been a fantastic PR day for BA became an embarrassment, then a self-inflicted disaster.
STEPHEN ARCHER, director of communications, Cutty Sark/Spring Partnerships.